Focus On

Downsizing for service

Dave and Karen Mast have traded their home in Ephrata, Pa., for a trailer that they take with them on their assignments with Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network ministry.

A year ago, Dave and Karen Mast traded their 240-square-metre home in Ephrata, Pa., for a 12-metre-long travel trailer.

Dave, 51, and Karen, 48, now travel across the eastern U.S. as volunteers for Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) volunteer opportunity throughout the U.S. and Canada for adults and families.

Confessions of an editor

Editing a book about living simply has a way of throwing one’s own hypocrisy into stark relief. When I began work on the 30th-anniversary edition of Living More With Less for Herald Press, I knew that I’d have to face the many ways that I failed to make choices that were mindful of global poverty and climate change.

Consider travelling with a group

During a stop of the Lehman homestead in the Jura area of France, TourMagination travellers check out a family chart.

While we each appreciate different aspects of travel, many people assume travelling with a tour group is not for them. They associate tour groups with older people or a lack of flexibility.

While this may sometimes be the case, there are times when joining a tour group is a great fit for nearly every traveller.

Why I didn’t ride a camel this summer

In the Middle East, the only places you will see camels are in the tourist areas and the only people who will give you a ride on a camel are those people whose job it is to separate rich tourists from their money.

I had the good fortune this summer to spend five weeks in the Middle East and I didn’t ride a camel once. I flew to Istanbul, Turkey, and worked my way—sans camel—overland to Cairo, Egypt, and then back home. Six countries, nine border crossings and seven different currencies. Travelling on foot or by bus, tour bus, ferry, car, private taxi, shared taxi, tram, cable car, but no camel.

Senior tour guides inspire senior travellers

John Ruth a retired English professor and author, right, has led TourMagination tours since 1974.

Turning 65 used to mean it was time to trade in the company car for a rocking chair, but today organizations recognize the value of wisdom and life experience gained by older people. TourMagination, a Mennonite tour company founded in 1970, has long recognized that many of its tour leaders are on their second—or even third—career.

Combines called back to Winkler for another world-record harvest attempt

Four years after Winkler hosted more than a hundred combines in an attempt to set a record for harvesting 65 hectares, the rural southern Manitoba community is at it again. On Aug. 7, World Harvest for Kids 2010 hopes to bring together more than twice as many combines to harvest 97 hectares and hopefully set a record this time.

A crisis of faith and plumbing

Camp Valaqua out-trip leader Jared Bourn prepares for another day of paddling on the North Saskatchewan River.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

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