January 18, 2018

To Wash His Face: A REACH Update

By Kara, REACH Team Indochina

With language school wrapped up, we had the opportunity to travel to the southern part of the country to spend some time visiting a teammate’s family who live and own a water filter factory down there.

Our first day was spent being shown around the factory and observing the filter-making process. The simple-looking clay pots prove to be of greater value and intricacy than they outwardly appear. Not only is their construction handled with delicate precision, but so also are the opportunities to invest in all those whose lives these filters enter, whether that’s the workers who mold them or the villagers to whom they are sold. The filters provide jobs for locals, prevent disease in increasingly distant and rural areas of the country, and have even enabled those with a third-grade education to become scientific technicians in the factory lab! However, possibly the most incredible part of the business is what was conveyed to us as “washing the face of the Son.”

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January 16, 2018

Jesus Loves the Little Children

By Nixson, RMM worker in Thailand

In this second update from Bangkok, Nixson shares about the eye-opening experience of teaching children at a local elementary school.

Since starting to teach in May, I am understanding more and more the reasons most Thai people do not respond to the gospel in a positive way and how Buddhism is so deeply engrained in the culture. Every morning the children spend between one and two hours learning from a Buddhist monk and praying and chanting to Buddha. There is a chant they all have memorized that they say every day: “Buddhism is our religion and we will be Buddhist wherever we go. Buddha is not here anymore, but we are his disciples and will follow his teachings.” It is sad for me to hear the students say this every day, and it helps me realize why it is so hard for them to accept the truth of Jesus. Buddhist teachings are taught to them from the time they are young, so there are deep roots in their lives.

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January 12, 2018

The Greatest Commandment: A REACH Update

By Paige, REACH Team Mediterranean

My whole life I thought that serving the Father meant I had to do all these great things like build a school, work in an orphanage on the other side of the world, teach English, etc; and yes, those are all awesome ways to serve and love, and people are called to that, but I often thought of those things as the only way to serve. I discounted the value and importance of simply loving people and building strong relationships through everyday life where my feet are. Though we have had some things to do this past month of being in Spain, our main thing has been building relationships with people and seeking to encourage and support them. At times, I would do the whole comparison thing (I finally understand the quote, “comparison is the thief of joy”) and would get discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough or as much as other people.

Thankfully, on my day off this week, I took most of the day to listen to what the Father had to say about it all and he, of course, was faithful to speak truth to my heart.

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December 19, 2017

A Different Kind of Normal: A REACH Update

By Shontel, Team Indochina

I expected my life in another country to feel extraordinary in some way, but I’m learning that life here feels just as normal as life in the United States.

Take today as an example. I woke up at 6:30. Before breakfast, I sat outside and spent time speaking to my father and reading. Then I got ready for language school. Breakfast was a bagel and fruit. My team left the house at 8:00 in time to catch our ride to school. After class, we walked to get lunch at a nearby restaurant. Once lunch was finished, we walked home and spent the afternoon playing games together, socializing with our landlord and grocery shopping. Before dinner, we walked to a nearby school to organize and take inventory in a kindergarten classroom. I cooked dinner at home. After dinner, we played games and watched a video sermon, then stayed up late talking.

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December 18, 2017

Baptisms in Southeast Asia

RMM recently received news of four baptisms in the villages of Southeast Asia. The local disciple-making team held a service in a rice field, baptizing the daughter and son of two different team members and another young woman who does not have believing parents. The next day the team baptized a man from the only believing family in a nearby village. Praise God for bringing more people into his Kingdom, and pray for continued multiplication in this country.

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December 15, 2017

Multiplication in Action: The Story of One Planted Church

By Lydia Gingerich

RMM is excited to be part of CMC’s new commitment to multiply disciples and churches, not only internationally but here in North America as well. Larry Kaufman leads a team that is helping to move us from ideas to action. The following story recounts what God is doing through a group of young adults who have moved from idea to action in Columbus, Ohio. Many of these people were students at Rosedale Bible College and are now working together to see what God will multiply through them.

Quiet Beginnings

As I walked down the steps into the basement of the apartment building next to mine, I was reminded of the missionary stories my parents read to me growing up. The midnight meetings underground had a specific anxious and exciting feel to them that I detected in myself as I entered the room full of my dear brothers and sisters. We had been talking about this “church plant” for a while, but it felt more real now that we were having a scheduled meeting with a typed outline and several older and wiser folks dispersed among the circle.

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December 14, 2017

Celebrating Milestones

In 2017, a number of overseas workers and office staff surpassed significant milestones in their tenure with RMM. We would like to celebrate those individuals and the unique contributions they have made through their years of service.

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December 11, 2017

2 1/2 Days Down, 165 To Go: A REACH Update

By Lacy, REACH Team Thailand
“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”

—Walker Evans

Team Thailand arrived safely with zero problems throughout our nearly 40 hours of traveling. YAY!

We have a handful of days left before language school begins and so far we have spent a lot of time taking in all that Thailand has to offer. Along with being the team leader, I have also had the privilege of being a tour guide for the last few days, showing the girls places that I’ve missed for the last six months, and it has been so fun!

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December 06, 2017

“Come to me, all you who are weary…”

By Lydia Gingerich

A pale and tattered woman stumbles through the doors of the homeless shelter. This trembling old woman, likely in her seventies, leans on the arm of a young drug dealer who found her freezing out in the parking lot. Nikki makes a call to the volunteer nurse while the woman is given blankets and a place to rest. The staff receive assurance from the nurse that the shaking is a positive sign. She will be okay for tonight, but this woman still needs a home; what is she going to do for the rest of the winter?

Nikki Gonzales has been serving the homeless for the past four years by directing Code Purple Sussex County which provides shelter on the coldest nights for the homeless in Sussex County, Delaware.

This organization “includes various shelter locations in the county…at churches. So a church will open up and they will have cots and blow-up beds, blankets, meals every evening, toiletries, and just a warm place to stay for the night.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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November 07, 2017

REACH 25 Video: Mim & Paul

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

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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.

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October 20, 2017

Finding Treasure in Flint: A REACH Update

By Paige, REACH Team Mediterranean

It’s amazing how much the Father will speak to you when you silence yourself and listen. It’s exciting how much he will guide and lead you when you ask him and once again, listen. This past week our team experienced his leading us in an awesome way. We spent the week in Flint, Michigan, for practicum, which is a week where all the teams go to different places to work with a variety of outreaches and people that will hopefully prepare them for their overseas outreach. It’s also a time for the teams to connect deeper and test out life on their own.

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October 17, 2017

Wow, Has It Been Busy: An Update from Thailand

By Karly, RMM worker in Thailand

If you search Pattaya on Google, what do you find? The words tourist, walking street, and sex will pop up. Not many people come to this city for a calm place to find their rest within the Lord; but for our family, that’s exactly what God has given us. With all the darkness and sin surrounding us, God has made his beauty bold here! We can feel within our hearts this beauty and comfort.

We have lived here for one month and wow, has it been busy. We spent the first two weeks in meetings with founders and co-founders of different organizations and met with the pastor and his wife from the church that we are currently attending. We also had the opportunity to do some ministry work by teaching English in one of the poorer neighborhoods with one of the organizations. Jacob has also been doing some extra handy-man work that is needed in the community. I've already seen two moms and two daughters come to the Lord and witnessed Buddhist believers coming forward for prayer in Jesus’ name. Praise God!

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October 11, 2017

How to Help a Refugee

By Lydia Gingerich

According to the UN Refuggee Agency, 28,300 people each day are forced to leave their home because of conflict and persecution. Whether or not you believe that it is our country’s obligation to house these displaced people, there is strong biblical language urging followers of Christ to care for the lost and the hurting in our world – showing them the love of Christ at a time when they need it most.

Glen* responded to this call and traveled to the Middle East in February 2017 to work alongside an organization that aids refugees through building housing and providing community. During his six-month internship with RMM, Glen helped with a preschool class, taught English, played soccer, learned new card games, went on picnics, listened to stories of brokenness, and saw a lot of hope.

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October 10, 2017

60 Years of Camping

60 years ago the Conservative Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (which would become Rosedale Mennonite Missions) purchased a 300-acre property in eastern Kentucky that is now Bethel Camp. In the summer of 1957, the first youth camp took place there and the ministry has continued to grow since then. RMM encouraged Bethel Camp to become their own organization in the late 90’s, and is grateful for the friendship that still remains between the two agencies. RMM recently received a letter of thanks from Bethel Camp director, Roger Voth, which included this paragraph:

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October 08, 2017

Job Opening: Property Manager

Rosedale Mennonite Missions is looking for a full-time property manager to oversee all facility maintenance and grounds care. A great property manager will have a solid understanding of plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems as well as carpentry and other crafts. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in all maintenance processes and health and safety regulations. He/she will also have aptitude in undertaking administrative tasks such as reporting, budgeting, using a computer, etc. Three to five years of experience in a similar capacity is preferred. The goal is to ensure the Rosedale International Center facilities are well-cared for and adequate to support RMM’s programs, participants, and events.

For more information please contact Myron Sommers at

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October 05, 2017

A Vision of the Night

By Lydia Gingerich

This story comes from a conversation with Tom, RMM regional director for Asia. Tom and other members of the Thailand team have been involved with a group of believers in a neighboring Southeast Asian country. To learn more about this group, read Fuel on the Fire: New Sparks of Faith in Southeast Asia.

“For God does speak—now one way, now another—
   though no one perceives it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
   when deep sleep falls on people
   as they slumber in their beds.” (Job 33:14-15 NIV)

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September 29, 2017

A Hushed Conversation

By Judah,* RMM worker in the Middle East

In the midst of the daily grind of language study, we never know what surprises the Father has in store for us. These surprises include some maybe not so comfortable things as well as some good things.

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September 27, 2017

Dan Byler returns to U.S. after 40 years

By Lydia Gingerich

Returning to the U.S. was not an easy decision. Dan Byler had hoped a team of LAMP participants would join him in Thailand, but those prospects fell through. After approximately 40 years of service in a foreign context, Dan moved back to the United States to serve in Columbus, Ohio. While there is a note of disappointment in some of the lost opportunities in Thailand, RMM welcomes the experience and gifts Dan brings to the ministry efforts in Columbus.

In 1973 Dan began his career with RMM in Nicaragua, traveling to mountain villages and sharing the gospel. For three years his team promoted literacy, held medical clinics, and taught farming techniques in less-developed areas. Today there are numerous thriving churches in those villages because of the seeds planted many years ago. In 1990 Dan began his ministry in South Asia, reaching out to Muslims and Hindus. After raising up a local team that would carry on the ministry in South Asia, he moved to Thailand and served as the Asian regional director for RMM for several years. For the past 13 years Dan has been teaching and discipling in various parts of Thailand and overseeing church planting efforts in a nearby country. Dan plans to continue to visit Asia periodically to maintain a connection with the work there and to mentor leaders, but his continual presence will certainly be missed.

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September 19, 2017

More than an Adventure: Introducing Jada

By Lydia Gingerich

“I have a deep passion to join the fight against the injustices in this world, and to bring God’s healing to victims of sex slavery.” As one of the largest centers of human trafficking, Bangkok is the perfect place for Jada to participate in this work. Jada joins RMM’s team in Thailand and will partner with a local organization that aids in the liberation and recovery of those wounded by the slave industry.

Jada, raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, was exposed to many countries and cultures through her mother’s work as a flight attendant. As Jada grew older, she learned about the reality of human slavery that exists not only in countries far away, but also in North America. She was filled with a desire to help these vulnerable people be released from the grip of those who are treating them not as people, but as a means to make money.

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September 14, 2017

Something Old, Something New: A REACH Update

By Edith, REACH Team Himalayas

The 2017-18 REACH participants are now three weeks into discipleship training school (DTS) at the Rosedale International Center (RIC). Every week one member from each team writes a blog post about the week.

The RIC hasn't changed much in the four years since I attended City Challenge. The entrance is the same, the rooms are the same, the face of Kevin Mayer, SEND Director, is the same (aside from a few extra gray hairs). It's familiar with good, old memories from the days when I was fifteen.

Everything else, however, is new and different. Aside from one, all of the REACHers are people I've never met before. Life is schedule – outreach, life groups, service projects, recreation, and sessions. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what I'm doing here, but then a letter from my church family arrives; or my team leader says one of his perfect one-liners and we're rolling on the floor; or I am out on the street, surrounded by my team and praying for a lady whose husband is in jail and seeing her wipe her eyes as she walks away, and I know why I'm here.

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September 12, 2017

Saying Goodbye to SEND Program Facilitators

By Lydia Gingerich

If you were involved in REACH, City Challenge, or a SEND internship the past four years, you probably know Brian and Brittany Troyer. This couple was and is highly instrumental in implementing all of those programs, and SEND Ministries has been blessed with two wonderful people as program facilitators. While Brian and Brittany truly enjoy their job and community in Columbus, they plan to move back to Hartville, Ohio, at the end of the year and get involved with their home church and community. They also feel called to expand their family through foster care and adoption. Currently, they have one son, Malachi, and they are excited to begin the process of welcoming more children into their home and family.

Brian and Brittany give much energy and love to the work they do, and it is greatly appreciated by their colleagues. Colleen Maust, director of human resources for Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM), observes that they “mentor, challenge, teach, encourage, and even have to act as substitute parents at times – running people to the Emergency Room and comforting those in emotional distress.” She realizes that they have carried heavy burdens and lots of stress over the past few years, but they always seem to remain calm and trust God.

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Job Opening: SEND Ministries Program Facilitator

SEND Ministries, the youth ministry branch of Rosedale Mennonite Missions, has an opening for either a couple or a person who exhibits passionate energy and thoughtful counsel to engage young men and women in their pursuit of drawing closer to Jesus. The Program Facilitator(s) not only function as the house parents at the Rosedale International Center, but also provide support and leadership to the various programs of SEND Ministries. This is a full-time, salaried position. All applicants must apply by the end of October.

For more information please contact Myron Sommers at

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August 24, 2017

My Passion

By Wyatt*

Wyatt is joining RMM’s team in North Africa with a desire to see the church established among those who have not yet heard the Gospel. During his initial phase, he is pursuing different opportunities for future work while studying the local language and culture.

My passion is simply this: I hold Scripture as authoritative in my life and Jesus says "go." It is not just something he throws in with all the other teachings, it is the Great Commission. I choose to obey that command because my passion is to know that I have given everything for his glory. Revelation 7:9 says that those from every nation, tribe, people, and language will be glorifying him around the throne, and there are thousands of people groups who have yet to hear of salvation through Christ. The Great Commission was not just for the original apostles, it is for us as well. These are the passages that drive me to share Christ in a place where he is not known.

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August 23, 2017

Religion in Context: Exploring Viable Forms of Christianity in East Asia

By Lydia Gingerich

Everything we do is covered in culture: the way we wash our hands, what time we eat meals, and even what we eat for those meals. Each part of the world has developed a way to execute daily tasks, providing comfort through ritual. But what if we were told we must change these basic practices in the name of religion?

“In Buddhist culture, the first forty days after death is a time of high importance, that person’s spirit is still in limbo before going to the next body,” report William and Rebecca,*RMM workers in East Asia. If family members do not perform the correct rituals, or if they do not take the first forty days seriously, it shows a lack of care. Many generations later, a family will still be judged for the way they handled those days. In the midst of this cultural practice, East Asian believers are trying to understand their responsibility as both followers of Christ and participants within their communities.

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August 17, 2017

I Love You, I Care About You, I Want You Here – Adoption, Foster Care, and the Heart of God

The Church: Looking after Orphans

by Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

In the last five months, a commitment and drive to care for orphans has developed at Bethel Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Florida. Members are signing up to care for, pray for, and parent the many children in their county who are in the foster system. This ministry is so new that it does not yet have a name, but to sum up the vision of this movement, Senior Pastor Shawn Otto referenced James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

When Shawn preached on this verse in December 2016, he presented the serious need for Christians to live out this call. While adoption and foster care can be exhausting, we have a God who is the perfect source of strength and inspiration. “God’s greatest demonstration of care for orphans is in his care for us—as spiritual orphans.” Shawn believes that in light of the way our Father has reached out to us, “the church ought to be at the forefront of orphan and widow care.”

