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September 29, 2015

Familiar Faces Taking on a New Role

Introducing: Richard and Jewel

Richard and Jewel have been appointed as covenant workers with Rosedale Mennonite Missions to serve as global mission consultants on specific assignments. This appointment gives them flexibility to serve in ways which are not full-time but which utilize their gifts as particular mission needs arise.

Richard and Jewel have been engaged in church planting, mission, and mission administration throughout their lifetime. Richard grew up in the hills of Kentucky (and still loves "soup beans") where his parents served as pioneer church planters with RMM. Jewel grew up in Ethiopia (ever tried injera or wat?) where her parents served as pioneer missionaries with Eastern Mennonite Missions. Richard remembers saying good-bye to Jewel's family in New York City when they sailed for Ethiopia—he was four and she was one.

Richard's first adult mission assignment was serving as Assistant Service Director at RMM alongside Mark Peachey, his mentor and supervisor, from 1968 to 1970. Later, Richard and Jewel served as pioneer missionaries with RMM in the Middle East (have a piece of baklava!) from 1982 to 1989 under the supervision of David I. Miller, RMM president.

Other church planting and mission-related activities they have engaged in are assistant pastoral service with Mel Shetler in the beginnings of Maple City Chapel (1973-74); Voluntary Service in Downey, California (1974-76); beginnings of Mechanicsburg Christian Fellowship (1977-82); service with Regions Beyond Ministry in Kenya (1982); mission initiatives (Akwachink, Reach) at Rosedale Bible Institute (1989-94); mission administration at Eastern Mennonite Missions (1994-2011); and service in China (2012-2014).

Today, in addition to their role with RMM, Richard and Jewel serve the global church as resource persons in counsel, writing, and teaching as invited. They welcome their new appointment as an appropriate continuation of lifelong engagements in the RMM family. 

September 21, 2015

Returning to the Fields

Getting Reacquainted with Sheryl Hostetler, RMM Associated Worker in Ecuador

Sheryl Hostetler, an associated worker sent by Maple City Chapel and RMM, is a familiar face to many at RMM. She previously worked with RMM in Ecuador from 1985-1991 and 1993-2002. During that period, much of her work was focused on at-risk children and teens who were abused and neglected, and often abandoned to live on the streets.

As a result of her work with children, Sheryl was involved in the creation of the Shekinah Foundation, a place where children could live in safety until they were reintegrated with their families, or relatives. Now, after 13 years working in health care in the United States, Sheryl has been invited by the Ecuadorian Mennonite Church to return to Manta to fill the need for a spiritual caregiver at the Shekinah Foundation.

In this role, she will provide spiritual assistance to the children at the foundation, visit the families of children and coordinate group visits from the local Mennonite churches to the children and their families.

In her spare time, Sheryl enjoys being with friends, reading, and putting together puzzles. She is looking forward to reconnecting with friends and living life at a little slower pace on her return to Ecuador.

RMM is excited for the opportunity to work with Sheryl again, and looks forward to seeing God move through her work in Manta. Please pray for wisdom, strength and the ability to see others through God's eyes for Sheryl as she goes.

September 18, 2015

REACH UPDATE: Discipleship Training School, So Far

By Eric Wengerd

Greetings from the Rosedale International Center! This year’s REACH discipleship training school (DTS) is going quite well so far. Two full weeks have gone by (and likely more by the time you read this), and most of us are not only getting into a pretty steady routine, but also getting to know each other better and better.

The first week of DTS was a frenzy. When the REACHers arrived in late August, they came to live away from home (a first for many), surrounded by people they had never met. They processed policies, schedules, and new names right from the beginning; they ventured into new outreaches, dove into reading plans, and learned to lead worship. There was definitely a lot to figure out and a lot to adjust to.

However, ever since the second week began, the REACHers have gotten more settled in. It’s easier to know what to expect. For instance, every week’s general structure looks about the same: every morning Monday through Friday, right after breakfast, participants spend an hour of quiet time alone with God, memorizing scripture, praying, or reading their Bibles. At 9:00 a.m., a speaker comes to the RIC and teaches for two to three hours. In the afternoons and evenings, teams take part in required weekly activities like outreach, intercession, work projects, exercise, times of discussion, and even fun times. On the weekends schedules are more lax and there’s deliberately less to do. Sundays in particular are meant to be restful; in fact, everyone is required to have a few hours of alone time after church on Sundays.

