Balancing competitiveness and learning

Adam Ens, with his back to the camera, during his two seasons of playing professional volleyball in France. (Photo by Wes Ens)

Adam Ens in action with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s volleyball team. (Photo by Henry Harms)

Adam Ens in action with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s volleyball team. (Photo by Henry Harms)

Adam Ens shakes hands with a Canada West representative as he is inducted into the Canada West Hall of Fame at the University of Saskatchewan. (Photo by Henry Harms)

Winning awards is nothing new for Adam Ens. Maybe that’s why he expressed surprise when his whole family planned to show up for his induction into the Canada West Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony took place on Feb. 8 at the University of Saskatchewan, where Ens played with the Huskies men’s volleyball team from 1999 to 2004. 

Cross-cultural challenges and blessings

Lynell Bergen and Brian Dyck have done a lot of bird watching during their time in Ethiopia. This cinnamon-chested bee-eater visited them outside their home. (Photo by Brian Dyck)

Bergen teaches a class on Wisdom Literature, with over 40 students, at Meserete Kristos College. (Photo courtesy of Lynell Bergen)

Bergen and Dyck travelled around Ethiopia with their two sons before they began their work. This view was from a hike in Lalibela. (Photo by Brian Dyck)

A Sunday sunrise walk led Bergen and Dyck to Chelekleka Lake, about ten minutes on foot from the school where they are staying. (Photo by Brian Dyck)

There is a never-ending abundance of birds outside their home. “These two showed up just as we were thinking about supper,” says Dyck. (Photo by Brian Dyck)

Bergen and Dyck are living on the campus of Meserete Kristos College for three months. (Photo by Brian Dyck)

Dyck and Bergen at Sabahar, a weaving and textiles shop in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. (Photo courtesy of Lynell Bergen)

Lynell Bergen exchanged the snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures of a Winnipeg winter this year for the warm sunshine and mountains of Ethiopia.

Bergen is a pastor of Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg and is currently spending a sabbatical teaching at Meserete Kristos College in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

Takin’ care of his musical business

Jay Hildebrand continues to be active musically in church, bringing a creative flair to worship services at Leamington United Mennonite Church, playing piano, bass and guitar, or through solo vocal performances. (Photo by Mitchel Hildebrand)

In the front yard of an average looking home lies a large rock with a landscaped garden bed around it. The rock reads “JAYCELAND’ and bears a lightning bolt with the capital letters T, C and B around it. This is the home of the Hildebrand family, where Jay and Monica and their son Mitchel are a typical family who go about their daily routines of work and leisure.

Where are they now?

A family photo of Jennifer Otto; son Alex, standing; son Ian; and Greg Rabus. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Otto)

When Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers Greg Rabus and Jennifer Otto landed in Lethbridge, Alta., in 2018, with their sons Alex, and Ian, they were not sure what their new home was going to be like. From 2012 to 2018, the young family had served as church planters and then community builders together with the Ludwigshafen Mennonite Church in Germany. 

‘There was no stopping Doris’

Doris Gascho, front row second from left, was one of the first women to serve on the Executive Committee of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec. In 1978, the committee included, from left to right, front row: Laverne Brubacher, Gascho, Isaac High, Elsie Horst and Vernon Leis; and back row: Joe Nighswander, Abner Martin, Glenn Brubacher, Edward Kauffman and Ralph Lebold. (Mennonite Archives of Ontario photo)

Doris Gascho, right greets Anna Mary Brubacher, who offered a tribute at the legacy and birthday celebration in Gascho’s honour. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

Doris Gascho expresses gratitude for what she called a ‘delicious’ program at a legacy and birthday celebration in honour of her life’s ‘unexpected journey.’ (Photo by Janet Bauman)

In 2014, Ron Rempel visits with Lois Lowe and Doris Gascho at a seniors retreat at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp. (Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp photo)

Trailblazer, pioneer, role model and mentor. Inquisitive, passionate, open-minded.

