« October 2017   |   Main   |  December 2017 »

November 30, 2017

Multiply: Let Us Pray

By Joe,* RMM President

A few years ago, one of my daughters was attending a secular college where following Jesus put her in a tiny minority. She and her Christian friends had lots of reasons to call out to Jesus for strength, wisdom, and courage to face the currents they were forced to swim against. When she had the opportunity to interact with some other Christian friends who were not in that kind of environment, she noticed that they didn’t seem to pray in the same way she and her college friends did. I was struck with her analysis: “I think the reason they don’t pray much is because they don’t need to.”

CMC has been commissioned by God to mature and multiply churches locally and globally. What’s it going to take to be faithful to this commission? What will it look like for us as individuals? What will our churches look like?

Each of us could frame the answer to that question a little differently, but I’m guessing we’d all agree that prayer will play a central role. When I first read David Garrison’s Church Planting Movements fifteen years ago, I was impressed (but not surprised) that the first of ten universal elements in a rapidly multiplying movement of church planting is extraordinary prayer.

I don’t know exactly how to define extraordinary prayer. Is it all night prayer meetings? Is it forty days of prayer and fasting? Is it getting up at 3:00 am every morning to spend three hours in prayer before going to work? Is it the consistent practice of praying in tongues? Is it teaching our children to pray and heal the sick and raise the dead? I’ve heard testimonies of all of the above, along with amazing stories of what God did in response.

One thing I’ve learned from my own experience is that prayer done out of duty or “should” doesn’t lead me to anything extraordinary. Often it has led to more guilt and less prayer. The prayer times that have been most extraordinary in my life have come when I’ve entered into the “adventure of saying ‘Yes’,” as Carl Medearis puts it; when I’ve followed God’s call into a situation or responsibility I knew was far bigger than the resources I brought to it; when I’ve known in the core of my being that without Jesus, I can do nothing.

The truth is, we do need to pray. Maturing and multiplying churches will not happen just because we decide it’s the next vision for us to pursue. It will happen only as we communicate deeply with King Jesus, following him into adventures that put us at tremendous risk and drive us to extraordinary prayer.

Let us pray!

This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of The Beacon.

*Name omitted for security

November 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma Damages CMC Church in Florida

By Lydia Gingerich

“On Sunday, September 10, strong winds from Hurricane Irma tore shingles off the roof of Southmost Mennonite Church’s building, damaged their security lights, church sign, and awnings on their Sunday school classrooms,” reports John Hershberger, overseer of the church.

While most of the damage done by Irma occurred in the Caribbean Islands southeast of Florida, many areas in the state also experienced significant destruction, including Florida City – home to the Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) congregation, Southmost Mennonite Church. Southmost is a cross-cultural congregation that joined CMC in 1992.

“We along with the Southmost congregation are so grateful and appreciative for the prompt and generous response from all of the congregations who helped.”Upon hearing about the broken roof and battered building, John asked other churches in the conference to help out with this urgent need. Financial help came from four CMC churches (Fairview Mennonite Church – Kalona, IA; Shiloh Mennonite Church – Resaca, OH; Fairlawn Mennonite Church – Apple Creek, OH; Bethel Mennonite Church– Sarasota, FL) and two other churches in Sarasota (Sunnyside Fellowship and Palm Grove Mennonite Church), allowing the reconstruction to begin on September 25. By October 11 the roof was completely repaired and the church could go on with their regular proceedings.

John expresses his appreciation for all those who gave support during this time: “We along with the Southmost congregation are so grateful and appreciative for the prompt and generous response from all of the congregations who helped.”

css template
Pastored by Ludlow Walker (center), Southmost has an outreach focused on the youth and children in the surrounding community. Please pray that the ministry of this church would continue to grow and that the minor damages to other members’ homes would be fixed soon.

November 10, 2017

REACH 2017-18

This year’s group of REACH participants come from all over the country. They have spent the last few months in discipleship training school and they are excited to leave for their outreach locations at the end of this month. Every year in the REACH program, young people’s lives are changed by experiencing God at work in other parts of the world. This year’s teams will be involved in teaching English, serving displaced people, encouraging the church, performing manual labor, engaging in children’s ministry, and much more. Pray for these individuals to develop unity with their team members, be a light to those around them, and grow deeper in their own relationship with God.


css template
Names removed for security
Over the last few years, millions of people have been forced from their homes because of violent conflicts, while others have voluntarily joined the flood of migration to seek a better life in Europe. This team will spend three months in Europe and three months in the Middle East serving with established organizations that reach out to these refugees. Their ministry will include distributing supplies, building relationships, performing manual labor, and teaching English.

Follow their team blog here


css template
Kyle, Valerie, Justin, Isaac, Isaac (team leader) Edith
In the Himalayas there is a history of repression of Christianity. Yet in spite of the danger, the church in the Himalayas is the fastest growing church per capita in the world! This team will be involved in a variety of outreaches including trekking into unreached villages, volunteering at a drug rehab center, teaching English, preaching, providing earthquake relief, and helping with discipleship training.

Follow their team blog here


css template
Seth, Shontel, Kara (team leader), Trevor
This southeastern Asian country has struggled to find its role in a region that is dominated by other, more advanced countries. Today, eighty percent of the people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and natural resources for survival. This team will spend much of their time teaching English and other subjects at a local school. Other possible opportunities include building relationships with college students, doing prayer ministry, discipling young believers, hosting camps, performing manual labor, and encouraging the persecuted church.