Things are now running normally, and going pretty well. The individual teams are spending more time together, bonding more, and being an active part of outreaches throughout Columbus. “We’re genuinely excited about everything happening here in DTS. It’s a time of intense growth for everyone who goes through it."The Canada team, for instance, goes to an outreach called the Star House. Star House is a drop-in center for youth and some adults, and the team has a great opportunity to just sit down and start conversations with people who aren’t always open to talking. “It’s a really dark place,” the team leader noted, “but that outreach has the potential for a lot of light to shine through us. It’s hard, but it’s good.”

As we begin this season of REACH, everyone here could use a ton of prayer. For one, we need the Holy Spirit to work in us and to love through us no matter what we do. Teams can always use prayer for unity and for good bonding times with each other and with the people they meet at outreaches. Second, there’s been some spiritual warfare going on and it definitely appears that our enemy isn’t letting anything happen easily. Third, teams have a lot of activities some days, and it’s not always easy to keep energy levels high and attitudes good throughout the week.

We’re genuinely excited about everything happening here in DTS. It’s a time of intense growth for everyone who goes through it. It’s bound to be a great time as teams learn and train to go out into the world and share the Good News.

September 08, 2015

Completely Terrified; Beyond Excited

Introducing Alaina, RMM Assistant in North Africa

Names changed for security reasons

Over the long Labor Day weekend, while most Americans rested, RMM workers Raleigh and Opal (Getting to Know: Raleigh and Opal) and their children Robbie and Anna departed for their assignment in North Africa.

Raleigh and Opal plan to spend roughly a year studying the local languages and getting to know the culture. Studying multiple languages simultaneously takes tremendous concentration and mental energy. Caring for two young children, especially in an unfamiliar culture also takes tremendous concentration and mental energy. Recognizing that it would be almost impossible to do both at once, Raleigh and Opal made arrangements for someone to accompany them to take care of Robbie and Anna while their parents were studying.

At the beginning of July, roughly two months from their scheduled departure, the childcare plans fell through. Raleigh and Opal were left scrambling—looking and praying for someone who was willing to commit to a lengthy stay in North Africa. A general appeal was distributed to CMC churches, and within two weeks of their original plans falling through, Raleigh and Opal had received multiple inquiries. After some further conversations, discernment, and a brief face-to-face meeting, it was decided that Alaina would accompany the family to North Africa and provide childcare during the most intense period of language study and cultural adjustment.

“I know that this will be the hardest thing I've ever done. However, I am beyond excited to see how God works in me and through me during this experience."Alaina is a recent Bible college graduate from a Mennonite community in rural Ohio. She also has experience in childcare, both informal experience in caring for younger siblings, and formal experience working at a daycare center.

Although she has studied abroad in both Europe and Africa, this assignment represents a new adventure for Alaina—leaving a tight-knit Mennonite community in the countryside to live and work in a busy city where Islam is the majority religion. She says of the transition, "I’m completely terrified about being thrown so far outside of my comfort zone. I know that this will be the hardest thing I've ever done. However, I am beyond excited to see how God works in me and through me during this experience."

Alaina’s assignment will last eight months, after which she hopes to, "…Return to college to get my bachelor’s and work on applying the values and knowledge from my experience to my life." One goal she has for this time is to, "Grow exponentially in my relationship with God as well as form a better understanding of Islam and how to effectively reach out to Muslims."

In her spare time, Alaina loves socializing with friends and family, baking for friends and family, and playing soccer.

We praise God for Alaina’s willingness to step into the breach at such short notice. Please pray for her safety, for good connections with the children and their parents, good connections with the local community, that this would be a time of personal growth, and that God would bless Alaina’s willingness to go to build his kingdom in North Africa.

If you’d like to partner with Alaina, you can join her team of supporters today at donate.rmmweb.org. If you'd like to receive news and prayer updates from Alaina, email your contact information to info@rmmoffice.org.

September 03, 2015

Ensalata Mixta Recipe

RMM’s cookbook, The World at your Table, features delicious recipes from all over the world. Many of our workers have brought these recipes home from their time spent overseas. The following recipe, for a popular salad from the Mediterranean, was given to us by Judi an RMM worker in Spain.

Ensalata Mixta (Typical Spanish Lettuce Salad)

2 medium heads green leafy lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 carrot, grated

1 small onion, thinly sliced

½ medium green pepper, sliced

½ medium red pepper, sliced

1 medium avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks

1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or cherry tomatoes)

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 medium red beet, cut into strips

10-15 olives, sliced in half

1 can tuna, drained (optional)

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters (optional)

Serve on a large platter with veggies layered over bed of lettuce. Serve with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (balsamic, red and sherry wine vinegar are the best!), and salt and pepper. Adding a dash of Italian spices is yummy, too! All vegetable amounts can be altered according to creativity and/or likes and dislikes.

You can purchase our cookbook with this recipe and many more here.