This is how Doris Gascho was described by family, friends, fellow church members and colleagues at a legacy and 87th-birthday celebration in her honour at Waterloo North Mennonite Church on March 1, that featured hymns, special music and many tributes recognizing her “unexpected journey.”

Portrait of a strong woman

Adolphine Tshiama, left, is pictured with Kanku Ngalamulume and Joseph Nkongolo, coordinator of the Department of Service and Development of the Mennonite Church in the Congo. (Photo by Rod Hollinger Janzen)

From mid-2016 to mid-2017, the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo was devastated by an armed conflict. Rebel militias gathered around a traditional chief, Kamuina Nsapu, to fight against the central government. They attacked posts where security forces were located and sometimes attacked schools, churches and hospitals.

Teaching peace across Asia and around the world

Wendy Kroeker, third from left, is pictured with the Mennonite World Conference Peace Commission The others, from left to right, are: Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker Joji Pantoja, Neal Blough, Andrew Suderman, Garcia Domingo, Adriana Belinda Rodriguez, Kenneth Hoke and Jeremiah Choi. Kroeker and Pantoja were part of the delegation to Hong Kong. (Photo by Marijne Stenvers)

Name any region in Asia and chances are that Wendy Kroeker has done peace work there.

For 22 years it was ‘all about the residents’

Linda Tiessen, who recently retired from her administrative duties at the Leamington (Ont.) Mennonite Home, is pictured in front of the facility with her granddaughter Larissa. (Photo by Zach Charbonneau)

Growth, change and progress are three big words that come to mind when looking back over Linda Tiessen’s time as administrator of Leamington Mennonite Home. And after serving nearly 22 years at the home, she is ready to enjoy retirement.

Family of artists share their work in new book

Proudfoot family portrait of 2018: (left to right) Annora Proudfoot, Robert Proudfoot, Valerie Proudfoot (nee Braun) and Alicia Proudfoot. (Photo by Alicia Proudfoot)

A couch harp, created by Alicia Proudfoot, on display at the Hernandez Art Gallery in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Alicia Proudfoot)

Many individuals dream of writing a book, but it’s not often that an entire family writes a book together. Three generations of artists from the Proudfoot family compiled a book of short stories, essays, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and poetry. It was published in February 2019 by Friesen Press.

‘A mile in my moccasins’

Madelaine Kioke, a Cree artisan, demonstrates hand-stitching on a moccasin while sharing from her family story during “A mile in my moccasins” workshop, sponsored by MCC Ontario’s Indigenous Neighbours program. (Photo by Janet Bauman)

(Photo by Janet Bauman)

Madelaine Kioke was born in the woods near Attawapiskat, in the James Bay region of northern Ontario, where her parents hunted and trapped. She lived out on the land until she was nine years old, learning to hunt and fish, and set traps and snares with her father. At age six, when her mother first gave her a sewing needle, her love for making moccasins began.

Helping others, one stitch at a time

Eric Berg works on the floor, pinning together the top, batting and lining of a blanket. (Photo by Marlies Berg)

Eric Berg, a member of the St. Catharines (Ont.) United Mennonite Church, has been making blankets and donating them to MCC for a number of years. It all started years ago when he was helping his wife Marlies, an avid sewer and quilter, cut out squares. When he was cutting faster than she could sew and the squares were piling up, he started sewing them together.

Glimpsing the face of God

Palmer Becker, left, presents a Mandarin version of his Anabaptist Essentials book to Yin Hongtao and Zhang Shaojie. (Photo by Myrrl Byler)

Youth worship in a Chinese church. (Photo by Myrrl Byler)

Tobia Veith, centre in blue top with scarf, teaches a group of Chinese women. (Photo courtesy of Tobia Veith)

The Poovong family moved to Thailand five years ago. (Photo by Tom Poovong)

The Friends of Grace Church Association opens its new office in Khon Kaen, Thailand. (Photo by Tom Poovong)

Mennonite Church South Korea members prepare for a peace march held last April. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

Editors of the newly formed Peace Journal are pictured in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

Posters advertises the Peace Chain movement in South Korea. (Photo by Bock Ki Kim)

‘Our teams at PeaceBuiders Community, Inc., and [Coffee for Peace] are being led, spiritually, to work with leaders of Indigenous Peoples [in the Philippines] . . . .This spiritual perspective of partnership governs the inclusive development strategies we practise in the field,’ say Dann and Joji Pantoja, left. (Photo courtesy of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.)

