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November 21, 2018

Jesus Is

By Amos, RMM worker in North Africa

Along with teaching English, Amos works with a group of people to bring love and hope to victims of sexual exploitation in North Africa. In this piece Amos reflects on the darkness that inevitably comes with this work and paints a picture of the difference that God’s light brings.

Walking, walking, walking. Waiting for God to move. Thinking and pondering, where is the Hope? Singing and crying, where is the freedom? Walking, walking, walking.

What began as walking around this wasteland of darkness and talking to our Father, has transformed into a myriad of beauty that displays the Father's glory. Sometimes the darkest situations are simply that: very dark. Full of the hopeless, destitute, abused, and powerless. Need I go on? Stop. Jesus is. With Jesus the hopeless have hope, and the abused have healing, and the powerless have life. Jesus is. Jesus is the beauty in this wasteland – and now it's a garden.

“Someone is trying to steal their humanity so we bring humanity to them.”Now instead of walking around this garden, we are living in it. Jesus is and so we live. We live by hanging out and enjoying life with these lost victims of sexual exploitation. We talk and enjoy life with them and know their names and they know ours. We fellowship with them and hear their stories. We cry and pray with them. Someone is trying to steal their humanity so we bring humanity to them. We live and speak. She asks us, where is it? Where can my family and I be safe? The simple words: God loves you; Jesus loves you, invite them to the banquet table of honor and safety.

This garden is a place of meeting. We long and hope that they meet Jesus. As we drink tea together or eat couscous. As twenty of us gather around one dish sharing love and deliciousness. As we look into pain-filled eyes crying to be met. As we sit with them long past sunset, laughing with them and growing in unity. As we live with them – as family, for that is what they call us and we accept. As we see dark figures hovering and luring them into their cars, and their torturous and tortured hearts. As we see Jesus holding and caring for our family. The wasteland, the garden. We look around so glad to be in this place of meeting, because Jesus Is.

Please pray for Amos and those he partners with as they navigate a very complicated social issue with no easy solutions. Ask that they can practically be God’s hands and feet, and effectively share truth that will set these victims free.

November 16, 2018

Introducing New SEND Assistant Director

By Lydia Gingerich

In the beginning of 2019, Paige Chupp will officially begin her full-time position with RMM as the SEND assistant director. For the past two weeks she has been training with the current SEND assistant director, Courtney Shenk, who will be leaving RMM when she has her second child in December.

“There are many reasons we offered this position to Paige,” says RMM director of human resources, Colleen.* “Her natural talent to connect deeply with people is evident in all her relationships. We see her dedication to God and passion to disciple others as essential as she leads by example and will be a role model to many young people. In her past experiences with RMM, Paige has proven her ability to adapt to difficult situations, remain positive, continue trusting God, invest intentionally in relationships, and work toward conflict resolution.”

Paige spent her early years on a farm in Inola, Oklahoma and attended Zion Mennonite Church. Since graduating high school in 2015, she has spent a great deal of time relating to the SEND department as a REACHer, SEND intern, and REACH team leader. She has also pursued an education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which she is putting on hold for the moment.

Paige looks forward to using all of this experience in her new position. “I am going to be doing a lot of member care and counseling for team leaders, interns, and the participants who come through SEND’s programs,” she said. “I love hearing people's stories and I love getting to know them – that is a main chunk of my job, so I am really looking forward to that.”“I love hearing people's stories and I love getting to know them – that is a main chunk of my job, so I am really looking forward to that.”

When Paige first entered the REACH program in 2015, she did not anticipate that her future would be outside of the farming world. While she still enjoys working with agriculture, she has experienced a shift both in her career interests and spiritually. “I had a lot of misconceptions about God and about myself, and God brought a lot of healing through REACH and internship. He spoke truth to those lies and showed me who I am because of what Jesus did. And then with internship and team leading I had a lot of one-on-one conversations, and caring for my team, and helping them process different things that were going on. I really enjoyed both of those leadership roles.”

Along with the more relational side of the job, Paige will be teaching a session or two during the REACH training and possibly during City Challenge, as well as helping to provide leadership for all SEND programs.

Paige’s hope for those who come through any of the SEND programs is “that God would be breaking down a lot of the misconceptions that our culture has placed on us and what our lives have to look like. I want our participants to see that this isn't just a seasonal thing of serving and loving God – they can do this in every season of life, wherever they are. I want them to find healing and wholeness in him and be able to grasp the truth that they are loved and that they can love because of what Jesus did.”