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August 10, 2017

CMC Annual Conference Recap: John Stahl-Wert & Missions Day

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the course of three sessions, John Stahl-Wert explored how great leaders build high-performance cultures, focusing on defining purpose, promoting values, and discovering identity. Stahl-Wert looked at the nature of the Kingdom and the nature of the King, urging his audience to follow the example of God’s design to “move in and through a people to accomplish his purposes.”

Stahl-Wert started on Saturday morning by talking about our purpose as followers of God: to be a blessing to the nations. God’s desire is to see the nations be blessed by him, and he created us to be “an instrument of himself in the world.” Our Great Leader knows the importance of giving people a direction to walk in, and as leaders we can do the same. Stahl-Wert observed that in high-performing cultures (whether that be churches, companies, conferences, etc.), “Everyone understands why their work matters.” As Christians, God has made it clear that our purpose is to be a reflection of his light in the world. Have we made it clear to those we lead what their purpose is as a member of the group?

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CMC Annual Conference Recap: Taste of Missions

By Lydia Gingerich

A potato omelet, a little manchego cheese, and an olive combined to make a tasty example of a Spanish tapa at Rosedale Mennonite Mission’s (RMM) Taste of Missions program. In Spain, friends and family gather in restaurants, living rooms, and parks to share an assemblage of dishes in endless varieties of flavor. Similarly, Taste of Missions is designed to bring people together and experience a few different “flavors” of RMM. As many CMC members contribute to this work through prayer, encouragement, and financial support, RMM is pleased to share what is going on beyond our home congregations.

RMM launched their program by recognizing and thanking those involved in both the Ride for Missions and Rosedale Missions Cruisers. Andrew Miller, director of partner development, took a moment to specifically thank Wayne Yoder as he concluded the eleven years of service he has provided as the coordinator for the bike ride. Wayne shared that for him the ride has been like an unconventional church – as a group with various pains comes together and supports each other in a therapeutic way.

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August 09, 2017

The First Will Be Last

Written by Esta Felder

This play was performed at Taste of Missions during Conservative Mennonite Conference’s Annual Conference 2017. Esta Felder,* an RMM worker in the Middle East, writes and directs dramas that are performed live as well as filmed and broadcast on the only full-time Christian television station in the Middle East.

Old Woman
The doorkeeper stands center stage. An old woman with a cane slowly makes her way toward the entrance.

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August 04, 2017

My Field

By Eugene,* RMM worker in North Africa

This month marks half a year in North Africa for Eugene, Katrina,* and their two children. Eugene shares about getting to know their city and seeing God at work in it.

On a cool January day in Pennsylvania, I had stood in my doorway looking out across the empty farmland, and I had wondered what field (neighborhood) God was going to place me in. Just as the field in January was waiting for spring to arrive and for the farmer to come plant, I knew God had a field that was waiting for me.

Jump six months ahead. I am now standing in my field. The field is a city in North Africa, and as I walk through my field I am getting to know its type of soil. In my field I have young people who are desperate for a new start. They come from all over the southern end of the country to a university. They come with the dream of studying and then making a life for themselves. This makes my field very full and busy. Café’s with free internet are always filled with these young people studying or just hanging out. Two of those young people have graduated from the university in the last few years and are looking for work, but in the meantime are tutoring Katrina and myself. Both are bright and very helpful. We are thankful for their willingness to come teach us.

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July 16, 2017

Soccer and Prayer: Introducing New Workers in Spain

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

A young boy and his friends huddled behind a concrete building, hoping to evade the enthusiastic Christian walking down the street. They hated when the evangelicals started talking to them about heaven, hell, Jesus, and Salvation. Like most people in Honduras, Rolando’s family was Catholic. They went to mass and said the prayers, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for the Christians. The kids breathed a sigh of relief when the loco evangelist walked by without noticing them, allowing them to continue their soccer game in peace.

Around this same time and 1,500 miles north of the street soccer, a young Mennonite girl got into the car with her mom to attend another revival meeting. Lately her mother had been quite enthusiastic about her faith and Andrea was hearing a lot more about Jesus and his love. Andrea could feel that love inside of her and she enjoyed going with her mom to these meetings. She wished that everyone could know the joy of Jesus’ love.

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July 13, 2017

The Unruly Bull

By Nixon, RMM worker in Thailand

Rhonda and Nixson joined the RMM Bangkok team as a couple in 2015 after working there separately for a number of years. During this time they have connected with and helped disciple many individuals from Thailand and neighboring countries who have moved to the city for better economic or educational opportunities. Some of these connections were made in coordination with the Rosedale Business Group (RBG). From their interactions with a Southeast Asian believer comes the following story.

RBG has recently financed several projects in Southeast Asia, enabling Asian believers to bring the Gospel to the marketplace. One of these projects was to support Lan in a cattle raising project. On one occasion when Lan and two of his friends went to buy some cows in a neighboring village, they met a man, discussed prices, and decided to buy several cows and a bull from him. The owner warned them to be careful with the bull, as it was known to be very dangerous. In the past, sorcery and idols or amulets were the only ways to make the bull obey them.

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July 05, 2017

Trip to China

By Jonatan, RMM worker in Thailand

I want to thank God because he has been good to me, taking me to places that I never thought to go, and giving me the opportunity to know new people every day.

Recently, I received an invitation from Li, my university roommate, to go spend time with his family in China. I was very excited about this new adventure, but at the same time, I was afraid, because I would be the first foreigner to stay in their home. After five hours of flying, we arrived at the Shanghai airport. The family was waiting for us there and welcomed me very kindly. I spent two weeks in their house and got to know their beliefs, behavior, and some social problems they face. Every day we made food together, went to different tourist attractions, and met many friends of my roommate and families close to them.

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June 29, 2017

Trauma Counseling and Suicide Bombers

By Andrew*

When Salam* came in for counseling at a refugee resource organization in the Middle East, she was ready to commit suicide. She was planning to find some kind of explosive device, strap it to herself, and then go back to a location known to be under ISIS occupation and blow herself up. The amount of hatred she had for ISIS and for herself was that severe.

ISIS is a terrorist group that has plagued the Middle East for the last several years and they commonly use sex slavery to fund their military endeavors. They conquer an area militarily and then kidnap as many women as possible. After escaping or being released, hundreds of these women, like Salam, now live in refugee camps. Some of the women are pregnant after being raped and abused, and now deal with some of the worst emotional trauma that can be imagined. The families – the fathers, and the brothers are also dealing with the guilt and shame of having been powerless to help or to protect their homes. Add all of that emotional baggage to being forced out of their homes and neighborhoods and having an uncertain future for their children. All of those emotions provide a basis from which trauma and fear emanate for refugees in the Middle East.

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June 27, 2017

An Evening in North Africa

By Cora,* RMM worker in North Africa

This excerpt comes from a recent update from Cora, and gives a brief glimpse into her life in North Africa. Please continue to pray that the RMM team there will be a source of light and truth to this country.

The sun is still bright and it’s already 5:20 pm – time change makes all the difference. I walk down the boulevard to go mail a letter. Down through a row of palm trees, on either side of me, wild flowers are starting to bloom! So much to see, so much to take in. Others are enjoying the evening as well. Sitting all along the way on benches made just for that. Some girls quietly talking amongst themselves; some mothers sitting and watching as their children play in the open square; some couples enjoying each other’s company and laughing over a comment made; a grandmother hugging her grandson; an older gentleman leaning up against the base of a palm tree, resting in the grass and shade.

Continue reading "An Evening in North Africa" »

June 15, 2017

Broken Vessels

By Rachel, REACH Team Ecuador

This reflection on Rachel's REACH experience was originally published on her blog,

To the people who didn’t quit, I write this dedicated to you: Alisa, Essie, Erica, Katie, and Brenda.

To the One who took our broken vessels and made them worthy, I write this for the glory of the Father!

I miss Ecuador, but even more I miss our team. Our little, filthy, close apartment of six girls, friends, amigas, sisters, and workers in a dry and weary land. Yet, a place where people learned together; where we laughed through the difficult, cried through the weariness and prayed through it all. A place where six VERY different people learned to work together, explore together, love together and just be together. Where daily life of working foundation shifts, eating ice cream, dead tired evenings ending with inside jokes, breaking everything related to the kitchen and telling stories brought us together. Oh how this team is one of stories and storytellers. A majority of our time was spent telling stories, stories of our day, of funny moments from last week, of our own lives, of our pasts, and of our friends and family. We even learned to tell the stories of our souls.

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June 13, 2017

Fasting and Feasting

By Judah,* RMM worker in the Middle East

Judah and his wife Rayna* have lived in the Middle East for the past nine months and are currently experiencing life in this region during Ramadan, which is from May 27 to June 25 this year.

As another month has begun, a few things have been different here. Right now is the month of Ramadan, the month where Muslims fast and feast. Here, where we are, they fast from 3:30am till around 8pm every day. In the evenings after 8pm, they enjoy a big meal together. What is the reason for the fasting? Fasting is one of the five pillars of their beliefs that they are required to follow to be in right standing with Allah or to help them gain good favor in place of the bad they have done. Ramadan is also a time of feasting where they make special foods to eat and share with each other.

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June 09, 2017

Signs of Maturity

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

William and Rebecca* and their four sons enjoy living in East Asia, where they are involved in a retail business. They work with about twenty employees and are leading a small worshipping group of local people and occasional seekers’ Bible studies. They are also developing new, contextualized materials that bridge into the Buddhist world view.

During their nineteen years of ministry in East Asia, William and Rebecca have observed many believers exhibiting a difficult time developing a close relationship with God. But now, they are starting to see growth and depth in two significant ways.

The first way is by believers talking about their faith with friends and family members who are not Christians. Revealing their own conversions from Buddhism could incur alienation from both society and family. Previously, this has been enough to stop them from openly sharing, “but it feels like they are experiencing Christ at a deep enough level that they want other people to know how wonderful he is.”

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June 05, 2017


By Joe Showalter

This article was originally published in The Beacon, June 2017, in the column, “Multiply.”

Multiplication is perfectly natural. Multiplication is totally normal. Multiplication is utterly amazing!

One acorn grows to become an oak that can produce as many as 10,000 acorns in one year, each of which in turn has the potential to produce thousands more. One kernel of corn grows to produce a couple ears, each of which has around 800 kernels on it that can repeat the process.

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May 25, 2017

Hope for the Future

By Judah,* RMM worker in the Middle East

Recently, during a break at language school, the topic of heaven came up. This provided a perfect opportunity for me to ask my classmate his view on how we can get to heaven. His perspective was a common one, not only for the part of the world we are in, but for America as well. In a nutshell, in order to get to heaven, we need to do enough good things to outweigh the bad things.

Based on other information I have learned about the religion here, even if someone could somehow do that, God could arbitrarily tip the scales and keep them from entering heaven. This does not provide much room for hope, as compared to what we find in the Bible. For followers of Jesus, our hope does not rest in doing enough good or the judge not being in a bad mood, but in the blood of Jesus who offered himself on our behalf. We can have hope in him because if it rested on our shoulders we would be hopeless.

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May 22, 2017

Where Do We Even Start?

By Angie, RMM worker in Thailand

Where do we even start?

This is a question I asked myself on a recent trip to Pattaya, Thailand. Three leaders from our sending church joined Jacob, Karly, and me, to continue discovering what ministry will look like for us as a team. For part of that trip, we spent two days in Pattaya to see if God is leading us to relocate there in the future.

Pattaya is one of the main hubs of the sex tourism industry in Thailand. There is so much going on in this city and the needs can feel overwhelming. Our focus while there was to meet with Thrive Rescue and to prayer walk the infamous bar streets. Thrive Rescue is an organization that works directly with the police department in Pattaya to rescue children that have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked.

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May 18, 2017

Going Home

All of the REACH Teams are now back at the Rosedale International Center for a week of re-entry activities. These two reflections from Danae and Sarah of Team Eurasia talk about the struggles of going home and the need to continue putting their faith in the God who takes care of us no matter where we are.

Have Faith

By Sarah

I always joke that I'm not coming home, but surprise, I am. With leaving to come home, there are many questions that follow. Questions like how do I prepare my heart for this? How do I say goodbye to strangers who are now family? How do I just pack up my bags and come home?

I've met a lot of different people and each one has a story. They have passions, goals, dreams, and fears just like me. It was always interesting to hear where they were and how they got to where they are now. Sometimes it was hard to hear someone's story, to listen to all they have been through, or even what they're facing now. I remember I would laugh so hard that I would cry as I would hear stories. Sometimes I would be overwhelmed with sadness and would cry with them. However, people like to be heard, refugee or college student. Everyone has a story. A few weeks ago, I was really struggling with the thought of leaving. This time I'm leaving and not coming back. I’m not going to a new country, I'm coming home. It's time for a new transition. A good but hard transition. As I was talking to our Father, He showed me that I was scared. I was scared to leave, move on, and to let go. This is all I've known for the past nine months. Coming home would mean to leave this and part of me still isn't ready.

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May 12, 2017

Trading Shoes: A REACH Update

By Katie, Team Ecuador

Katie and her team served at a foundation in Manta, Ecuador, helping to care for neglected and at-risk children and teens.

One day during rest time I was hanging out with some of the older girls in their room. I was sitting on a bed with my shoes off as we talked. Next thing I knew one of the girls put my shoes on and gave me hers. She wanted to trade. I was hesitant at first because she was giving me her new thick rubber flip-flops, while in return I had old flip-flops – so worn out that I felt barefoot in them. I knew I was getting the better end of the deal, so I tried talking her out of it – she couldn’t be convinced. She didn’t care that I was getting the better shoes, that’s what she wanted. I was certain that she’d want to trade back after she realized how truly worn out my sandals were. But no, she said she wanted to keep them.

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May 08, 2017

The Unwritten Word of God

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

As covenant workers with RMM in North America, Butros and Amina* are making disciples and building relationships among an unreached people group who do not yet have the Bible in their language. Their family is recording Bible stories, sharing the Word of God, and beginning home Bible study fellowships with these east African refugees who live in their city. They are also visiting and connecting with approximately thirty other communities across the United States where this people group are located.

“God began laying a passion on my heart to share the unwritten Word of God, the Word incarnate – Jesus Christ with these people.” Amina reflected back to over a decade ago when she initially came in contact with this people group from an east African nation. This group faced heavy oppression in their native country and many refugees have found their way into the United States. Amina’s passion for these people grew as she found that most of them do not communicate through writing or through pictures – only through speech. Amina, Butros, and their three children have been trying to live out that passion by reaching out to these people, by becoming a part of their community, and by helping them in the everyday struggles that arise.

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May 03, 2017

Deep and Wide

By Larry Kaufman, Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) Director of Church Planting

This article was originally published in The Beacon, May 2017, in the column, “Multiply.”

As a kid, one of my favorite songs in Sunday-school class was, “Deep and Wide.” I wish we could sing it together, just for old times’ sake. Aside from the nostalgia, there is a compelling message in that old song that I think captures God’s heart for Christ-followers, for pastors, and for local churches.

Our gospel mandate is to be theologically deep and to be evangelistically wide. It is not either/or. It is both/and. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, AND teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20).