Follow their team blog here


css template
Alexis, Keziah, Jennia, Paige (team leader)
This team will be serving in two different coastal cities seeking to build relationships and share the love of Christ. The first half of their cross-cultural outreach will be spent in Spain, working with a local church plant, building relationships, supporting RMM’s long-term team, and volunteering at a youth camp. The second part of their outreach will take place in Cyprus, where they will spend time building relationships with students at an international university, practicing relational evangelism, and teaching English conversation classes.

Follow their team blog here


css template
Hannah, Diamond, Emily, Morgan, Lacy (team leader)
This team will join RMM’s long-term workers in building relationships and discipling new believers and seekers in the capital city. After language school, they will spend their days teaching English, ministering to kids, building relationships with university students, doing prayer walks, and mentoring the children that are part of the long-term team.

Follow their team blog here

USA, Montana

css template
David, Damian, Julie, Brianna (team leader), Scott
This team will work among the people of the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana with a thriving ministry that is dedicated to sharing the gospel through a variety of ways. Opportunities for outreach include sports ministry through Athletes in Action, labor projects, relational ministry, children’s programs, church planting, Bible studies, and working with several other programs sharing the gospel throughout the state.

Follow their team blog here

A Tale of Two Hosts

By Cora,* RMM worker in North Africa

In the last month, I was privileged to visit locals in the countryside two different times. The first time we went out, we were going to visit an older lady who my roommate had met at the train station. This lady seemed very lonely and called my roommate every day just to talk, so we decided to go visit her.

We took the train about thirty minutes out of town and when she came to pick us up, she was on the back of a moped. She explained that her car was in the garage, but not to worry – we would get a taxi back to her house. We walked a little way and my roommate asked again if there were taxis in that town. The older lady nodded and said, “Yes, there are two.” This was quite amusing to us, who are used to having taxis on every street corner. We waited a little while for one of the two taxis, but when they didn’t come, our friend flagged down a man on a moped and told us to hop on. We could only go one at a time, so my roommate was the brave one to volunteer to go first.

By the time we all made it to the house, we were amused and thankful to be back safely together. Our host was so hospitable! She made a huge meal with grilled kebabs from a sheep they had just slaughtered. We ate and ate and ate!

As we talked with her, we found out that her husband had just died this spring and most of her children are far away. She lives by herself so her loneliness is understandable. She told us that we were like daughters and that anytime we wanted to come visit we were welcome.

We were also able to hear her perspective on religion. To her, religion is very personal. She talked about how God gives rules in order to keep humans safe and healthy, and when we disobey these rules, we will suffer because of the natural consequences. She has also been on a trip to Mecca, so we asked about her experience there. She has lived a full life and we were able to listen and glean from her knowledge of the culture and life here. We are all looking forward to going and visiting her again!

“…they are all such wonderful people, but in desperate need of truth in their lives.”The other family we went to go visit was a friend of one of my roommates. This family lives in a home that they have slowly built and improved as they have money. All the walls were cement and we sat on mats on the floor. This family was also hospitable and wanted to give us their best. It was even more meaningful because we knew they didn’t have as much but they gave us all they had.

While we were there, we ate together. One of the sweetest things during that meal was their three-year-old boy who kept saying, “eat, eat, take, take." The role of the host is to tell their guests to keep eating until they can eat no more. The son had seen his mother do this more than once, and he wanted us to feel welcome because we were his friends too. After lunch, we took a nap together. We laid out the mats around the room and went to sleep. It was so nice because in the countryside there is no sense of time. Things are done as they need to be done. We stayed for tea time and our host showed us how to make a flat pastry. They asked again and again for us to stay the night with them, and we promised that we would the next time.

These two families had very different income levels but that did not stop their hospitality. In both situations, we were warmly welcomed, taken care of, and given all the family had to offer. These families genuinely wanted to spend time with us and love us. It’s a beautiful thing to feel that acceptance and be able to love back.

Please pray for all the people I’ve mentioned in my stories – they are all such wonderful people, but in desperate need of truth in their lives.

*Names changed for security

November 07, 2017

REACH 25 Video: Mim & Paul

Founding directors of REACH share about its beginnings 25 years ago.

November 03, 2017

Locally Grown: Reading for the Kingdom

By Tim and Londa Yoder, Maple Glen Mennonite Church

When my daughter learned to read, I wanted to find a way to give her an incentive to continue reading over the summer. I knew of other groups that arranged read-a-thons and I decided to organize one to raise money for missions.

I invited the other children in our church to participate in the fundraiser. At the beginning of July, the bravest child made an announcement in front of the church about the read-a-thon. The children took responsibility to find sponsors to donate money to them based on how many pages or books they read. At the end of the month, after the money was collected, the children reported back to the congregation with the amount of money raised.

“I want the children to know this is one way they can be part of building God’s Kingdom.” I wanted the children to take ownership of it, so I let them choose between several mission organizations to which they could send the money. The first year (2016), we recently had RMM workers Judah and Rayna* speak at our church, so that was fresh in the children’s minds and they wanted to give to that couple.

The children are already excited about being a part of the read-a-thon next year. Our son, who is just learning to read, is also looking forward to next summer when he can participate.

This year the money was split between RMM and Voice of the Martyrs. I want the children to know this is one way they can be part of building God’s Kingdom.

RMM is grateful for the giving hearts of these motivated children and the adults who assist them. This year the children of Maple Glen raised $1500 and half of that amount went to RMM workers in the Middle East. How are the children in your church helping to build the Kingdom of God? Contact mosaic@rmmoffice.org with your stories.

*Names changed for security