Please pray for Paige, Courtney, and the rest of the SEND department as they make this transition in the upcoming months. Pray that God would continue to use these programs to bring young people to a new and personal understanding of himself.

*Name omitted for security

November 13, 2018

“Show Me Your Glory”: A REACH Update

By Caleb, Team Indochina

Every Sunday night we have an hour-long time of worship where we sing songs and take communion. Worship is led by a new group each week, so it is a little different every time. This particular worship time was led by a guy who had taught us in an earlier session.

During the second to last song we sang, we were singing about falling face down and worshiping God’s glory. So, I knelt face down and asked God to show me his glory. In my mind’s eye, I got a vision of myself flying through space, moving past galaxy after galaxy, each containing millions of stars. God brought me to one galaxy, a completely random one in the great void of the universe. We “zoomed in” to one star within the galaxy and around this star was a red planet. He took me to the surface of this exoplanet, where the ground was red and the sky pink. He told me to pick up a rock and to look at it. As I did, he showed me that the atoms and molecules in this stone were intricately arranged. He let me know how he personally arranged the edges and contours of this stone on a planet in a solar system in a galaxy in a part of the universe far far away that will never be seen by anyone from Earth. With a single breath, God created each and every stone on every planet in all the universe and made each one unique.

Next, he showed me a lizard. Its skin became transparent and I saw each of the millions of blood vessels and organs, delicately arranged inside this unique being. God told me how he forged the paths of every vessel, every artery of every being on this Earth simply with the snap of his fingers.

I asked to see more. I saw a musical note and the sound waves that created the music. God showed me how he created this vibration of air molecules, a symphony of vibrations, a divine math equation that sings his praise.

He showed me that he programmed the laws of physics, logic, and mathematics without the slightest effort. A universal computer program created with the wave of a hand. I asked to see more.

He showed me a grassy lawn in which each blade of grass was built brick by brick out of tiny cells. He showed me how mountains erupted into volcanoes at the touch of his fingers. He showed me how he packed a shiny rock called uranium with the force of a supernova by squeezing it between his fingers.

But next, he showed me himself, sitting in a rocking chair, knitting something. I look closer; he is knitting together bones, joints, ligaments. Personally creating each and every one of us, creating me before I was born. “But finally I saw the most horrendous sight. This world-creator, this seed-planter, this architect of time and reality shrinking down, becoming a human, stooping down, and washing my feet.”“I knit you together,” he told me, “and the voice that created reality with four syllables and that destroys stars with the slightest breath is calling out to you and saying ‘Son, I love you. I want to spend eternity with you.’” Whoa, right?!

But finally, I saw the most horrendous sight. This world-creator, this seed-planter, this architect of time and reality shrinking down, becoming a human, stooping down, and washing my feet. What?! No! This is wrong! This omnipotent craftsman of billions of galaxies, this perfect creator had his wrists nailed to a plank of wood, and this master artist was murdered, just so that he could show me his love, and that I could spend eternity with him.

Suddenly, I am snapped back into the present. I am kneeling on the carpet, and another of my fellow students has rested his arm on me and is praying. It’s time to take communion.

Now, take and eat of the body and blood with that running through your mind.

As you marvel upon the glory of God through Caleb’s reflection, ask God to continue making himself known to those in the REACH program. Pray that they would take this love with them as they go on outreach later this month.

November 08, 2018

No Independence from God

By Jada, RMM worker in Thailand

I am beginning to settle into my roll at Night Light International (NL) as a case manager. I started working with NL in mid-July and I've been in the process of training and learning the ropes. It has definitely been an exciting adventure and one of my favorite parts of my job is the unpredictability. You can never be totally sure what your day is going to hold.

I work with both Thai women and women from other countries who are being trafficked here. Many of the international women are from Tanzania and Uganda, and most of them come from extremely impoverished backgrounds. They come from a country where jobs are hard to find or so low-paying that they are starving as they work. This puts them in an extremely vulnerable position, and makes it unlikely that they will refuse a “high paying job” in Thailand. Sometimes they are told they will be waiting tables, and other times they are promised a job at a hair salon. Eager to feed their starving families, they often jump at the opportunity. Upon arrival they quickly find out that they have been fed nothing but lies, but it's too late. Many different methods are used to force them into sexual slavery, including witchcraft, physical force, and taking their travel documents. They are also bound by debt bondage to their boss, who paid to get them over here. NL partners with the Thai government to see these women repatriated to their home countries.