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April 27, 2017

Love Like the Father: A REACH Update

By Sarah, Team Eurasia

I've met a lot of people in these last five months of outreach. People who have stories, dreams, passions, fears, and futures just like me. During our first three months, we worked with refugees, but they're so much more than that. They are my precious friends. I got to meet people who have lost all hope, who are scared, who are angry, and who are lost. They dream about freedom and what it looks like, what it feels like. They crave it. They used to have it all. My friends used to have jobs that paid well. They used to have cute little houses with little white fences around them. They used to have nice cars and closets of clothes. They used to have friends to hang out with and things to do. Then one day a war started or some other upheaval, and they had to leave. Everything was gone, ripped right out from under them. The only thing they have left is the pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

During the last two months, we have been helping college students practice English. These are also some of my precious friends. They are happy and safe. They have lots of energy and make their dreams into reality. They have such eager minds and want to soak up all they can. They work hard in school. They aren't afraid to make mistakes. When you see a person so passionate about what they are learning or doing, there's a light in their eyes that sparks with excitement. It's so inspiring to watch students show me what they care about. They know they have so much potential ahead of them. They have the world at their fingertips, but these friends also have pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

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April 25, 2017

North African Carrot and Chickpea Salad

By Susannah Fath Cotman
Serves 5-6


1 clove garlic, crushed

½ c. fresh parsley (preferably flat-leaf Italian), chopped

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

¼ c. lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)

½ c. extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; blend well. Then, with motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until well blended.

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April 21, 2017

The Power House

The 2017 SEND Interns (Paige, Josh, Janelle, Sarah, Jenny, Amy, Cameron) on their way to serve at The Power House in New Haven, Indiana.

By Paige Chupp, SEND Ministries Intern

When I look back on my past it amazes me to see how God has redeemed me in areas that I once thought completely hopeless. The song “Great Are You Lord,” by All Sons and Daughters, speaks so much truth and power about this kind of restoration, and how God longs to restore his people (if you are not familiar with this song, have a listen below). The lyrics fill me with hope and remind me of the countless verses in scripture, especially in the Old Testament, where God’s people were in rebellion against him. All they had to do was turn from their wicked ways and trust him again, and he would redeem them! That’s what God wants from us today too. He wants us to repent of our evil, fleshly ways and trust solely in him. He wants to redeem us; this truth is written all throughout the Bible. Often it’s hard to see and believe those truths and promises, especially if they aren’t right there in front of us, but that doesn’t change the truth about who God is. God IS moving, he IS restoring, and he IS redeeming. Even through everyday life in a small Indiana town.

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April 18, 2017

In The Way of Jesus: A Book Review

By Ashley West, RMM Logistics Coordinator

Missions and discipleship go hand in hand. We see the simplicity of this partnership in Jesus’ final mandate before leaving Earth—“go and make disciples.” Our workers are aiming to do just that, and we love sharing stories of the ways that God is at work through their labors. It’s incredible and humbling to watch God expand his Kingdom around the world, and to play a small part in it.

Sometimes, though, these stories can also be a little discouraging. God is raising up churches in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, and people are coming to faith in him in record numbers. But what about here? Sometimes it’s hard to recognize discipleship and growth in the North American church, and it raises the nagging question “where have we gone wrong—and how can we make it right again?”

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April 14, 2017

The Lamb We Slaughtered: A REACH Update

By Daniel, Team Eurasia

Sitting down and eating a meal for the last time with beloved friends.

Showing servanthood by “the washing of feet.”

Witnessing the slaughter of a lamb.

Sounds like something taken straight out of the gospels, right? But this is something that our team witnessed this Easter week… and yes, we literally slaughtered a lamb.

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April 11, 2017

Reservations: A REACH Update

By Christian, Team Montana, U.S.A.

Our team works primarily among the people of the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana, but this week we had the privilege of taking a prayer trip to all seven reservations in the state. This was probably the highlight of my outreach so far. God showed himself in new ways to all of us.

The place where I saw God move the most was in a small town in the middle of nowhere called Busby. When we first got there, I got this feeling of depression and felt really down and out of it. We found out a little later that there had been a lot of deaths recently in the community; this was common on the other reservations too. After we had gotten settled in and talked with the pastor, we had a time of worship and prayer.

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April 07, 2017

Locally Grown: The Bus Ride

By Shirley Nisly

RMM is excited about the ways God is using his church to touch people with his love. In this story Shirley describes a recent encounter she had while volunteering at a children’s ministry sponsored by her congregation, Plainview Mennonite Church in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Her eyes were cold and had dark circles under them. Her shoulders hunched, her hair was matted and unkempt. She was only fourteen and had experienced life well past her years, yet she came to JAM. JAM, which stands for Jesus and Me, is our church’s outreach program in Partridge, Kansas, where children come and hear about God, spend time in worship, go to class, and get a snack. I’ve been teaching there for fifteen years and had never met a young girl like Sarah* before. The first evening she came, around the middle of August, she told me that she was an atheist. We conversed about her beliefs and she told me she was worshiping Satan. My first thought was that she was too young to even know what she really believed.

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April 04, 2017

One Step at a Time

By Lydia Gingerich

In December 2016, Elmer and Eileen Lehman, long-time Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) supporters and missionaries, published the inspiring story of their lives in a book entitled: One Step at a Time. The Lehmans traveled to Costa Rica as RMM missionaries in 1961 hoping to start the second evangelical church in a city of 17,500 people. Their autobiography begins on two separate farms in upstate New York and recounts their journey through a plethora of communities and events, following God all the way.

The following excerpt from the book, details one of the pivotal events in their early ministry:

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March 28, 2017

God’s Not Done Yet: A REACH Update

By Gabbie, Team Spain

Up until last week, our schedules have been pretty routine. Language classes, teaching, babysitting, etc. This last week, however, we went to Antequera, a town about 90 minutes west of Granada, to do some manual labor for the camp Manantiales de Vida (Springs of Life).

We were greeted by our gracious and hospitable hosts and owners of the camp, Glenn and Sue. We got to spend every lunch and dinner with these two around their dining table talking and laughing. Sue prepared every meal and Glenn did the dishes. We offered to help (trust me, we did), but they wouldn’t accept it. Every meal was followed with tea or coffee and dessert. Not only that, we arrived to a giant jar of peanut butter, a rare commodity in Spain, and bags of popcorn. (Confession: We had the peanut butter nearly finished by day three.) They spoiled us so much, and we loved every second of it. Glenn and Sue, thank you for having servant hearts and for being so kind and generous to us four crazy girls.

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Hotline to Heaven

By a worker in Spain

As we interact with friends who know of our faith, we are often asked to pray for different aspects of their lives. This can be a great opportunity to show them we care and to provide a simple picture of dependence on God – whether he answers the way we want or not. This story, from workers in Spain, shows the importance of praying for our friends through the ups and downs of life.

Brian,* an American, was the director of the English academy where I teach. Since his sudden death a year and a half ago, his young Spanish wife, Begonia* has assumed that responsibility, along with being a pediatrician and now a single mom with two young boys. We've maintained an ongoing relationship with her, including having them over for the boys' favorite meals: pancakes or tacos. She occasionally asks us to pray for things beyond her power to change, saying we have a hotline to heaven! We are happy to pray, but tell her that she can talk to God as well. She jokingly says that when calling up there, the line is either busy or she is put on hold!

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March 22, 2017

Riding for a Cause

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Roy and Karen Schlabach take some time to share their thoughts on Ride for Missions Florida, which recently covered over 150 miles of trail and road along the west coast of central Florida. They discuss this ride as well as the summer ride (July 22-26, 2017).

While levels of biking enthusiasm vary among riders, Roy trends towards the higher end of that spectrum. He has participated in the Ride for Missions (RFM) summer ride nine times, and in just the last year, he rode his bike over 10,000 miles. He rides with numerous groups but considers RFM one of his favorites “for a few reasons.” One of these reasons is the comradery he feels while interacting with other riders both on the road and during the evening meetings. “The other thing is that we are doing it for a good cause. We love what RMM is doing and we love being a part of it with this trip.”

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Planting Seeds: A REACH Update

By Amy, Team Montana, USA

This past week I had some really cool experiences with taking steps in trusting God and what he’s telling me. One story goes like this…

Kelly and I were driving home one afternoon and I decided I wanted to be dropped off at my favorite coffee shop. We drove past the coffee shop and for some reason it was closed, so Kelly suggested taking me to one we hadn’t tried, but where our friend was working. So she dropped me off there and I talked to my friend and got some coffee. I was just hanging out there, waiting for her to close up when a girl walked in and ordered. Obviously, that’s normal, as this is a café, that’s what people do. She took a seat at the table next to mine and after getting her food, she just sat there staring at it, looking pretty despondent.

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March 16, 2017

“I planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase...”

By Jill Wagner*

During the years our family served on an RMM team in the Middle East (1982-89) a young engineering student, Abdullah,* came to living faith in Christ. He was a member of our house fellowship, baptized in our bathtub.

After we had to leave the country in 1987, Abdullah became the local leader of the house fellowship until he was arrested for his faith, imprisoned and interrogated for a month, and as a result, expelled from the university.

Korean brothers and sisters working in the same Middle Eastern country took Abdullah under their wing, paying for him to finish his education and to receive advanced theological studies in Korea. He married a Korean woman.

Fifteen years ago Abdullah and his wife Fatima* moved back to the Middle East with their two children, called to raise up a church there. A third child was born. Many members of Abdullah’s extended family came to faith through their witness. As they lived in a totally unchurched region of the country's largest city, prayer walking its crowded streets and meeting their neighbors, a thriving house fellowship was born in their living room.

Continue reading "“I planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase...”" »

March 14, 2017

We Are Vessels: A REACH Update

By Daniel, Team Eurasia

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

During our day off last week, we had the opportunity to hike to the ancient Roman aqueducts in the town of Moria. Two thousand years ago these towers and vessels were created for one purpose, to carry potable water from the center of the Island to the cities along the coast. This is one of the reasons the Roman Empire flourished. They knew the importance of transporting large amounts of water from miles away to bring life to their citizens. The aqueducts were not life, but they carried life. Today these aqueducts serve no purpose other than being a tourist attraction. Large sections have already broken off and fallen to the ground showing that this structure is unable to carry water from point A to point B. No one took the time to repair them as they deteriorated. Today they are not carriers of life.

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March 08, 2017

Fuel on the Fire: New Sparks of Faith in Southeast Asia

By Tom and Candice, workers in Thailand

It’s with joy that we share about a new team that has formed in spreading the gospel in a restricted access country in Southeast Asia! Although the RMM team is based in Bangkok, God has consistently led us to a neighboring country since the beginning of our work here. This year, it’s been thrilling to see God orchestrating the formation of a national “sister” team and to bless that team in any way we can.

There is a registered church in this country and good things are happening within the church. However, leaders tend to exert a great deal of control – in part because the church needs to limit their activities to stay in the good graces of the government. In the last year, our friend Lan began meeting with several men, who like him, were frustrated by the lack of opportunity to work within the structures of the church. They began praying and talking about what they could do independently.

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March 06, 2017

To See Them Flourish: A REACH Update

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By Erica, Team Ecuador

These past few days have offered a lot to think about. One hurdle is learning to love even when some of the kids don’t want to be loved. I wish so badly that I could just hold them and tell them over and over and over how precious they are, how loved they are, how powerful the love of the Father is, and how they can just let go and trust in him. But they don’t let that love happen. Instead, I have to be okay with giving them the touch they need in passing, with looking them in the eyes when they let me and saying, “Listen to me, I love you, my team loves you, the Tia’s all love you, God loves you! Why are being this way?” I don’t know if it gets through to them, but I hope it does.

I was calling home the other day, spilling out my frustrations over the phone when I realized that what I’m doing here is not for here, it’s for eternity. I know that sounds trite and overused, but it’s true. If I were here working week after week with children whose love is so conditional simply to get my self-approval tank filled up, I would’ve gotten on a plane back to the States long ago. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned here, it’s that I’m not as awesome as I’d like to think I am and I don’t have very much approval to give myself. What I do have is love. I can offer them love because I was loved first.

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March 03, 2017

Haircuts, Diesel, and Burgers

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By Eugene and Katrina,* RMM workers in North Africa

Eugene and Katrina and their two children traveled to North Africa in January of this year. To learn more about their story, read their introduction here.

We arrived in our new town three weeks ago, dragging through the terminal to get outside with two sleepy kids after an overnight flight, a stroller, car seat, and five bags. What a relief to be met by our friendly teammate with a car! Thanks for your prayers!

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February 28, 2017

Why Are We Here?

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By Judah* RMM worker in the Middle East

Since being here we have been asked this question more times than we can count – by locals and foreigners alike. Honestly, it can be a bit wearisome, especially after you have answered the question many times, and every time it feels like you have given an unsatisfactory response. This is mainly due to the fact that the answer we give would not have brought us here on its own. Because of this, I sat down one afternoon and reminded myself of why we are here. So to you on the other side of the big pond, here is a bit of why we pulled up roots and moved to the other side of the world.

Our Father has told us to “Declare His glory among the nations...He is to be feared above all the gods.” As I write, I hear the call to prayer sounding in my neighborhood. I am sure men are going to the mosque to pray, trying to please a god whom they fear, but we know the power he truly has. I am here because my God is to be feared, yet he loves each person deeply and paid the ultimate price for them.

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February 24, 2017

Walk and Talks: A REACH Update

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By Candace, Team Himalayas

Team Himalayas spends much of their outreach time encouraging believers and visiting different villages. Because of the sensitive nature of the region, this team uses creative language to discuss certain spiritual concepts.

We have been in our current village for about three weeks now, and every day has been quite the experience. Lately, we have been finding more time to go to town and talk to store owners and make relationships. A lot can be talked about over a cup of chia (tea)!

Recently we traveled to a village about 2 ½ hours away and stayed there overnight. It was a short time, but it was packed full of “walk and talks” with the Father. There are very few believers in that area, but the passion of the ones there are incredible. They want to share with everyone everywhere! One of the places our team and some local believers walked to was a shop/house of a family who had recently come to faith. “There are very few believers in that area, but the passion of the ones there are incredible. They want to share with everyone everywhere!”We were gladly welcomed in and were given some tea. We sat together and introduced ourselves and then had a time of listening to requests and talking to the Father with the family. We later left with the shopkeeper and he showed us where the land he donated for the Father’s house would be. There is currently no building, but construction is soon to start! We then lifted up to the Father the land that was given and then headed back to where a small fellowship was being held at a house. There was lots of singing and dancing, and then Jared shared.

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February 21, 2017

SEND Interns 2017

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2017 SEND Interns: Paige, Sarah, Josh, Cameron, Amy, Jenny, Janelle

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Each year, from January to December, a group of seven young people come to the Rosedale International Center (RIC) in Columbus, Ohio, to live and serve as SEND Ministries staff interns. The year is designed to help them mature in their faith and grow as leaders through times of training, mentoring, ministry, and community outreach. Throughout the summer and fall, they each play a vital role in facilitating the City Challenge program and REACH Discipleship Training School (DTS). They invest a lot of time and energy into the lives of the many participants of these programs, and also into their daily responsibilities at the RIC.

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February 16, 2017

Being Fed for the Journey: Team Thailand Retreat

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By Candice, worker in Thailand

The RMM Thailand team had a wonderful retreat this past weekend with visiting speakers Steve and Phyllis Swartz! Our theme was "journey" and we learned so much and each heard from God in unique ways. The Swartz's first took us through a "hero's journey" where we learned the steps of a disciple maker's journey looking at the parallel story of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. We talked about our call to adventure, our big steps over the threshold from known to unknown, and the challenges and temptations that follow, eventually leading to death, resurrection, and finally reproduction. "Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over." What an encouragement to us! We understood again the importance of sticking with our adventure here and dying to self in order to produce fruit – to be patient in waiting for God to bring us a harvest in Thailand.

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Introducing New Executive Assistant

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By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

The newest member of the RMM office staff, Danae Stoltzfus, will be working as the Executive Assistant at RMM. We couldn’t be more delighted to have such a capable person fill this role. In her free time, Danae enjoys creating art, participating in church outreach, and attending local events with friends. Danae grew up in Apple Creek, Ohio, but has been living in Columbus for the past three years working at a number of bakeries, and most recently, as a nanny.

Before moving to Columbus Danae traveled to Hawaii to work with Surfing the Nations for four months, and then to Honduras for ten days to help out at an orphanage. This past summer she joined her aunt and uncle in Kenya to help with some of the various ministries they are involved with there. She has a great desire to see the love of Jesus impact every nation. Throughout Danae’s life, God has shown her that his timing is always perfect and she can trust him to take care of her needs. She looks forward to this new position with RMM and is excited to see how God will use her here.

