young voices

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From Mexican Quaker to Canadian Mennonite

Andrea De Avila enjoys her role as associate pastor at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at her graduation from Eastern Mennonite University. To the left are her grandparents, Ana Victoria Aguilera Martinez and Juan Manuel De Avila Perez. To the right are family friends Nancy Peachy Bontrager and Marion Bontrager. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at the Forks in Winnipeg with her husband Nate and their friend Carina Contreras. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila, second from left, celebrates Christmas in 2013 with, from left to right, her sister Isabela, mother Norma, father Rodrigo, sister Laura, and brother Rodrigo. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Participating in a Quaker youth pilgrimage to the U.K. was a formative experience for Andrea De Avila. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Ask Andrea De Avila when she first wanted to become a pastor and her answer is simple: “I didn’t.”

Breaking the silence

While living in Cambodia, Jaymie Friesen, centre, coordinated a therapeutic photography course for women exiting the sex trade (Photo courtesy of Jaymie Friesen)

For Jaymie Friesen, responding to abuse and preventing it in communities of faith is a personal calling. As the abuse response and prevention coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba, Friesen supports churches and individuals, and works to raise awareness of abuse and trauma.

Field of dreams

Kalynn Spain’s interest in agriculture led her to visit 130 small farms throughout Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Kalynn Spain)

Jedidiah Morton has worked on a dairy farm for the past eight-and-a-half years. (Photo courtesy of Jedidiah Morton)

‘I'm a dairyman, and that's never gonna change,’ Jedidiah Morton says. (Photo courtesy of Jedidiah Morton)

Kalynn Spain spent a summer raising pigs at Camp Assiniboia. (Photo courtesy of Kalynn Spain)

Owning a farm is a dream come true for Nathan Klassen. (Courtesy of Nathan Klassen)

What are the risks and rewards for people who choose a life on the farm? Young Voices spoke with three young Canadian Mennonites who work in agriculture to find out.

Jedidiah Morton, 23
Didsbury, Alta.

A potluck plate full of Mennonite cultures

During his internship, Andrew Brown, centre, happened to meet John Redekop, left, and Peter Redekop, right, who were part of a group of Mennonites Brown researched. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Brown)

Andrew Brown, left, stands with members of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Brown)

This spring I was awarded an archival internship with the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission that allowed me to travel to various Mennonite Brethren archives in North America to learn how they work, as well as to do some of my own research.

Learning to be grateful

Much of Claudia Dueck’s volunteer work at Kilometre 81 involved doing laundry. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)

Established by Mennonites, Kilometre 81 treats people with leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)

Dueck, far left, makes music with some of her fellow volunteers. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)

Dueck enjoys the Paraguayan scenery on a day off. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)

Sewing bandages for Kilometre 81 patients was meaningful for Dueck. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Dueck)

When Claudia Dueck thinks back on the voluntary service she did in Paraguay earlier this year, it’s the Tuesdays that stick out the most.

Follow the money

Participants in MCC’s 2016 Uprooted learning tour include, clockwise from top left: Thomas Coldwell (MCC Alberta), Andrew Brown, Alannah DeJong, Allison Goerzen (MCC Alberta), Jana Klassen, Carol McNaughton and Maria Alejandra Toro. (Photo by Thomas Coldwell)

The Uprooted learning tour includes a stop at Cafe Justo, a cooperative in Mexico that allows poor coffee farmers to remain independent. (Photo by Thomas Coldwell)

Locals cross the river between Guatemala and Mexico. Uprooted looked at issues surrounding migration in Central America and peacebuilding projects in the region. (Photo by Carol McNaughton)

Uprooted participants were told that the Goldcorp Marlin Mine in San Miguel, Guatemala, has negatively affected the community. (Photo by Carol McNaughton)

What is the real cost of the things we buy?