Why are we doing international ministry? As I engage with people in many regional churches I often get this question. It is my favourite question. Don’t ask unless you are prepared for my long answer, but I can also point you to the answers of others for a shorter version.

New vision, new life

Greg Wiens assembles glasses on a trip to the West Bank with MCC in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

A man in Zimbabwe was able to go from being legally blind to seeing well enough to pass a driving eye exam with the help of Global Vision 2020. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Greg Wiens makes a pair of glasses right on the spot for Manitoba correspondent Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe, to demonstrate how the process worked. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Greg Wiens is the faith-based outreach coordinator for Global Vision 2020. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mennonite farmers travel to Malawi with Greg Wiens as part of the joint project between MCC and Multiply. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Refugees in Malawi who are trained and certified to be eyeglasses distributors carry out vision tests. (Photo courtesy of Global Vision 2020 and Multiply)

Adjust the dial. Pick a colour. Pop, snap. A new pair of glasses is ready to wear in five minutes.


Two knitters and a potter

Mikaela Heidebrecht, left, Barb Heidebrecht and Lori Pauls have opened Willow ’n Wool, a shop in Airdrie, Alta., that sells yarn, pottery and accessories. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Mikaela Heidebrecht, Sheryl Grasmeyer, Carol Bartel and Barb Heidebrecht knit and chat at Willow ’n Wool in Airdrie, Alta. Community members are invited to the shop every Wednesday evening and Friday morning for just such activities. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

The interior of Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Potter Lori Pauls at the wheel at the Willow ’n Wool shop in Airdrie, Alta. (Photo by Lori Pauls)

Many people dream of having a business but it never comes to pass.

Barb Heidebrecht of Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, Alta., wondered if it was just a pipe dream as her daughter Mikaela Heidebrecht and daughter-in-law, Lori Pauls talked about how bored they were and how they should open a store together.

Knitting project portrayed as pilgrimage

A few people linger to talk to Kirk Dunn, left, and to examine his ‘Stitched Glass’ knitted artwork after his performance of The Knitting Pilgrim at Floradale Mennonite Church on Oct. 26. (Photo by Barb Draper)

The audience was absolutely amazed when Kirk Dunn finally revealed his “Stitched Glass” knitted panels at the end of his one-man show, The Knitting Pilgrim, held at Floradale Mennonite Church on Oct. 26. The performance described his 15-year knitting pilgrimage of making three panels in the style of stained-glass windows representing the three Abrahamic faiths. 

Expiring City

‘Frenzy and Envy,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘The Myth of Lusotropicalism,’ 2012. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘7:12 PM (Good Morning),’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Dazed and Confused,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Between Flux,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘The Sigh,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Facade Ponderings,’ 2013. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘A Sleepy Backwater,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Stone Skyline,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

‘Mainland Calling,’ 2019. (Photo by Michael Veith)

Michael Veith’s photo exhibit on Macau, Expiring City, was held in Winnipeg’s Forth Café from Nov. 1 to 7. (Photo by Matthew Veith)

Michael Veith grew up across the world in Macau, where his parents were Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers. This November, seven years after moving to Canada, he launched a photo exhibit featuring the city where he was raised.

A plausible, persistent passion

The so-called ‘Keeling Curve,’ which indicates concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ice over time, fascinates Henry Regier, who sees links between temperature and carbon in its various forms. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography chart [])

On a spring morning in 1970, Henry Regier walked out of the residence assigned to guest lecturers at the University of Wisconsin and turned east. Student riots related to the Vietnam War had broken out on campus, and the night before National Guards with bayonets had deployed tear gas.


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