Continue reading "Introducing New Executive Assistant" »

February 14, 2017

The Great Unpredictable: A REACH Update

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By Kara, Team Indochina

Kara is a part of Team Indochina, reaching out to a southeastern Asian country through teaching, building friendships, and encouraging local believers.

Well, things are starting to fall into place for Team Indoscribable. We each have our own unique schedules and duties at the international school, and it’s been amazing to connect with the hilarious and precious children there. I’ve never felt more like a celebrity than when I walk into the school yard and am suddenly surrounded by excited faces all shouting “Teacher! Teacher!” touching my hair, and asking a hundred strange and completely random questions. My music classes are painfully loud and often completely off key, but seeing the grins as the kids bang away on whatever instruments they can get their hands on, and hearing adaptations of the songs they’re learning as I walk through the school, makes every chaotic moment absolutely worth it!

Twice a week, I do some one-on-one language tutoring with one of my sweet little school girls. I love this job because I get to see the progress she’s making, as well as directly speak with and encourage her. Other tasks I’ve taken on here include organizing boxes of untouched books at the school (if you know me at all, you understand how much joy this brings me!), playing with and getting to know the three little kiddies who live in our apartment building, and teaching English to fifteen college students two nights a week. English teaching is a struggle at times. I’ve definitely had to sacrifice a lot of my pride and standards of perfection in the attempt to find fun and effective ways of communicating. Sometimes the things I plan the most turn out to be an utter failure in the classroom and I find myself completely winging the remaining painful hour, but I’m slowly figuring out that what matters most is just finding some minor way to connect with the students. Even if I feel like I didn’t teach much, the brief conversations and exchanged smiles remind me that I’m really here to love, not to be the perfect teacher.

Continue reading "The Great Unpredictable: A REACH Update" »

February 10, 2017

Go. Be Love: A REACH Update

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By Katie, Team Ecuador

Katie and her team have been in Ecuador since the beginning of December, helping at a foundation designed to care for neglected and at-risk children and teens. Here she shares a story of how she was emboldened to be God’s love to those around her.

I’ve now been living on another continent for two months. That seems crazy to believe, and as cliché as this may sound…time is flying by. My team arrived in Ecuador on November 29th and now here we are, just a few days shy of February.

Our first month seemed to drag on forever. We all had thoughts of “are we ever going to leave?” and “how long is outreach going to take?” I don’t want to spend my whole time here waiting to go home. I want to look back on my adventure to Ecuador and remember living in the moment. I want to cherish my time of trying new foods, learning a new language and most importantly being God’s love.

Continue reading "Go. Be Love: A REACH Update" »

February 09, 2017

An Invitation to BOOST 2017

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Are you a Christian business person seeking fellowship, encouragement, training, and networking opportunities? The BOOST Business Retreat may be just what you are looking for. Larry and Dot Chupp, Rosedale Business Group Directors, share about their experience at BOOST:

“From the first time Larry and I had the privilege of attending BOOST, we have made a strong effort not to miss this retreat. We have been through many transitions during the last few years and BOOST has served to provide a wealth of connections for us as we worked through these experiences. We find this retreat to be a wonderful gift and a highlight in our year. We find new friends to network with through each stage of our lives. We love the input from the plenary speakers and we are grateful for the quality of individuals CMC provides for BOOST.”

The 2017 BOOST Business Retreat will be held at Hartville Kitchen in Hartville, Ohio, on March 2-4. Register now at

February 07, 2017

Called to the Middle East: Introducing Glen

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By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Four and a half years ago Glen* left his home in Grantsville, Maryland, to join a REACH Team to the Himalayas, awakening a desire to be involved in overseas missions long-term; he has been working toward this goal ever since.

Upon his return from the Himalayas, Glen attended Rosedale Bible College (RBC) where he gained important knowledge about studying the Bible, and developed close friendships. As part of his education at RBC, he joined the Bridge program, interning with International Friendships Incorporated (IFI) in Columbus. As an intern with IFI he befriended international students and learned about cross-cultural discipleship.

Continue reading "Called to the Middle East: Introducing Glen" »

February 06, 2017

The Unreached Are Within Reach

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By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19

Two thousand years later, this task remains unfinished. Out of the 16,560 people groups that make up “the nations” of our world, 6,698 are still unreached—with little, if any, access to the Bible, Jesus Christ, or his followers. These groups make up 42.1% of the world’s population—roughly 3.1 billion people—living predominately in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.1

Joshua Project defines an unreached people group as one “among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize without outside assistance.” For these people to ever hear about Jesus or understand his love, followers of Christ need to purposefully go to them. Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) has made these people groups a priority—to engage with and show them the hope of Jesus Christ.

Continue reading "The Unreached Are Within Reach" »

February 02, 2017

Lady Liberty: A REACH Update

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By Daniel and Danae, Team Eurasia

Daniel and his wife Danae are leading the REACH Eurasia Team, currently working at a refugee camp in Greece. The following excerpt is a reflection on a few of their experiences and encounters.

In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, my ancestors sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in pursuit of liberty. They were welcomed by the sight of Lady Liberty herself, The Statue of Liberty in New York, New York. Today there are thousands of refugees who are also in pursuit of the same liberty that my ancestors gained hundreds of years ago. These refugees are also welcomed by the sight of Lady Liberty… but the Lady Liberty located in Mytilini Greece! Every day we drive past the Statue of Liberty (pictured above) on our way to the Moria Refugee camp. Moria is the first stop in Europe for the thousands of refugees fleeing from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa. These refugees are being detained for months until they get processed to move onto mainland Greece, Europe, or America, waiting for Liberty.

Continue reading "Lady Liberty: A REACH Update" »

January 23, 2017

When There Seemed to Be No Way

By Rhonda and Nixson

Rhonda and Nixson joined the RMM Bangkok team as a couple in 2015 after working there separately for a number of years. During this time they have connected with and helped disciple many individuals from Thailand and neighboring countries who have moved to the city for better economic or education opportunities. From their interactions with a Southeast Asian believer, Lit, comes the following story.

At the beginning of 2016, Lit began sharing about his mother’s sickness. Lit had spent most of his money taking her to doctors to get help, but she wasn’t getting better. One of his friends told Lit that there was still one option – he could pray to God. Lit decided to take his mother to some believers in a neighboring village and ask them to pray for her. The believers happily prayed for her and God healed her! After seeing this miracle, Lit and his whole family, except one sister, believed in God.

Continue reading "When There Seemed to Be No Way" »

January 17, 2017

He Knows Their Name: A REACH Update

By Paige, Team Thailand

The REACH teams have now been living in their outreach locations for almost two months and are starting to adjust to new cultures, roles, and climates. Paige, from Team Thailand, reflects on the struggles and joys of living in the city and experiencing God’s heart for the many people around her.

It's easy for me to want to not be in the city anymore. Especially seeing other teams’ pictures of beautiful mountains and beaches. I've realized how much nature makes me feel connected to God and I don't get much of that here. However, I think I would say this about pretty much anywhere I go, I love love love Thai people so much. I have a heart for them and struggle to process how I could possibly make a difference to them and effectively share hope with them. But I've been learning how important and powerful prayer is and how simply loving people sincerely and sharing joy makes a difference. If nothing else, I can return home and have a list of people I've met that I can commit to praying for and know that it is enough because God is in control and I may be the only one in their life lifting them up.

Continue reading "He Knows Their Name: A REACH Update" »

January 05, 2017

A Year of Growth

Compiled by Lydia Gingerich

In the last year, God has blessed Rosedale Mennonite Missions with the ability to send more workers to the field than in the past three years combined. RMM is so excited about the ways God is calling and using the people of CMC to reach the world with his light. Here are two updates from our workers discussing the new opportunities and life God is giving to their ministries:

Longing and Listening: Jake and Karly

Jake and Karly and their two sons moved to Bangkok, Thailand, in August; they are currently exploring ways to care for and bring freedom to the women and children who are oppressed by human trafficking.

Longing and listening — this is something we as a team are reaching for. We continue to long for God’s guidance and try to spend time daily listening to him. This week we are going to Pattaya, Thailand, about two hours from Bangkok.

Continue reading "A Year of Growth" »

December 22, 2016

New Workers to North Africa

By Lydia Gingerich

Eugene and Katrina, along with their two children Jimmy (toddler) and Lucy* (infant) are sent by Millport Mennonite Church, Frontiers, and RMM to North Africa to learn language and build relationships with a vision to cultivate a movement to Jesus among an unreached people group.

God's call on my life is no different than any other believer out there. I believe that when you look at scripture there is no way around the call to ‘go and make disciples,’ that could be your next door neighbor, your coworker, or a group of people in North Africa.”

For Eugene and his wife Katrina, the question was never whether or not they would share the message of the gospel with those around them, but where and how. After living out this call in many different ways and places, they have committed to doing so for at least three years in North Africa as a part of RMM’s team, beginning January 2017.

Continue reading "New Workers to North Africa" »

December 12, 2016

The Gift of Drama

By Lydia Gingerich

Storytelling is one of the most influential ways to change hearts, minds, and attitudes across cultures. People are drawn to God through stories. In this piece, we look at two examples of the story of Jesus’ birth displayed through theater in the Middle East and an interactive dramatization in Mechanicsburg, Ohio.

Joseph’s Dream

In the Middle East, RMM worker Esta Felder* writes and directs dramas, training believers and non-believers in the art of theater. She works with an experienced group of young people who perform gospel-based dramas in churches, youth groups, and other venues. Below is a Christmas drama she wrote that has been performed two different times in the Middle East. Grab a couple of friends to read or act out this story and experience a fresh take on Joseph’s dream.
Characters: Gabriel, Isaiah, Joseph

Continue reading "The Gift of Drama" »

On the Move: Two weeks in a Refugee Camp

Photo: Mstyslav Chernov

By Dawn Showalter
Originally published in the Shiloh Mennonite Church Newsletter

I sat on the floor beside the young mother as she relaxed against colorful pillows in the Mother-Baby Space of Skaramagas Camp. Her chubby little daughter, not yet born when she and her husband fled their Afghan homeland months before, slept in her lap. “The journey through the mountains was hard,” she remembered. “I waded through a river up to my waist. But coming across on the boat during the dark of night was the worst... I was three months pregnant.”

Like most of the residents of the Skaramagas Camp, Shafiga had entered Greece by crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on a small vessel loaded with people and arranged by smugglers. Shafiga and her husband escaped Afghanistan after bombs exploded behind their business scaring customers away and disrupting their lives. The treacherous trip to Europe seemed worth the risk for the possibility of making a fresh start as a family.

Continue reading "On the Move: Two weeks in a Refugee Camp" »

December 01, 2016

Hope for Thailand

By Candice and Jonatan, Workers in Thailand

Thanks to Jonatan, a Nicaraguan member of the RMM team, for sharing his heart in this testimony of God’s leading through a very dark time in his life. His words are a challenge to all of us to keep pursuing God and our callings and not give up.

Currently, Thailand is going through a time of mourning. The longest reigning monarch has passed away and the entire city of Bangkok dresses in black and white and pays their respects to a man who helped his country in so many ways. The night of the supermoon was also the Loi Kratong celebration, when Thais float little rafts with candles and flowers, make wishes and confessions and thank the river for life. This year, the festival was muted by the mourning period; no fireworks, no loud celebrations. Many friends didn't celebrate at all.

Now, as much as ever, Thailand needs a King. We pray that God's kingdom comes in Thailand "as it is in heaven." Jonatan is here to share a vision of that kingdom and to hold on to his belief in that kingdom amid a sea of unbelief. As you read his story ask God to continue the good work that has begun.

Continue reading "Hope for Thailand" »

November 21, 2016

Breaking Boxes and Giving Love

The Discipleship Training School (DTS) for REACH culminated this past Friday with a service of commissioning for the eight teams that leave for outreach next week. The past three months have been a time of molding and growth for many of the REACHers and here are some thoughts on that from Micah and Lauren from team Eurasia:

Breaking Boxes

If there’s something I’ve learned during the past few months it’s that God isn’t completely formulaic nor systematic. This means I will forever remain unable to figure him out. Since nothing God creates is 100% formulaic I will always need God to change my paradigm (which one of my past professors has dubbed “Box Breaking”). This Box Breaking happened recently while I was sitting at church.

I grew up in a smallish church of approximately 50-80 people. We didn’t venture down the road of percussive instruments and stuck to our well-loved hymns and the occasional contemporary worship song (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). This being my base mind frame for how church should be done, I grew suspicious whenever a church did it differently.

Continue reading "Breaking Boxes and Giving Love" »

Thai Red Curry Squash Soup

By Susannah Fath Cotman

Here is a fall soup with a Thai twist that could be a fun addition to your Thanksgiving feast. As you figure out what dishes to serve this year, consider taking advantage of this opportunity to invite someone new to join your families' table.

The following recipe can be found in RMM’s cookbook, The World at Your Table, which can be purchased here.

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November 14, 2016

New Beginnings: An Update from Judah and Rayna

Judah and Rayna* recently moved to the Middle East to serve as students while helping to spark a people movement to Jesus in a strategic urban center. To learn more about this couple and their vision for the Middle East, read Getting to Know Judah and Rayna.
After much planning and praying, we have made it to our destination. To fill you all in, we ended up having to push back our arrival time due to our visas taking longer than we hoped in getting processed and back to us. We arrived in the Middle East on October 21. Our flight and everything went smoothly. We are currently staying with a couple in their basement. They have been helpful and we are thankful for this place to stay, temporarily.

There is so much to take in and figure out when coming to a new area. The basics that you normally know at home, you don't know anymore. For example, where is the grocery store? Which bus do I need to take to get to the grocery store? How many groceries can I buy as I will have to be able to carry it all to the house from the bus stop? It can be interesting figuring it all out, but the Father has been helping us.

Continue reading "New Beginnings: An Update from Judah and Rayna" »

November 08, 2016

Seeking an Administrative Assistant for SEND Ministries

Are you detail-oriented, highly organized, and have a longing to see Jesus glorified among the nations? Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) is seeking an administrative assistant for SEND Ministries, RMM’s short-term department. We are looking for someone who can help with all of the paperwork, calendars, correspondence, and details associated with REACH, City Challenge, the staff intern program, and the SEND department in general. The vision and ideas to grow the ministry are in place, but help with the logistics to make it all happen is vital. Does your brain automatically think about the details? Do you enjoy setting up systems and creating processes? If so, you may be the person we’re looking for.

For more information please contact Myron Sommers at

Continue reading "Seeking an Administrative Assistant for SEND Ministries" »

November 03, 2016

Tips to Prepare Your Life for Long-term Missions, Even if You’re Not Ready Yet

By Andrew Sauder, RMM Mobilizing Coordinator

As an agency, Rosedale Mennonite Missions desires that every person would engage in the work of global evangelization in a meaningful way. In my role as mobilizing coordinator, I connect with young people who have a passion to reach the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world and I encourage them to fulfill that calling. Through this work I have met many young people who have that vision, but often struggle to know how to prepare themselves and their futures for that type of long-term work.