NL has done an amazing job building relationships with the police and government. This is a miracle and a gift from God. The police actually bring girls to us at this point. We then take them into our program and lead them through the legal process to get them home and recognized as victims of human trafficking and not as criminals. Without going through the legal process they would be charged with prostitution and deported from Thailand as criminals.

God is so good to let me have a hand in this work. Some days consist of walking certain popular streets and talking with the girls we encounter – trying to be a bright face and presence of safety in a chaotic life. We hope to see them weekly and build a relationship of trust. “I could serve in this country my whole life but unless God is changing hearts and fighting the darkness of sexual immorality it’s all worthless.”Then, when and if the time is right and if they will let us, we offer them a helping hand. It’s exciting work and there's nothing like taking a girl to the airport to go back to her family and reunite with her culture.

Something God has been teaching me is that it’s all in vain without him. I am, by nature, a very independent person, but there's no such thing as independence from God. I could serve in this country my whole life but unless God is changing hearts and fighting the darkness of sexual immorality, it’s all worthless. He changes things that I have no control over. I'm just honored and humbled that God is using me to serve these amazing women. This is not a simple issue and I'm not pretending to understand it all or saying that it’s all going to be made better. What I’m committed to do is to love and serve the women and people God puts in front of me.

Please continue to pray with Jada that the darkness will be defeated and that the captives will be set free.

November 01, 2018

REACH 2018-2019

Every year RMM’s short term department runs a year-long missions program called REACH. The program includes three months of discipleship training in Columbus, Ohio, followed by six months of outreach. REACH is a place where young people engage with their faith and receive tools and opportunities to share the love of Christ with others.

This year, the group is split up into seven teams serving in different locations: Ecuador, Indochina, Israel, the Mediterranean, Thailand, U.S.A, and Zambia. If you would like to read weekly accounts of what the teams are up to, follow their blogs below.

*Indicates team leader


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Mikayla, Natalie, Kara, Shontel (team leader), Sierra
This team will serve alongside the Shekinah Foundation to care for, invest in, and mentor children and teenagers, many of whom are orphaned or escaping abusive situations. Additional opportunities include home visits, manual labor, assisting in church planting, and partnering with the Ecuadorian church in evangelistic efforts.

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Seth (team leader), Sara, Caleb, Katie
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, prayer ministry, discipling young believers, hosting camps, manual labor, and encouraging the persecuted church.

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Mak, Justin (team leader), Conner
This team will work with SERVE Nazareth, an organization that invites people from around the world to experience God through living where Jesus lived, learning about cross-cultural ministry, and working with the people of Nazareth. This team will serve in various ways such as ministering at a local hospital, prayer walking, teaching English, manual labor, and volunteering at Nazareth Village—a first-century farm and village presenting the life, times, and teachings of Jesus.

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Virginia, Ben, Trevor & Denise (team leaders), Annie, Ross
This team will spend half of their outreach in Albania, working with a local church, learning language, tutoring, and volunteering at a local pre-school that serves the Roma population—an ethniclinguistic minority in the country. The second part of their outreach will take place on the island of Cyprus. They will spend their days building relationships with students at an international university, practicing relational evangelism, and teaching English conversation classes.

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Vera, Morgan (team leader), Sabrina
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, prayer walking, and mentoring the children that are part of the long-term team.

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USA (Phoenix)

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Reylyn, Briana (team leader), Katie, Connor, Kelly (assistant leader), Karlee
This team will serve with AIM Right Ministries, building relationships with youth and offering them an alternative to the drugs, gang violence, and hopelessness that surrounds them. AIM Right offers a wide variety of programs out of their youth drop-in centers, including tutoring, Bible studies, food distribution, refugee outreach, and sports ministry.

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Connor, Julie (team leader), Sarah, Daniel
This team will live in a rural village, serving alongside Love’s Door’s staff, working with orphans, building relationships, discipling new believers, teaching job skills, doing evangelism outreaches to local villages. Love’s Door has been working in southern Zambia for decades to bring holistic, empowering development to these neglected neighborhoods.

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