Challenged, changed, rewarded

We spent a lot of time on the road, travelling to meet with different partner organizations. This road is in the Drakensberg Mountains. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Durban, South Africa, with a population 3.4 million people, was our home. It is located on the southeast coast in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Durban, South Africa, with a population 3.4 million people, was our home. It is located on the southeast coast in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

In Durban, and KwaZulu-Natal more broadly, much of MCC’s work revolved around working with refugees and South Africans to promote peace and respond to xenophobia. This is a march on World Refugee Day sponsored by MCC’s partner, Refugee Social Services. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

The Children’s Care Centre is located in the downtown core of Durban, South Africa. It is an ‘edu-care’ centre run by the Union of Refugee Women. The centre provides a safe learning environment that brings together refugee and South African children. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Daniel is a student at the Children’s Care Centre in downtown Durban, South Africa. The centre is one of MCC’s Global Family programs. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

The Children’s Care Centre is located in the downtown core of Durban, South Africa. It is an ‘edu-care’ centre run by the Union of Refugee Women. The centre provides a safe learning environment that brings together refugee and South African children. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Thanks to laptops, we were able to work anywhere. Here Suzanne Braun and James Alty, who was MCC co-representative for SwaLeSA while we were there, do some work while waiting for a meeting with the director of an HIV/AIDS clinic in rural Swaziland. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Lesotho is a small kingdom located high up on a plateau in the middle of South Africa. A dry climate, lots of soil erosion and changing seasons make agriculture very difficult. MCC works with Growing Nations Trust to promote conservation agriculture to local farmers. This photo shows some of Growing Nations Trust’s experimental plots. (Aaron Janzen)

James Alty leads a conservation agriculture workshop in a township near Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The chain he is holding provides a clear line so that the crop rows are precise. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Most of our travel was for MCC work purposes, but occasionally we had the opportunity to travel for recreation. This photo shows some Basotho men dressed up for tourists at the top of Sani Pass, a road that connects Lesotho and South Africa right through the Drakensberg Escarpment. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Hlobisile Nxumalo, the executive director of Acts of Faith, stands in front a recently arrived shipment of blankets and HIV/AIDS care kits donated by MCC’s constituency. These materials will be distributed by home-based caregivers to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Ezulwini Valley of Swaziland. (Photo by Aaron Janzen)

Aaron Janzen and Suzanne Braun were MCC service workers in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho from 2011 to 2014. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Janzen and Suzanne Braun)

My partner Suzanne Braun and I spent three years as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) service workers in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho from 2011-14. As the connecting peoples coordinator and planning, monitoring and evaluation coordinator, we worked to support a wide variety of MCC partner organizations throughout the SwaLeSA area.

“You lost me”? Young adults in/and/of the church

Earlier this month, I was one of many who gathered in the new Marpeck Commons building at Canadian Mennonite University to hear from a panel of “young adults” on their age group and the church.[1] Judging by the size of the audience (they had to go get extra chairs!), and a feature article on a similar topic in the Feb. 16th, 2015 issue of Canadian Mennonite,[2] this is an issue that many churches are currently profoundly concerned and anxious about.

What’s so funny?

Orlando Braun has always been fascinated by filmmaking. He recalls being a child and making detective films with his father’s camcorder, but never thought he could one day make a living making movies.

“It didn’t even occur to me this is what people do as a job,” the 33-year-old Winnipegger says.

From Macau to Manitoba

Winnipeg graphic designer Matt Veith stepped out of his comfort zone last November and helped develop a business idea at Ramp Up Manitoba, an entrepreneurial festival. It paid off. He and his project partner, Chris Karasewich, were presented with a provincial tech award worth $7,500 by the province’s minister of jobs and the economy.

Drawn to the story

Do you know any atheists who celebrate Easter? I do.

As you read this, A Year of Reading Biblically—the challenge I and a number of Canadian Mennonite readers have undertaken to read through the Bible from cover to cover in 2014—is over. But as I write this, it’s mid-December and I still have a few weeks left to finish.

Celebrating generosity

The 2014-15 CMU Student Council on Tuition Freedom Day, an annual celebration recognizing the generosity of donors, churches and the Manitoba government in supporting education at CMU. (Photo courtesy of CMU)

Tuition Freedom Day is celebrated with speeches, balloons, pizza and fellowship. (Photo courtesy of CMU)

A group of students leads singing at the 2014 Tuition Freedom Day on Nov. 24. (Photo courtesy of CMU)

Amber Neufeld enjoys organizing Tuition Freedom Day. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of being activities vice-president on the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Student Council. Along with all the elections, blood donor clinics and fun social events I’ve planned, I have also organized a very special day that is close to my heart: Tuition Freedom Day.


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