If you are facing those uncertainties, here are five steps that can be taken to help prepare you for future mission work. Some of these ideas are simple, while others require long-term sacrifice, preparation, and planning. If you eventually want to serve in another country, consider these suggestions:

Continue reading "Tips to Prepare Your Life for Long-term Missions, Even if You’re Not Ready Yet" »

October 31, 2016

A Reflection on the 2016 Prayer Conference

On October 21-22, almost a hundred people from all different walks of life gathered at the RIC to reflect on, grow in, and worship through prayer at RMM’s biennial Prayer Conference. The weekend included prayer workshops, a time of worship through prayer led by Merlin Miller, and a session on bold prayer taught by Verlin Haarer. After numerous prayer activities that the participants could choose from on Saturday afternoon, the conference concluded with a time of corporate communion. Mim Musser, RMM’s Prayer Coordinator shares a few highlights of the weekend:
A highlight of the weekend is that it was an intergenerational gathering. My sense is that often in our churches intergenerational interaction doesn’t happen easily because everyone is in a class/group with others close to their age. “There is a richness that is lost when we interact only with people like us…”There is a richness that is lost when we interact only with people like us no matter what age we are or what life season we are in. It was a delight to watch the eighty plus year olds interact with the young REACHers, older parents connecting with a young pregnant mother, and young adults ministering through prayer for persons much older than themselves. I saw a young adult sitting with an older couple most of the weekend. And I saw people of all ages gather around the REACH teams to pray blessings on them as they head for outreach. One attendee, on his evaluation, said a highlight was: "praying with experienced prayers (old people)." Many of those “experienced prayers” said: “keep REACHers in the mix."

Continue reading "A Reflection on the 2016 Prayer Conference" »

October 25, 2016

REACH Teams 2016-17

For the past twenty-five years, young people have gathered in Columbus, Ohio, every fall to focus on discipleship training and missions. The REACH program begins with a three-month period in which the participants learn about the Bible, themselves, and how to live as God-honoring and people-loving men and women. They also prepare for the cross-cultural part of the program by studying the languages and cultures of the countries they will live in for six months. This year, the twenty-nine participants and ten team leaders have enjoyed practicing what they are learning here at the RIC and in Columbus, but they look forward to living out these lessons and concepts when they begin their outreaches in December.

Continue reading "REACH Teams 2016-17" »

October 20, 2016

Hello from Me to You: An Update from Cora

Edited excerpt from Cora's* October 2016 newsletter

It has been exactly one month since I arrived here in North Africa! As I look back on the last four weeks, I am so thankful for the smooth transition I have had since arriving. I know I still have a lot to learn and there are still parts of the culture that I will need to get used to, but I feel like I’m past the initial shock of moving to a new country.

When I was thinking about the reasons for my smooth transition, it came to my attention that the team here has taken such good care of me. Every one of them is so supportive and has such a heart for the work here! We share many meals together, travel together, and just spend time hanging out! I have also been attending the international fellowship here which gives a good sense that we are not alone in our work! Also, I have wonderful roommates! We all have different schedules, but we normally have supper together in the evenings and hear about each other’s days. It is a great support system and a lot of fun as well (especially when we go on adventures like stargazing on the flat roof and walking the length of the street on the apartment roofs, because they all connect!). I am continually grateful for all these people in my life and I thank God that he has worked out all the details for this stage of settling in!

Continue reading "Hello from Me to You: An Update from Cora" »

October 14, 2016

The Apostolic Band: Church Planting Initiators, Trainers, and Mission Mobilizers

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

The term “apostle” is not one that we commonly use to describe leaders in the church today. There are different ways that the title is used in the New Testament, but the word simply means: “one that is sent.” Jeff Carver, who founded, writes that the mission of apostles today “is to plant new ministries and churches, go into places where the Gospel is not preached, reach across cultures to establish churches in challenging environments, raise up and develop leaders, call out and lead pastors and shepherds, and much more. They often have many different gifts that allow them to fulfill their ministry. These are leaders of leaders and ministers of ministers. They are influencers. They are typically entrepreneurial and are able to take risks and perform difficult tasks. Missionaries, church planters, certain Christian scholars and institutional leaders, and those leading multiple ministries or churches often have the gift of apostleship."

Continue reading "The Apostolic Band: Church Planting Initiators, Trainers, and Mission Mobilizers" »

October 11, 2016

Hello from the Amazon: An Update from Al

This is a short update from Al Raber, sent by RMM and Berean Community Church to work with SEARA, a boat ministry under Word of Life Brazil, which focuses on evangelism and taking medical teams and supplies to unreached river communities in the Amazon River Basin. Here Al shares about what life has been like since he arrived in Brazil this past summer:

For those of you who may not know, I live on the Word of Life (WOL) North campus. It is in the town of Benevides, which is more or less a suburb of Belém do Pará close to the mouth of the Amazon. WOL has a seminary here to train, teach, and equip pastors and missionaries to reach Brazil and the rest of the world.

Continue reading "Hello from the Amazon: An Update from Al" »

October 06, 2016

Acte de Naissance

A poem by Raleigh,* RMM worker in North Africa

Morning and a new way to walk in an old city.

I interrupt men’s unholy reveries with a friendly greeting; their eyes snap to me instead, and they smile as they respond.

Here is an inviting entrance to a market with the tell-tale signs: odds and ends, vegetables and fruit, push cart men waiting nearby, steps leading up into a mystery of more. I promise myself to return here with the ones I love.

Finally I find the Mukata, people everywhere. Which line should I insinuate myself into? Okay, this one; the others will let me know. Amazing how there is a mysterious and beautiful order to this chaotic gathering of souls. I find that I begin to understand it, or at least to be at peace as I enter the fun challenge. Yes, I sense the order more than I see it—in their peaceful faces and demeanors. All is as it should be, even this foreigner fumbling through his papers again before he arrives at the window hoping to accomplish another cross-cultural task.

Acte de naissance?

Continue reading "Acte de Naissance" »

October 03, 2016

Getting to Know Judah and Rayna, New Workers in the Middle East

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

These workers are flying to the Middle East this fall to serve as students while helping to spark a people movement to Jesus in a strategic urban center. They are sent by RMM in partnership with Millport Mennonite Church in Leola, Pennsylvania.

“God calls each and every one of us to be following after him and pointing others towards Jesus, no matter where they live.” For Judah and Rayna, they believe “that means living in the Middle East, while being obedient to the call that God has given all Christians.”

Judah and Rayna first met in 2011 when Judah was a participant in REACH and Rayna was on staff at the Rosedale International Center (RIC). Although they “only got to know each other a little over those three months of living under the same roof,” it was enough that a year later Judah sent a note to Rayna to see how she was doing, and from there began a friendship that would eventually lead to marriage in June of 2014.

Continue reading "Getting to Know Judah and Rayna, New Workers in the Middle East" »

September 29, 2016

Carl Wesselhoeft: 87 Years of God’s Provision

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

This past spring, I drove to Logan, Ohio for a visit with one of the most interesting eighty-seven year olds I know. Carl met me at the door of the old farmhouse that his wife grew up in and invited me into the living room to listen as he reminisced about his experiences. He took me from pre-World War II Germany, to a farm in Canada, to provincial Somalia, and back to the little church less than a mile down the road. All of the traveling and circumstances would appear random if it were not for the common thread holding it all together: God. A creative and powerful author to Carl’s story, God showed his faithfulness time and time again. God took Carl to new countries, new cultures, and new people many times, but in each step Carl was protected and prepared for the future.

Carl Wesselhoeft grew up on a rented farm just outside of Rostock, Germany. When he was ten years old, World War II began, and because of the aircraft industry in Rostock, it was among the first towns to receive heavy bombing. “One night, maybe two or three bombs fell, doing little damage,” Carl remembers, “that was cause for some excitement. The war that seemed far away had come to our doorsteps. The next night the sky was red from the burning city and my dad sent a horse-drawn wagon to get us out. Soon after that the house where I had boarded was bombed, along with the school I had attended, and was completely destroyed.”

Continue reading "Carl Wesselhoeft: 87 Years of God’s Provision" »

September 23, 2016

“…For Now You Shall Laugh”

Living cross-culturally sometimes leads to awkward miscommunications, cultural blunders, and many opportunities for laughter. Rather than keeping these to ourselves, we thought we would share a few stories from RMM workers to give you a dose of the “best medicine.”

Jordan (Himalayas REACH team, ‘10 – ‘11)

We entered our host church for another “all-night prayer.” These meetings, although not entirely accurate in name due to the fact that they only lasted from about 9 until 12, were nonetheless quite long enough for us. It’s not that we were entirely unspiritual, we just felt exhausted from teaching at the Discipleship Training School and teaching English, struggling to use fire to cook, etc. So the arrival of yet another spiritual activity did not garner the typical amount of joy you would expect from short-term missionaries.

Continue reading "“…For Now You Shall Laugh”" »

September 21, 2016

Expanding the Kingdom: Introducing the Director of Church Planting

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

“What if we really believed that the best way to reach more people for Christ is to plant healthy, gospel-centered, reproducing local churches in rural communities and urban cities all over North America? What if we had a vision to plant 50 local churches in the next decade out of our conference to multiply the gospel, and to advance the kingdom of God?”

Larry Kaufman, in his first report as Director of Church Planting, posed those questions to the RMM board in June 2016. Earlier in May 2016, a diverse group of Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) constituents had met to study scripture, seek the Lord, and discuss church planting. This group sensed God calling CMC to engage and expand the Kingdom through prioritizing church planting in every church and every member within every church. Adding to this growing momentum, Pastor Larry Kaufman of Grace Mennonite Church (Millersburg, Ohio) accepted the appointment to direct the carrying out of this vision.

Continue reading "Expanding the Kingdom: Introducing the Director of Church Planting" »

September 13, 2016

A Place to Call Home: An Update from Josiah and Sarah

At the end of July, we shared a number of prayer requests for Josiah and Sarah* as their family returned to North Africa. Below is a recent update from Josiah reflecting on their arrival and the way God has provided for them.

In these initial days there have been many reminders of how familiar life is here and why we’re grateful to be back: we’ve had visits with dear local friends, celebrated milestones with teammates, used words and phrases we haven’t thought of in a year, and eaten favorite local fruits. There have also been some reminders that the life we lived for the last year was different, and some accompanying growing pains as we readjust to our North African skin and work out (again) the shape that our marital and parenting relationships take in this culture..

Continue reading "A Place to Call Home: An Update from Josiah and Sarah" »

September 07, 2016

Witch Doctors, Church Planters, and the Sovereignty of God

By Jordan*

“A witch doctor?” I ask again, trying to clarify this story that made me marvel anew at the strange ways in which God chooses to move. A young pastor and I were sitting together in the shade of a large rock, pausing for a moment as we followed a small trail up the side of the mountain. We had spent much of the previous day riding together on a motorcycle and the sunburn on my neck was a constant reminder that sometimes, every once in a while, my wife does have valid packing tips. As he drove through places that would give a dirt bike pause, I held on, vowing that when I returned to America I would never again drive on a highway without giving thanks for the smooth ride. As we bounced along, I tried to focus on praying for the villages and vast areas that he would point out to me. Areas where the church was not – at least, not yet.

Continue reading "Witch Doctors, Church Planters, and the Sovereignty of God" »

September 04, 2016

Meet Cora: From Canada to North Africa

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Cora* is 21 and grew up in Ontario, Canada where her parents are involved in a church plant. In early September she moved to North Africa for two years to assist RMM workers Raleigh and Opal* in caring for their children. She will also study the local languages and point locals toward Jesus.

What have you been up to in the last five years?

I graduated from high school in 2012, and then I went straight to a Bible college in Ohio the following fall. After a year there, I returned home to go to our community college for early childhood education. That was a two-year program, so after I graduated from that, I have been working in a childcare setting and loving it.

What excites you about going to North Africa?

I am excited to experience a new culture and see how people live in another part of the world and learn from them. I also look forward to the laid-back culture and how relationships govern the schedule, rather than time. I am eager to help Raleigh and Opal, so they can continue to build relationships with the locals. I am also rather excited about the fact that I won’t have to deal with snow for the next two winters!

Continue reading "Meet Cora: From Canada to North Africa" »

August 16, 2016

Put Your Yes on the Table, Let God Put It on the Map

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

In 2014, Larry Kaufman, pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in Millersburg, Ohio, worked through a sermon series called, “Do Justice.” Pastor Larry says, “We resolved to speak out for orphans, and those who are alone and abandoned, the unreached, and those who have no voice and no hope in our world. We asked people to pray and discern if God was calling them to engage with any of these injustices. Out of that series the Lord called our Thailand team.”

After that series a group began meeting every Wednesday night to figure out what the next steps should be. During this process the team learned a lot about trusting God. Their plans came in and out of focus during those months, and after much prayer and fasting, they all felt confirmation to go and join Rosedale Mennonite Mission’s team in Bangkok.

Continue reading "Put Your Yes on the Table, Let God Put It on the Map" »

Conference Recap: Missions Day Offering 2016

Even though some of the totals are still being counted, we’ve put together an overview of how the various parts of the Missions Day Offering fit together as a whole. Many thanks to everyone who gave, or raised funds for RMM this year. We thank God for the generosity of our partners and the participants in our annual fundraising events.

Continue reading "Conference Recap: Missions Day Offering 2016" »

Conference Recap: Sunday Morning

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By Lydia Gingerich

Conference concluded on Sunday morning with RMM’s Missions Day program, highlighting God’s call for all of us to make disciples and celebrating his faithfulness in blessing us as we live out that calling. The congregation was invited to join in God’s work through RMM by praising God with the children’s choir singing about missions, led by Deborah Showalter, and giving financially during the missions day offering. Along with these components of the service was a celebration of God’s faithfulness to RMM, a time of commissioning for new workers, and a message from Richard and Jewel Showalter about the urgency of responding to God’s call.

A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness

Joe Showalter, RMM President, and Mark Yoder, RMM Board member, publicly thanked God for blessing RMM with the ability to fully pay back the money they used to purchase and remodel the Rosedale International Center (RIC). They shared the story of prayers of discernment in purchasing and renovating the building, of asking God for the provision of funds, of thanksgiving for the way God has allowed RMM to be debt-free much sooner than they had planned, and of celebration for the work God is doing through RMM at the RIC.

Continue reading "Conference Recap: Sunday Morning" »

August 15, 2016

Conference Recap: A Taste of Missions

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By Lydia Gingerich

Over the years, the Thursday evening program at CMC’s Annual Conference has grown and changed. What was once a somewhat dry time of reporting to pastors and others interested in missions, has evolved into a well-attended kickoff to the weekend.

This year’s program began with a welcome from CMC leadership. Brian Hershberger, CMC Executive Director, offered an appeal to make the weekend a time of learning “how to live as...and make authentic disciples of Jesus Christ.” John David Swartzentruber, Pastor of Greenwood Mennonite Church, and vice chair of the local planning committee, passed along his greetings from the home community. Dale Keffer, outgoing CMC Moderator, then addressed the audience, and shared some thoughts on what CMC has meant to him over the years and some hopes for its future.

Continue reading "Conference Recap: A Taste of Missions" »

August 10, 2016

A Father to the Fatherless

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By Danita Beachy

Danita led the 2015-16 REACH Team to South Africa. Here she shares about an experience she had during her time there.

It was a Friday night in mid-February. My team and I were about halfway through our time in Johannesburg, South Africa, serving at a home for abandoned babies. In a pinch, I was asked to cover night shift at the hospital. One of our babies, sweet 11-month-old Sybil,* had a major surgery on her skull (i.e. cranial release and reconstruction) the previous Tuesday. She had just gotten out of ICU and was stable, but they didn't want her to be alone. I felt way out of my comfort zone, surrounded by medical terminology and burdened with the fragility of this precious baby’s life.

It was a long night, yet I clearly remember the peace I felt. What I experienced in that hospital has forever changed me. I've never felt more like a mom than I did that night, sitting by Sybil's bed, comforting her and praying fiercely for her little life. I'm thankful for surgeons, technology, and medical care, whatever sort it is. The Johannesburg hospital was one of the nicer ones, but it's definitely not up to Western standards. There were three other children in beds in the same dingy gray room, I counted more than a couple of cockroaches in the hallways, and I spent the night on a hard chair next to the hospital bed. I dozed there until around 3 a.m. and a nice nurse brought me hot tea from the employee room (probably because she felt sorry for me).

Continue reading "A Father to the Fatherless" »

August 01, 2016

Three Generations of Faithfully Following God’s Call

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

To protect the safety of certain family members who have chosen to follow God into places of the world that are closed to the gospel, the names in this story have been changed.

