God at work in the World

Germinating conversations

Doug Dyck operates an 850-hectare mixed-grain farm near Plum Coulee with his brother-in-law and nephew, where he faces two realities: that of the wonderful, intergenerational, diverse nature of farming life, and that of rising fuel and machinery costs, which have increased tenfold while the price of wheat has barely doubled since 1972.

African goat project demonstrates group power

Toyia Sekento, six, holds a goat that her family is raising. Her family received the goat because her father is part of a self-help group in Kenya that is supported by Mennonite Central Committee. The goats are an incentive for the formation of 60 self-help groups among the Maasai people that each work together to do community projects.

A goat project among Kenya’s Maasai people is giving birth to more than baby goats. It is powering to life a cooperative group ethic that is helping 2,000 Maasai families cope with cultural change and ecological challenges.

Greening Africa

By participating in the award-winning program run by the Migibare Senay Children and Family Support Organization, a Mennonite Central Committee partner in Ethiopia, Tiruneh Mitiku has doubled the income he can make off his farm in the country’s Amhara region.

By participating in an environmental award-winning program run by the Migibare Senay Children and Family Support Organization, a Mennonite Central Committee partner in Ethiopia, Tiruneh Mitiku has doubled the income he can make off his farm in the country’s Amhara region.

At a February ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Migibare Senay Children and Family Support Organization received a first place “green award” from President Girma Wolde-Giorgis.

Humanitarian crisis looming in the Middle East

In a more peaceful time, orphans Alla and Marah look out over the city of Homs, Syria. Their orphanage, a ministry of the Syrian Orthodox Church that is supported by MCC’s Global Family program, has now moved to a safer location.

Alarmed by the continuing violence in Syria, and consistent reports that unrest is likely to escalate and spread to neighbouring countries in the coming months, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has begun preparing for a humanitarian crisis in the region.

Building a lasting peace

Samantha Nutt signs copies of her book Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies & Aid at the Project Ploughshares 35th-anniversary celebration in Waterloo, Ont., last month.

The greatest threat to world peace today is the Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle, Samantha Nutt told an engaged audience who had come out on Feb. 27 to celebrate 35 years of Project Ploughshares’ work at building lasting peace.

On shaky ground


When the massive earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) was one of the fortunate non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to receive money for its relief work from the government fund set up to match donations from Canadians, but by then the ground beneath Canadian NGOs had already shifted.

Hard truth about hunger:

Bokayo Kanchoro collects water in Berena, Ethiopia, from an underground system filled with Oxfam tankered water. There are 3.2 million Ethiopians affected by the current drought and food crisis.

In a January report, two major humanitarian agencies confessed that they, along with the rest of the world, responded too slowly to the food crisis in East Africa last year, and that thousands of people died unnecessarily.

From Amish settlement to the Gates Foundation

Keynote speaker Joyce Bontrager Lehman responds to questions during a Nov. 5 breakfast Q&A moderated by Wilmer Martin of TourMagination at the Mennonite Economic Development Associates convention in Lancaster, Pa. (MEDA photo by Steve Sugrim)

More than 500 Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) convention-goers were entranced as Joyce Bontrager Lehman recounted her journey from an idyllic childhood in the Amish settlement of Kalona, Iowa, to international development work in Kabul, Afghanistan, and beyond.

‘Kill the bill’

Shaun Loney, executive director of Building Urban Industries for Local Development, at the microphone, addresses a Nov. 8 rally in Winnipeg against the federal government’s crime omnibus bill.

The federal government’s Bill C-10—part of a wider crime omnibus bill—had already met opposition in Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia by the time Manitobans rallied in opposition.

People of faith must call for climate justice

Mennonite Church Canada executive director Willard Metzger, right, marches through the streets of Durban, South Africa, in support of climate justice with other people of faith at the UN climate change conference last month.

Especially in the colder areas of Canada, people will sometimes facetiously say they are thankful for climate change when they experience unseasonably warm temperatures.

Metzger’s address on climate justice warmly received

Willard Metzger, MC Canada’s executive director, spoke to federal MPs and senators about climate justice earlier this year before heading to the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Whether the scientists are right or wrong about climate change is no longer the issue, Willard Metzger, Mennonite Church Canada’s executive director (formerly general secretary), told about a dozen senators and MPs in Ottawa at a breakfast meeting on Oct. 25

Ministries set to expand

Mennonite Savings and Credit Union gave Mennonite Central Committee Ontario a half-million dollars towards its new $12 million complex in Kitchener, Ont.

Mennonite Savings and Credit Union recently gave a half-million dollars towards the new $12 million building project of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario at the latter’s Kent Avenue location.

Foot washing ends climate change protest

New Order Voice columnist Aiden Enns washes the feet of Kenton Lobe in downtown Winnipeg, Man., on Sept. 24 during a protest against climate change brought about by the West’s reliance on oil.

As the sounds of hymns overpowered the hum of car engines revving at a red light, a city transit bus had passengers clamouring to open windows out of curiosity about the sights and sounds of worship on the sidewalk around them.

Feds fund Foodgrains Bank with $125 million

Jim Cornelius, executive director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, thanks Beverly J. Oda, minister of international cooperation, for providing a further $125 million over the next five years to help feed the world’s hungry people.

More assistance for more people in the developing world—that’s what a new five-year $125-million funding agreement from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) means for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Wall of Remembrance to COs dedicated

Henry Sawatzky, a former conscientious objector, came from the Altona Hospital to attend the dedication service of the Wall of Remembrance in Winkler, Man.

Pictured at the Wall of Remembrance in Winkler, Man., are former conscientious objectors Art Toews, left, John W. Giesbrecht, John L. Friesen and Jake Friesen.

A Wall of Remembrance erected in Winkler’s Bethel Heritage Park honours more than 3,000 young men who served as conscientious objectors (COs) in Manitoba during World War II. A Sept. 11 dedication service marked the completion of the wall constructed with 3,021 bricks, one for each CO.


‘One in six: Hunger’ was one of two works by Hamilton, Ont., artist Karen Thiessen on display at Conrad Grebel University College’s ‘Just Food’ exhi-bition last month. Thiessen’s piece had viewers wondering, ‘What do tires and barcodes have to do with justice and food?’

‘Is food a human right?’ panellists Clare Schlegel, left, and Steffanie Scott continue discussing the topic after the event at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo.

All the members of a panel convened by Rick Cober Bauman, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Ontario’s di-rector, on Sept. 21 agreed that food security is a human right. But they did not agree on how to go about achieving it.

Financial crisis looms

Ray Koop, CEO for Bethania Group, and Ferdinand Funk, chaplain at Bethania Personal Care Home, stand in front of the Bethania facility.

What makes a Mennonite personal care home Mennonite? This question is central to the critical financial situation that the Bethania Group faces in its two personal care homes.

‘Churches are too quiet’

A banner on the shore of JeJu Island reads, ‘Stop the naval weapons base! No more relocation [of the base] to the beautiful village of Gangjeong!’

“The sad thing is, the churches are too quiet,” says Kyong-Jung Kim, director of the Korea Anabaptist Center, in Seoul, South Korea. “Either they don’t pay attention to this or they don’t want to step on boundaries that are not welcome by government.”

MCC expands response for East Africa drought

Ahada Kusoco Hassan, 23, cooks breakfast for her family in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has surpassed its initial target of raising $1 million for the East Africa drought and is now expanding its response to the continuing crisis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. At press time, nearly $2 million had come in, $1.6 million of it from Canadian donors and a further $300,000 from U.S. donors.


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