What is missional living? The traditional answer to this question usually includes moving across an ocean, learning a new language, and serving under a mission organization. But this is only one depiction. Missional living is defined in thousands of different ways by people all over the world as they choose to follow God’s call to join him in his work — each one unique, important, and beautiful.

While we must ultimately look to God for what missional living looks like in our own lives, it can be helpful to examine the stories of others to learn from and gain inspiration. Many examples of missional living can be found in the Bible, throughout history, and in the lives of those around us today.

Continue reading "Three Generations of Faithfully Following God’s Call" »

July 23, 2016

Returning to North Africa

Josiah and Sarah* along with their five children returned to North Africa at the end of July after a sabbatical year here in the States.

Please join us in praying for the following requests:

  1. Pray that God will lead the family to a house that will be just right for them. Pray that they will find seekers and other good friends in the neighborhood.
  2. Ask God to help the family with the adjustments they will face in going back to North Africa. Pray for the grace and strength they will need in saying goodbye. Pray that the children will settle into school life quickly and easily, and that their oldest daughter would grow meaningful friendships outside of homeschooling.
  3. Pray for protection and unity for the team: two families, two singles, and a short-term team coming this fall. Pray that they will be family for each other and that God will use them to bring others to his family. Pray that they would be able to bond through prayer and worship, and all would have a similar vision in moving forward with the work in North Africa.
  4. Ask God to bless, prosper, and protect the new business that Josiah and Raleigh* will be starting. Pray that it will be instrumental in leading them to many people, some of whom will eventually want to begin learning about Jesus. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and protection from day-to-day corruption that is prominent in this region. Pray that God would soften the hearts of those who could potentially keep them from moving forward in their work.
  5. Thank God for the believers/seekers that Sarah was connecting with before leaving North Africa last year. Pray for their salvation and growth, and that out of this group would come a disciple-making movement.

*Names changed for security

Continue reading "Returning to North Africa" »

July 19, 2016

Internships: Reflections and an Opportunity

In January of this year, three workers were sent on a six-month internship to teach English and cultivate relationships in the Middle East. Kimble, Leo, and Rivers* were asked to reflect on their time overseas and share ways to pray for the region they were in. Then, Andrew Sauder, the Mobilizing Coordinator for RMM and the BRIDGE Coordinator for RBC discusses the intention behind these internships and how young people who feel called to missions can take this as an opportunity to explore that call.


I saw God working every day. I am not what you would call a teacher, especially an English teacher. Teaching was intimidating and stressful for me. I saw God work in that weakness every day. He gave me the strength for each class—my daily bread. And he moved in the little prayers. For example, during class if there was a tough grammar point and my students weren't getting it or I just couldn't explain it well, I would stop, look at my book, and pray a little prayer. God please help me. And he would every time. Something I won’t forget is the people. They were so friendly, helpful, and hospitable to us. Even surrounded by darkness, they just keep going and don't give up. My prayer is for them. That they would see God. That Jesus would be known. There are a lot of problems in that region of the world, and the only answer is Jesus. Revenge is big there and only Jesus can overcome that. I pray that people would continue to ask questions and that there would be people to walk beside them and show them Christ.

– Kimble

Continue reading "Internships: Reflections and an Opportunity" »

July 15, 2016

Welcoming Brittany Shrock: Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

In the first week of June, Brittany Shrock of Rosedale, Ohio began taking on the responsibilities of receptionist as well as administrative assistant to the Director of Partner Development (Andrew Miller) and Prayer Coordinator (Mim Musser). Brittany has been connected with the RMM family for many years as the daughter of RMM’s Accountant and Network Administrator, Weldon Shrock, and more recently as part of the Thailand REACH team in 2012. This past spring she earned her associates degree in biblical studies from Rosedale Bible College, and she has also taken classes at Columbus State Community College for early childhood education. Along with cleaning and working as a nanny, Brittany has previously worked as a server and cook at an assisted living home and as a cashier at Der Dutchman’s Carryout and Bakery.

Continue reading "Welcoming Brittany Shrock: Receptionist and Administrative Assistant" »

July 13, 2016

A Shave: The Beauty of Trust

By Raleigh,* RMM worker in North Africa

A part of living life here is entrusting my life—and the life of my family—into the hands of others. Most of these hands belong to Muslim men and women and they are most often very capable hands, worthy of my trust.

My favorite opportunity to practice this trust is to go for a haircut and shave. I walk a few blocks to find a young man I met about seven months ago.

Continue reading "A Shave: The Beauty of Trust" »

July 06, 2016

Returning Filled: 15 Years of Service in the Muslim World

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

John and Cecelia Aslan* recently returned to the U.S. after 15 years of living in Central Asia and the Middle East where they faithfully worked with RMM to spread the word about Jesus.

As I spoke with the Aslans, Cecelia told me about a local custom that was sometimes challenging to fulfill. Where they lived, if someone dropped off a plate of food at your house, it was expected that you would return the plate filled, again, with food. Her neighbors were so generous that she often found her kitchen full of empty plates needing to be filled and returned. John and Cecelia have spent the last 15 years of their life investing in friendships, teaching and learning new languages and cultures, and working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). But they have not come back empty. Their lives have been filled with long-lasting relationships, fulfillment in the work they have done, and a rich love for beautiful cultures.

When they left for Central Asia, their four children were 17, 15, 11, and 9. Living in a Muslim country was something that had interested Cecelia for a number of years, but they both agree that it was the call of God that caused them to make the move. John said, “What we were doing in life was good, but we felt like there was something more for us.” A family who had recently returned from Central Asia was staying with them at the time, sparking an interest and tenderness in the Aslans for that part of the world. In 2000 they followed God’s call, and went.

Continue reading "Returning Filled: 15 Years of Service in the Muslim World" »

June 30, 2016

A Delayed Start: Re-Introducing Al

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Often when we are following God, he calls us to something that ends up going quicker or slower than we had planned. But we know that God’s timing is always best. For Al, unexpected life circumstances and a number of new government regulations for obtaining a visa stretched a few months of delays into over a year. The hurdles both here and abroad took longer than expected, but we are delighted to announce that Al left to begin his work among the people of the Amazon River Basin in Brazil on June 26th. Al is sent by RMM along with his home church, Berean Community Church.

Many of you already “Got to know” Al in November of 2014, when we first introduced his assignment. Today we would like to rerun some of that interview so that you can re-introduce yourself with Al’s story and better lift him up in prayer as he begins this journey.

Continue reading "A Delayed Start: Re-Introducing Al" »

June 23, 2016

Introducing RMM’s Human Resources Assistant Director

RMM is pleased to introduce Myron Sommers as our new Human Resources Assistant Director. Myron is originally from Hartville, Ohio, but he moved to the Plain City area in 2004, and now lives in Irwin with his wife Rhelda, and their three children: Lanay (who is six, and playing T-ball this summer), Althea (who is three, and loves to put puzzles together), and Maci (who is one, and focusing on learning how to walk). His girls “are the love of [his] life,” and he desires to assist his family spiritually, emotionally, and physically. In his free time, Myron enjoys camping with his family, reading, and playing or watching sports.

Continue reading "Introducing RMM’s Human Resources Assistant Director" »

June 21, 2016

Serving God Through Disappointments

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

On October 28, 2015, Patty Córdova* left her home in Manta, Ecuador to follow the call God had placed in her heart. She was sent as a part of the Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP) to work at a special needs school and community center in a small coastal town in North Africa.

For many years, Patty has been passionate about family, children, and missions. She received a university degree in elementary education, and then taught at and directed an elementary school in Manta. From 1999 to 2000, she spent time working with RMM missionaries in Durán, Ecuador, to help plant the church that is now there.

Continue reading "Serving God Through Disappointments" »

June 16, 2016

A Relief Coordinator for Ecuador

Even now, two months after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Ecuador, the need for physical and emotional restoration is felt deeply. RMM is grateful for the funds that have been raised by numerous churches and individuals to help in this process. As the levels of need and the means to meet that need remain high, we want to use the donations in an effective and helpful way. To ensure that this happens, RMM has invited Kirk Kauffman to serve as our Ecuador Relief Coordinator. In this volunteer role, Kirk will spend time in Ecuador making local connections and assessing the situation, motivate and mobilize churches in North America to get involved, and help oversee the relief budget.

Continue reading "A Relief Coordinator for Ecuador" »

June 12, 2016

“Did you ever doubt that I could provide for you?”

By Amos*

Amos was sent as a pioneer of Rosedale Business Group’s professional placement program this past January to teach English in North Africa (learn more here). A critical component of the program is finding meaningful employment that will provide sustainable income and enable cross-cultural missional living.

I sat in the court square watching taxis and life happen all around me. Men, women, and children all milling about seemingly enjoying life. As I watched, I knew that God cared for them and loved them so deeply.

Continue reading "“Did you ever doubt that I could provide for you?”" »

June 09, 2016

16th Annual CMC Golf Scramble

If you enjoy golfing, come and join the 16th Annual CMC Golf Scramble Thursday, August 4, at 11 a.m. during CMC’s Annual Conference this summer. The event is open to men and women, and costs $40 per participant, which includes 18 holes and a cart to be enjoyed at Hooper’s Landing Golf Course in Seaford, Delaware. A generous donor has agreed to cover the cost of the event, so that your $40 will be given as a donation to the 2016 Missions Day Offering and help support RMM's work around the world.

Sign up for the event by emailing by July 15.

Continue reading "16th Annual CMC Golf Scramble" »

June 04, 2016

Is Discipleship the Same as Disciple Making?

By Joe Showalter

I frequently hear people use the terms ‘discipleship’ and ‘disciple making,’ and sometimes I wonder what they really mean. The term that I hear most frequently is discipleship, and sometimes I think people actually mean disciple making when they say discipleship. Other times, I think they’re using the term discipleship as something totally distinct from disciple making.

One of the three core visions of CMC is discipleship, and this summer at our Annual Conference in Delaware we’re going to be focusing on that theme. I’d like to pose some questions to be thinking about before then. And in case you have to miss all the various discussions and input at Conference, I’ll plan to write some further reflections later this summer so you’ll at least know how I answer the questions I’m asking here.

Continue reading "Is Discipleship the Same as Disciple Making?" »

June 03, 2016

Simple Discipleship

Tan Kok Beng praying for a Mennonite participant at the 20th anniversary celebration of Bethany International University in Singapore.
By Richard Showalter

Tan Kok Beng, president of Asia-Pacific Missions and a Singaporean Mennonite pastor, spoke passionately in his first meeting with a young pastor, his wife, and me. I had just invited him to give us an update on the mission, but he was not about to omit his testimony.

“Only about one percent of all funds Christians give to missions goes to reach the unreached,” he said. “Most of what we do goes to support already-existing churches and ministries.

“But our goal here at Asia-Pacific is to reach the unreached. Early in my missionary work, I noticed how often people go into missions but then get burned out. There were team conflicts on the mission field, and I even saw some couples get divorced. I knew something was wrong.

Continue reading "Simple Discipleship" »

May 30, 2016

Lesvos Notes

Photo: Phil Mike Jones

By Caleb Zimmerman

From late January until the end of March 2016, I lived on the island of Lesvos, volunteering with a small Greek organization called Euro Relief. I gained exposure to refugee relief operations around the island, but worked primarily inside the former military compound that now houses refugees at Moria. This camp – the main camp on the island, where every refugee must register – has become a flashpoint of controversy, particularly in the days following the March 18, 2016 agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey. Under the terms of this agreement, Moria has become a 'detention center' where refugees are held until their asylum applications are processed. Depending on the results of their asylum applications, refugees are then either deported or allowed to proceed further into Europe.

Early in my time at Moria, I found myself twenty moves into a game of chess with an Iranian refugee who I realized was not only very bad at chess, but also genuinely suicidal. Recognizing this, I grew increasingly worried about what losing the game would do to his volatile psyche, and even more concerned that if I tried to let him win and he found out, the insult might put him over the edge. But before I had much time to think about what to do, I had won the game, and my friend soon disappeared. I felt a little anxious!

Continue reading "Lesvos Notes" »

May 26, 2016

A “Model” of Creative Giving

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

RMM has recently received a unique gift from a big-hearted donor. It’s a wonderfully vibrant shade of green. For being almost 90 years old, it’s in amazing shape and can outrun us all. It weighs around 2,300 pounds, and if you press the right button, it will let out a boisterous AHOOOGA!

The generous gift is a 1928 Ford Model A Leatherback Fordor in excellent condition. Unlike most other vehicles donated to RMM, this classic ride will not be joining the fleet of cars and vans used for transporting REACH teams and staff. Instead, the vintage automobile will be sold, and the money it generates will go towards powering mission efforts around the world.

Continue reading "A “Model” of Creative Giving" »

May 24, 2016

A Day in the Life

By Anna, RMM Worker in Thailand

Anna is sent by London Christian Fellowship of London, Ohio in partnership with RMM and our Thailand team as a covenant worker. She is employed as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Bangkok. In addition to her work and ministry at the school, she is also working with the RMM team to disciple seekers and new believers through the formation of small, reproducing groups.

Hello and welcome to a day in my life! I have lived and served in Thailand as a teacher for three years. I am currently teaching ESL at International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. I hope you enjoy this short trip with me.
It’s a new day! Each morning my friend and I walk down our little side street, or soi, to the main road where we catch a taxi. After a short taxi ride, we arrive at school.

Continue reading "A Day in the Life" »

May 22, 2016

Saying Goodbye

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Last week, the REACH teams said goodbye to the countries, ministries, and people they have been working with for the past six months. They have now all returned to the RIC, but more goodbyes are just around the corner as they go their separate ways at the end of this week. Here are a few final thoughts that were written as the teams prepared to return from their outreach locations:

Team Spain

Though a year ago Granada was only a dot on a map, it has now become so much more to our team. Granada has become a home. We have walked the streets, smelled the orange blossoms and tasted the delicious foods. We have made friends here, and have grown accustomed to living in the Spanish culture.

Saying goodbye puts a heaviness in my heart. To be sure, we are excited to see family and friends in the States, but it will be hard to say goodbye to the people who have become our Spanish family. Although we are from different lands and cultures, God has sewn us together with seams of friendship. Let us praise God, our amazing creator who created cultures and languages so long ago, and is still working today!

Please continue to pray for our team, and our friends in Spain.


Continue reading "Saying Goodbye" »

May 18, 2016

Pressing On: An Update from the RMM Thailand Team

By Candice, RMM Worker in Thailand

Recently, our team gathered at a hotel in Kanchanaburi, near the home area of our teammate Dan. We met for worship, Bible Study, fun, to strengthen and encourage each other, and to talk about the future. At our first session together, it became clear just how much we’ve been struggling over the past months. As we listened to each other I made this list of troubles:

Continue reading "Pressing On: An Update from the RMM Thailand Team" »

May 04, 2016

When “Jesus” Moves into the Neighborhood

By Jewel Showalter

Paula and Art Shore* are RMM workers among the immigrant community in the Waterloo region of Ontario. God is opening up many opportunities for them to live among, learn from, and love their neighbors from around the world.

“We’ve gotten involved in quite a tangled web of relationships here in this neighborhood,” laughed Paula* as she talked about their life in this diverse community.

“But God is building his church. Amazingly the woman with whom I could least communicate, has been the first one here to become a believer. Living among these dear people will bear fruit whether we can communicate in their languages or not. What a blessing it is to come alongside and be family for these displaced friends.”

Continue reading "When “Jesus” Moves into the Neighborhood" »

May 02, 2016

Parting the Seas: Using the Arts to Reach the Middle East

By Esta Felder*

“Faith takes a vision, turns a dream into a mission.” – James Ward

I became a Christian when I was 12 years old. I grew up on a farm in Montana with my parents and four siblings. My father was a cowboy and made a living doing various jobs. My mother worked as a full-time secretary. I grew up attending church but accepted the Lord at a camp in the mountains. Of course it was a profound change in my life. It was the start of a journey that has taught me that one thing is necessary, only one. I’m eternally grateful to rely on God, every moment, one day at a time.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do early on in life—move to New York City and become an actor. But I also felt called to full-time Christian work. How would God bring these things together? I had no idea, but I was sure it would happen.

Continue reading "Parting the Seas: Using the Arts to Reach the Middle East" »

April 25, 2016

Handing Him My Ashes

By Jada, SEND Ministries Staff Intern

I am continually amazed by how God works through terrible circumstances for his glory. He takes the tragic stories in our lives and uses them to minister to others, to make something beautiful.

Christmas of 2014 I was traveling with my REACH team in South Asia. We had only been there about a month when I got the phone call nobody wants to get. My brother had passed away, and my biggest nightmare was proving true. I’m not going to even try and explain how much he meant to me, or how much I loved him. Mostly because this isn’t about my feelings, but about how God has used my journey of grief and pain to glorify Him.

So now, a year and a half later, I’m back at the Rosedale International Center living life as the Kitchen Assistant Intern. It’s been a journey in itself getting used to the routine and responsibility of my job. We recently took our team mission trip to White Pigeon, Michigan where we served with a youth group, an after school program, and various service projects. Although the trip was busy and slightly exhausting, it was great, and our team really enjoyed the trip.

Continue reading "Handing Him My Ashes" »

April 19, 2016

Ecuador Earthquake Relief

June 2016 Update:

RMM has invited Kirk Kauffman to serve as Ecuador Relief Coordinator Please contact for more information and ways to get connected with the relief efforts.
To give, visit and designate “Ecuador Relief," or mail checks to:

Rosedale Mennonite Missions
2120 E 5th Ave
Columbus OH 43219

Thanks for your generosity and your continued prayers.

Continue reading "Ecuador Earthquake Relief" »

Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins in Holmes County, Ohio

By Jewel Showalter

“The magnitude of the problem of physical and sexual abuse in our very religious Amish-Mennonite community keeps weighing on us,” said Larry and Kendra Kaufman, pastoral couple at Grace Mennonite Church in Millersburg, Ohio, for the past 15 years.

The Kaufman’s explained that just this year in their community, the once-hidden issue has been thrust into the public eye through the conviction and imprisonment of an Amish preacher who is a sex offender. Larry explained that since many in their congregation come from an Amish background, Grace has felt led to launch a safe house known as 58:12 Rescue – “a safe place of healing and restoration for female victims of sexual and physical abuse” in Holmes County.

Continue reading "Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins in Holmes County, Ohio" »

April 12, 2016

RMM Welcomes a New Staff Writer

RMM welcomes Lydia Gingerich to the Communications Department as staff writer. Lydia entered the world of missions at age four when her parents, Mike and Cindy, moved to the Philippines to work with the urban poor as a part of Action International Ministries. Growing up in the Philippines meant speaking two languages, endless summers, and many goodbyes. She left her home and family in 2012 to attend Rosedale Bible College in Ohio (only about 8,000 miles, 12 time zones, and one large ocean away).

Continue reading "RMM Welcomes a New Staff Writer" »

April 04, 2016

A Fire: An Update from Rivers in the Middle East

Rivers* is one of three men who traveled to the Middle East this past January on a six-month internship with RMM, teaching English among a minority people group. Read more about the Middle East internship here.
...It was truly amazing to witness firsthand, and it has given me a renewed sense of purpose in being here. It reminded me a lot of the story in 1 Kings 18:20-40. Who knows, maybe it was even on the same mountain!

Continue reading "A Fire: An Update from Rivers in the Middle East" »

March 31, 2016

Looking at the Gospel Through Buddhist Eyes

By Jewel Showalter – From the April 2016 Beacon

William and Rebecca,* RMM workers in East Asia, are often tempted to discouragement. For the past 18 years they’ve worked among a particularly untouched mountain people group. They’ve learned two very difficult languages and clung to a variety of visas as they’ve labored to be present in this harsh setting.

They first entered the region in 1998 on a student visa, and for two years they lived at the university and worked to learn the local language and understand the unique Buddhist worldview. They prayed and reached out in friendship.

There was little interest. People were puzzled or amused by their attempts to share faith. Sometimes God moved to heal, but more often not. One of the people who came to faith in the early years and led a small house group, died of congestive heart failure—in spite of their prayers and medical assistance.

Continue reading "Looking at the Gospel Through Buddhist Eyes" »

March 22, 2016

Recommended Reading: Soul Care and Prayer

By Mim Musser

Mim Musser, RMM’s Prayer Coordinator, loves to read, finding that books help her grow spiritually and otherwise. When asked why reading these kinds of books are important, Mim said: “prayer and spiritual health are both scriptural disciplines. There is a lot I can learn from reading the Bible, but reading a biography of a praying person or learning about soul care from a contemporary writer encourages me in my own path. Some books are a one-time read, but there are others that I go back to again and again when I need refreshment and direction.”

Continue reading "Recommended Reading: Soul Care and Prayer " »

March 18, 2016

Bikes, Birds, and Prayer

Ride for Missions is an annual fund-raising bicycle ride supporting the work of Rosedale Mennonite Missions. This past February, a group of 23 individuals participated in the first-ever Ride for Missions Florida, which has raised $19,210 in support of missions. Below is a cool story from one of the riders.
By Gary Helmuth

The words of Wayne Yoder (RFM Summer Coordinator) were freshly impressed on my mind as I set out on my bicycle from the restaurant in Winter Garden for the first day of our three-day ride. He had reminded us again as he had before on our RFM rides, that we are going out as missionaries – not just to raise funds for the professionals. Scott Kauffman (RFM Florida Coordinator) had challenged us the night before to look for opportunities to love, listen, discern, and respond to the people crossing our path.

So as I was enjoying the West Orange Trail and the beautiful crisp morning air, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a huge bird (an osprey maybe?) doing a spread-eagle 90-degree turn off to my left. As I was slowing down to observe (yes I do stop to smell the roses), I stopped right beside John, who was walking his dog and observing the same thing. “What is in his beak – a snake or a branch?”

Continue reading "Bikes, Birds, and Prayer" »

March 11, 2016

Introducing the 2016 SEND Interns

2016 SEND Interns: Jada, Joel, Trey, Alisha, Trevor, Eric, Regina

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

SEND Ministries staff internships are primarily designed to help young adults mature in their faith through training in leadership, ministry, and service. Interns are then given opportunities to put these lessons into practice through service and ministry opportunities, intercession, work projects, leadership of SEND programs, direct ministry to program participants, and job functions specific to each intern position. Interns meet regularly with a job mentor who provides teaching, advice, and direction specific to their job position and function. The staff interns work together as a team under the leadership and oversight of the SEND Ministries Program Facilitators, Brian and Brittany Troyer.

The 2016 interns have enjoyed their first month at the RIC, serving in their various positions and forming bonds with each other through Nerf battles, weird noise contests, and singing songs about peeling bananas. Here is a bit more about each of them:

Continue reading "Introducing the 2016 SEND Interns" »

March 07, 2016

Surprises at a Mother’s Funeral

Lan and Pon fishing together on a local river.

By Nixson*

Nixson and his wife Rhonda work with the RMM team in Bangkok, Thailand, where they are busy discipling new believers and training emerging leaders from Thailand and neighboring countries.

Eight years ago, Pon, a southeast Asian student in Bangkok, started meeting with our teammate, Dan, to study English. While studying English, Pon also studied the Bible and became a believer.

Several years later one of Pon’s friends from his home village also moved to Bangkok to work. Through Pon’s witness his friend Lan became a believer and was baptized in May 2011. Eventually Pon moved to a city in his home country to continue his studies and work. Members of the RMM team in Bangkok continued to disciple Pon “across the miles” with phone calls and occasional visits.

Continue reading "Surprises at a Mother’s Funeral" »

February 23, 2016

Serving in Love: A REACH Update

Team Canada

Team Canada is living and working in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Their main focus is building relationships with First Nations youth to share the love of Jesus with them.Their normal schedule includes helping out at a local church throughout the week, volunteering at a youth center, and hanging out with teenagers.

This week, like so many others, has flown by. One thing that we did again this week was have a worship night at the youth center. Personally, I really enjoy the structure of these evenings. We usually have a song set picked out, however, after we are done with those songs, we have been leaving time for song requests and closing in a time of prayer. This week people stayed for a while after the worship time was over. Some played pool, others sat and played instruments. In all, it was a really good evening. There was a sense of community there that was so awesome to be a part of. It wasn’t about getting all of the words right, or all of the notes right. It was more about praising God and encouraging each other.

One thing that God has taught me through this program is about the different forms that church can take. Church can be on a Sunday morning when a group of Christ followers meet in a building; or, it can be a group of Christ followers sitting around a campfire talking about what God is teaching them and doing in their lives. Both of these things are equally church. We are blessed to have the opportunity to know God and to serve him. And we are also blessed to be able to walk with each other as we serve him together.

- Brad

Continue reading "Serving in Love: A REACH Update" »

February 20, 2016

I See You: An Update from Raleigh and Opal

Raleigh and Opal,* with their two young children, are in the beginning stages of language and culture study in North Africa.
Sometimes when my children are needy and seem to be on the edge of frustrating me, I touch their shoulder or give them a little hug and say ‘I see you.’ Isn’t this what we all need? We want to be seen.

This week our landlady gave of herself by taking me around to different couch shops (you buy the base, the seat, and the back pillows in three different shops). She held my hand as we walked down the busy side streets to a part of our neighborhood in which I’d never been. She haggled for me, telling me the final price in French. The first time we went out, I had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t end up buying anything, just looking at the options.

Continue reading "I See You: An Update from Raleigh and Opal" »

February 15, 2016

New CFO takes up the reins at RMM

About three years ago Jerry and Donna began to feel that their time in the Hudson Valley of New York was coming to an end. Jerry had a comfortable job working in corporate finance with IBM. Donna had enjoyed home schooling their four children in a lovely old home they’d remodeled and they were deeply involved in a local Assemblies of God congregation.

Life was good. Along with teaching their children all the way through high school, Donna also directed women’s ministries at the church. Jerry worked as a church trustee for 12 years and a deacon for three. They enjoyed hosting and leading a wide variety of small groups.

Continue reading "New CFO takes up the reins at RMM" »

February 08, 2016

Going, Giving, Praying, Promoting, Sending: How We Can All Support Missions

By Hans Shenk – From the February 2016 Beacon

It was a small card—white, grey and green—slipped into the fold of the programs for the two services RMM planned at CMC Annual Conference 2015. It was a detail in a busy weekend. It asked attendees if they were interested in receiving RMM’s monthly newsletter, the Mosaic, or in supporting RMM in any of five categories. The five categories were Going, Giving, Praying, Promoting, and Sending.

We didn’t get any of them back. We thought about it, decided it must not have been effective, and moved on. But then, in a department meeting, we were struck by the five categories on the card, and how many people within CMC have already been supporting RMM in the ways outlined on the card, and how grateful we are to have such partners.

We spoke to some of those partners, and have collected several of their stories here. We hope they serve as an inspiration and a reminder of what God can do, and does do, through his people.

Continue reading "Going, Giving, Praying, Promoting, Sending: How We Can All Support Missions " »

February 05, 2016

Looking for a Fundraiser for Vacation Bible School?

From its work around the world, RMM is highlighting several projects that work well for Vacation Bible School fundraisers:

In 2015 several CMC churches adopted special projects related to RMM ministries.

Cherry Glade Mennonite Church in Accident, Maryland, raised funds for the people of Nepal. A REACH team was in Nepal during the devastating earthquake and saw first-hand the desperate needs for food, shelter, clean water, and a host of other things. Funds from Cherry Glade were shared through our Nepali partners who coordinate the REACH team outreaches.

Continue reading "Looking for a Fundraiser for Vacation Bible School?" »

January 29, 2016

“I Feel at Home:” An Update from Jonatan

Jonatan has been sent by the Nicaraguan church through RMM’s Latin American Missions Partnership to work with RMM’s team in Bangkok, Thailand. This update was received nine months after he arrived in Thailand.

I thank God for the opportunity to provide this update to you and also thank him for life, strength and protection. God has been with me in Thailand and I’m glad he has me here as a light in the darkness.

Soon it will be nine months that I have been here. It has been a valuable time, and I have had good experiences while learning many things. God has been showing me the need of living sacrificially and he chose me to help carry the message of salvation and hope to the lost. I realize God has a plan for each one of us, and I sense his close presence to me as I work within his plan for me.

Continue reading "“I Feel at Home:” An Update from Jonatan" »

January 27, 2016

Dreaming Big

By Morgan Winter, REACH Team Canada

When God created mankind, Genesis tells us that He created us in His image. In this way, many of our most basic characteristics are direct reflections of God’s character. Our capacity to love, laugh, create, and dream are all derived from who God is. God imagined and crafted everything we know to exist; He is a masterful artist and certainly the greatest inventor. So it makes sense that God would choose to relate to His creation in an amazingly creative way: dreams.

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January 26, 2016

Recommended Reading for Churches, Leaders, and Mission-minded Individuals

By Andrew Miller

As Director of Partner Development with RMM, I keep my eye open for books that help churches and individuals become more engaged in building God’s kingdom. The following are books that I recommend for those that desire to be more mission-minded. They are good for church leaders and those that simply want to be part of God’s movement to reach the world for Christ.

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January 25, 2016

Childcare Assistant Needed in North Africa

Raleigh and Opal, RMM workers in North Africa, are seeking a child care assistant to help their family for 1-2 years as they continue to focus on language study. This assignment, beginning in May/June 2016, would include caring for two toddlers and an infant.

For more information contact RMM’s HR Director

Continue reading "Childcare Assistant Needed in North Africa" »

RMM Seeking a New HR Assistant Director

Are you detail-oriented and energized by working in a social environment? Are you passionate about building God’s kingdom and interacting with missionary candidates? Rosedale Mennonite Missions of Columbus, Ohio is seeking an HR Assistant Director. This full-time position, available in May, requires strong organizational and computer skills as well as good interpersonal skills. Training and/or experience in administrative duties is preferred.

For information contact

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January 20, 2016

Introducing Amos: A Self-sustaining Intentional Ambassador of Christ

By Jewel Showalter

“I’m a guinea pig of RMM’s new professional placement program,” said Amos,* as he prepared to begin three years of English teaching in North Africa in January 2016.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Amos recently earned a BA in English along with a CELTA certificate to teach English as a second language. He is amazed at how the details of his study and upcoming service have all come together.

During his REACH experience in North Africa (2012-13), Amos learned that he loved linguistics and hoped he’d be able to study more Arabic someday. But North Africa faded into the background as he jumped into college studies in New York City and joined a church plant that was reaching out to new immigrants.

Continue reading "Introducing Amos: A Self-sustaining Intentional Ambassador of Christ" »

January 15, 2016

Curried Sweet Potato-Apple Soup

By Susannah Fath Cotman

The following recipe can be found in RMM’s cookbook, The World at Your Table.

Continue reading "Curried Sweet Potato-Apple Soup" »

January 14, 2016

Help! We need you!

RIC calling for volunteers to assist with facilities.

Each year hundreds of people come through the doors of the Rosedale International Center. It gives us joy to offer hospitality and peace in the midst of a busy world. Many of them have stated how much the hospitality has blessed them.

A large part of this hospitality is making sure our facilities are kept clean and functional for guests. With the many rental groups, City Challenge, REACH, and other responsibilities our staff have a hard time getting everything done.

Continue reading "Help! We need you! " »

January 07, 2016

Pioneers Depart for the Middle East

By Jewel Showalter

Early in 2016, just a month after the REACH teams departed for their outreach locations, a different kind of team left the Rosedale International Center. Three interns, Leo, Kimble, and Rivers,* traveled to a war-torn nation in the Middle East where they will spend six months working as English teachers among a minority people group. Many in the region are displaced people and refugees.

Unlike a REACH team, the interns did not apply for this team, but RMM specifically asked them to consider going. Out of six potentials who received the invitation, these three felt a quickening “yes” in their spirits.

Although the country where they are serving has been severely torn by conflict in recent years, things are now relatively stable and deemed safe for westerners. Nevertheless, the appointment was not lightly offered, nor lightly accepted, and calls for unusual courage and wisdom.

Continue reading "Pioneers Depart for the Middle East" »

December 23, 2015

Worth It? REACH as a Gap Year

By Hans Shenk – From the January 2016 Beacon

“Gap Year” is a term born in the 1960’s to describe the practice of young people taking a year away from their studies to develop in ways that lie outside the realm of traditional education. A typical gap year is spent abroad, experiencing other cultures. Students also often spend their gap year serving—developing attitudes and habits of compassion.

RMM’s REACH program includes many of the best aspects of a gap year: REACHers spend the nine months of a school year away from home: three months in intense discipleship training school and six months serving God’s kingdom abroad.

Continue reading "Worth It? REACH as a Gap Year" »

December 22, 2015

Job Opening: Seeking a New Staff Writer

Interested in a career in writing? Passionate about building God’s kingdom? Rosedale Mennonite Missions is seeking a new staff writer. This part-time position requires strong writing skills in a variety of styles. Education and experience in journalism or a related field is preferred.

For information contact

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December 18, 2015

Where God Needs Me to Be

Update from Alaina,* RMM worker in North Africa

I can hardly believe that it has been seven weeks already since I have been here in North Africa! It simultaneously feels as if I have just arrived but also have been here for ages. It’s an odd feeling. Life is good here, and I find that I really enjoy it! I live with two other women in an apartment in what would be considered downtown of the New City. Living on the fifth floor of an apartment building in a city has been quite the adjustment for me! Many nights, as I listen to traffic or hear people in neighboring apartments clatter around in their kitchens, I miss the peace and quiet of a Midwestern American evening. Despite the newness of the location, my living situation is good! I get along very well with my roommates and the apartment is nice and comfortable.

On my average day, I leave my apartment at about 8:00 in the morning and walk approximately 25 minutes across the city to Raleigh and Opal’s home. I then study language from 8:30‐11:45. Language has been good for the most part, but definitely challenging, and riddled with frustration when my brain cannot seem to absorb any more information. Far too often, I’m left stammering in response to a simple question. I am very thankful for the opportunity to study language and it has already been quite useful on multiple occasions. Next week is my final full week of language class, but I am hoping to continue learning informally through interactions, etc.

Continue reading "Where God Needs Me to Be" »

December 16, 2015

REACH Thailand: Our First Impressions

Update from the REACH Thailand blog

One thing I noticed when we first arrived in Thailand was how kind the Thai people are. They’re so willing to help you with whatever you need. Whenever you pass one of them on the street, they will normally say hello to you and give you a kind smile. It’s neat to see how helpful they are towards one another.
– Kayla

Meeting with the rest of the long-term Thailand team this morning for church was incredibly refreshing. It was an awesome time of fellowship, worship, and Bible study. It was good for me because it made me feel the reality of being here in Thailand, and what our mission is while we are here. It brought my focus back and was recharging.
– Amy

One highlight for me, or you could say struggle, has been communicating with the Thai people. It seems so hopeless when looking at the food menus and trying to figure out how to communicate what I want. Even though it is difficult, one thing I’ve learned is they are very patient with us and try to make sure we are both on the same page. We may not speak the same language but we can still communicate with each other, as long as we are willing to try.
– Steve

Continue reading "REACH Thailand: Our First Impressions" »

December 10, 2015

Recipe: Brazilian Candy Balls

Add something new to your Christmas candy this year, with Brazilian Candy Balls! This delicious recipe was shared with us by former fieldworker Naomi, and can also be found in RMM’s cookbook, The World at Your Table. To find out more about The World at Your Table, or to purchase a copy, visit

Brazilian Candy Balls

3 cups peanuts, crushed
2 cups crushed vanilla biscotti or vanilla wafers
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon cocoa

Shredded coconut, crushed nuts, or powdered sugar – for rolling
1 cup peanut halves

Continue reading "Recipe: Brazilian Candy Balls" »

November 25, 2015

Letters, Calls, Peanut Butter, and Ruined Candy: RMM Workers Recall Their Favorite Christmas Gifts Abroad

– From the December 2016 Beacon

The holidays can be a difficult time for cross-cultural workers. Living far away from family and home communities and missing out on familiar celebrations and traditions often make workers feel lonely and disconnected. Long-term workers go through this cycle every year, and even short-term workers often deal with homesickness and sadness as they spend Christmas apart from their families for the first time.

To get a taste of what it’s like to spend the holidays far from home and the difference a gift or letter can make, we asked a few of our past and present workers to describe the best gift they received while working abroad. We’ve collected their responses below.

Continue reading "Letters, Calls, Peanut Butter, and Ruined Candy: RMM Workers Recall Their Favorite Christmas Gifts Abroad" »

November 03, 2015

Between August and May: Introducing the 2015 REACH Teams

By Hans Shenk and Ashley West – From the November 2015 Beacon

It has become a part of the organizational rhythm of RMM. Every year, on a weekend late in August, between 20 and 35 young people arrive at the Rosedale International Center with their lives packed into suitcases. Every spring, near the end of May, there’s a weekend when 20 to 35 young people carry overflowing suitcases back out of the RIC, stow them in trunks and vans, and drive away.

After witnessing the annual cycle of REACH over time, whether in person or from afar through RMM communications, it’s easy for years, stories and faces to blur together, and for the significance of what happens between those weekends in August and May to be lost. And yet, every year of REACH is unique; every team and every participant is uniquely called.

Continue reading "Between August and May: Introducing the 2015 REACH Teams" »

November 02, 2015

Snapshot: SEND Ministries Staff Interns

By Brian and Brittany Troyer

A huge part of our job as REACH program facilitators is working with the SEND Ministries staff interns. Every year, we invite seven individuals (usually REACH alumni) to join us for a year-long internship. They spend the year serving in one of six roles: Prayer Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Kitchen Assistant, Facilities Assistant, and two Hospitality Assistants. During the winter and spring we spend time developing our interns as leaders and unifying them as a team. This time is meant to prepare them for leading out during City Challenge and REACH Discipleship Training School.

City Challenge is always a stretching time for them but it ends up being very rewarding as well. Afterward, they are encouraged to look for the ways God spoke through them and used them to impact City Challengers.

Continue reading "Snapshot: SEND Ministries Staff Interns" »

October 18, 2015

A New Life Begins: an Update from Raleigh and Opal

Raleigh, Opal, and their children recently landed in North Africa. They are learning language and building relationships as part of a long-term vision to encourage a people movement toward Jesus. They hope to partner with locals and other workers in agricultural development and teaching English.

What can happen in one month?
The world can change, and yet remain.

One Day
Off the plane onto the tarmac.
The dusty landscape rolls away from the little airport.
Bluish olive and tall, thin cypress trees sprinkle the hills and valleys
sweeping away from our vehicle as we roll through the roundabouts to our city.
A friendly English speaker gives us a whirlwind tour of our new home,
including the...corner store literally around the corner of our house,
and the shop selling ‘complete’ chicken dinners for around $8
(we are talking a whole rotisserie chicken and trimmings).

Continue reading "A New Life Begins: an Update from Raleigh and Opal" »

October 07, 2015

Obeying Jesus’ Command to Go: A New Step for the Latin American Missions Partnership

By Dion & Naty Peachey

“From the moment I heard how many unreached peoples there were without the chance to know Christ, I knew that I couldn’t just keep my arms crossed without doing something.” That is how Patty Córdova* describes her call to go to the nations. Patty will be the first Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP) worker to be sent from Ecuador to this less-reached region of North Africa.

Patty, like some of us, had the privilege of hearing the good news of Jesus during her childhood and about 20 years ago, she surrendered her life back to the Father as she was reading the New Testament in her apartment. That commitment wasn’t easy to fulfill as she moved through times of faith and doubt, progress and failure. Yet God was faithful in spite of her unfaithfulness and led her on toward life transformation and direction for the future.

Continue reading "Obeying Jesus’ Command to Go: A New Step for the Latin American Missions Partnership" »

October 06, 2015

Required Reading: Four Books that Help Shape REACH Team Leaders

By Courtney Shenk

Editor’s Note: Each year, as a part of their training, REACH team leaders read through a number of books. We asked Courtney Shenk, Assistant Director of SEND Ministries, to tell us about the books she chose for this year. This “curriculum” is designed for young adults, but will be applicable and helpful to anyone interested in becoming a better leader or disciple maker.

When selecting which books to have our team leaders read each year, I try to think primarily about discipleship since we are a discipleship training school and not as directly a leadership training school. So, if the books seem tilted in the direction of discipleship, that’s why.

Continue reading "Required Reading: Four Books that Help Shape REACH Team Leaders " »

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.

Continue reading "Familiar Faces Taking on a New Role " »

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.

Continue reading "Returning to the Fields" »

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.

Continue reading "REACH UPDATE: Discipleship Training School, So Far" »

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.

Continue reading "Completely Terrified; Beyond Excited " »

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.

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August 31, 2015

International Missions Association (IMA) Networks To Spread Transformation

Columbus, OH – “The IMA is a place where we hear God speak in transforming ways,” said Yesaya Abdi, IMA president and Indonesian mission leader. “We're a small group, but one that God has been using to inspire change and mission vision around the world.”

Hosted by Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) at their Rosedale International Center (RIC) in Columbus, Ohio, the IMA met July 28-August 2, 2015 for its almost-annual assembly, a practice which was birthed at the 1997 Mennonite World Conference (MWC) in Calcutta, India.

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August 21, 2015

Appropriate Technology

By Hans Shenk, RMM staff writer and Josiah, RMM worker in North Africa – From the August 2015 Beacon

Appropriate Technology (AT) is a field of study and an approach to development that seeks to solve problems in the developing world through tools and methods suited to social, economic and environmental realities. The African continent has been called “the graveyard of western technology” because of the long history of well-intentioned outsiders who provided solutions that did not adequately match local needs. In some cases, the “problem” was not considered a problem by local people, and when the outsiders left, the “solution” was neglected or repurposed. In other situations, a machine met a need, but local people lacked the training and/or resources to maintain the machine over time.

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August 13, 2015

“Somebody Watered…”

Update from Phil and Maretta, RMM workers in Spain

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

We’ve learned to appreciate the power and importance of watering by looking after our garden, lawn, bushes, and flowers in arid, rainless Spanish summers. Things die, or at least shrivel up without regular watering, but grow and flourish with it despite the conditions. The lawn areas, covered by centipede grass, have been especially instructive. One area just had a few isolated tufts of grass with large bare sections of brown dirt. It didn’t look very promising but, surprisingly by regularly watering the isolated tufts, they gradually, almost imperceptibly, grew and expanded sending out runners and filling in the bare sections until the whole area was covered by a thick thatch of grass.

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August 07, 2015

Working and Giving Together

Through June and early July, we talked a lot about Missions Day Offering, our largest annual fundraising event. Almost a month later, even though some of the totals are still being counted, we’ve put together an overview of how the parts of MDO fit together into a whole. Many thanks again to everyone who gave, or raised funds for this year’s Missions Day Offering. We thank God for the generosity and faithfulness of our partners.

Continue reading "Working and Giving Together" »

Ride for Missions 2015

Video by Stephanie Kress

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August 01, 2015

“Whatever Your Fears are, Jesus Has Come to Take Those Away”

Stories of the Spirit working, with Carl Medearis

By Hans Shenk


Annual Conference 2015’s programs on Saturday and Sunday morning were distinguished from most other annual conference programs by an unusual continuity. Carl Medearis, expert on the Middle East and Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations served as the guest speaker for both programs.

On both days, Medearis inspired, amused, and challenged the people of CMC to dedicate themselves to a life of following Jesus. Along the way, he delivered a number of challenges and talking points, but returned most often to two primary themes—freedom from fear and focusing on Jesus. The challenges were woven into a dense tapestry of hair-raising accounts of God’s work in the Middle East. Medearis presented the intense stories in a winsomely self-deprecating style, framing himself as the reluctant sidekick, constantly being dragged by the Holy Spirit into outrageous situations and plot twists that unexpectedly led to changed hearts and lives, divine appointments, and Jesus being glorified.

On Saturday evening, Medearis’ message was preceded by an acapella hymn sing led by Amber Moser, and the delightful premiere of “A Man Called Stephen: Filled with the Spirit” a modern cantata written by the father and son team of Laban and Laban Miller and performed by a select group of singers and musicians from the broader CMC community.

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Taste of Missions 2015

By Ashley West

The Conference Worship Team launched CMC’s 105th Annual Conference in characteristic style. Not with eloquent words to welcome the crowds, but with a heart cry of welcome to the God all had gathered to honor, singing Build your Kingdom Here.

Brian Hershberger, CMC Executive Director, offered an official welcome. Brian introduced the annual conference theme Step with the Spirit, reflecting on the importance of the Spirit’s role in the life of the believer and the differences of belief and understanding within CMC . He expressed his hope that this weekend would be a chance to not only learn about, but also to experience the Holy Spirit.

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June 30, 2015

Introducing CMC’s 2015 Annual Conference Missions Day Speaker: Carl Medearis

“Learning to say ‘Yes!’ to Jesus”

Carl Medearis will be the featured speaker on Sunday morning at Conservative Mennonite Conference’s 2015 Annual Conference in Hartville, Ohio. Carl is a speaker, writer, missionary and internationally known expert on the Middle East. You can find a full biography of Carl here. He is the author of Muslims, Christians and Jesus and Speaking of Jesus among other books. His latest book, Adventures in Saying Yes, about the adventure of giving Jesus control of our lives will be available for purchase at conference. Carl is known for his engaging stories and enthusiasm for exploring new ways to share Jesus with the world.

Continue reading "Introducing CMC’s 2015 Annual Conference Missions Day Speaker: Carl Medearis" »

“It Isn’t a Class About Missions...”

Finding new vision in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

For Scott and Crystal Miller, and the church communities of Grantsville, Maryland and Salisbury, Pennsylvania, a life-altering journey started quietly, with a vision of what God could do. More than half-a-decade after he first heard about “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement,” close to five years after he took a course using the Perspectives Reader as a textbook, and a year after he took the “Perspectives” course in an intensive format, one day, as Scott Miller prayed, asking God “What can I do to make you famous among all peoples?” something clicked.

“God gave me a vision” says Scott, “of how impacting this course could be in both my home church and neighboring churches.” As soon as he was given the vision, Scott went to work on finding out if he could make his vision a reality, “I simply got onto the website and started making calls and sending emails.” Soon thereafter, he took a coordinator’s workshop, and started assembling a team and working out the logistics involved with hosting “Perspectives.”

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June 22, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions: Missions Day Offering

Throughout the spring and early summer, you may have noticed RMM talking about the Missions Day Offering (MDO). Many of our friends are familiar with MDO, but for those who may not be, we’ve prepared a short list of questions and answers about this special event in our annual calendar.

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June 11, 2015

Keeping the Bonds Strong: Nine Ways to Connect with Workers on the Field

By Candice,* Asia member care provider

When a mission worker heads to the airport to leave for their assignment, ideally they have their church behind them and a missionary support team (MST) in place. They are wrapped in the glow of the commissioning prayers and the love of their friends and family. They get on the plane with confidence in their calling, excited to begin their mission. The team, family, and church friends serve as a kind of “safety net” backing the worker. As time passes, however, it can be easy for the worker to become busy and to stop communicating regularly with friends at home and for friends in the local church to forget to pray or to feel disconnected from the worker. So, the question is, what can both workers and sending church members do to keep the bonds strong over the long term?

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June 04, 2015

Impact Groups: Who Are You Discipling And Who's Discipling You?

Kevin Mayer, director of SEND Ministires, shares about how Impact Groups have shaped his life over the last 15 years.

Impact Groups are based on a concept for small-group discipleship that provides a blueprint for reproducible groups of two or three people carrying out Jesus’ great commission by discipling each other. While Impact Groups are not the only way to practice discipleship, it is a proven, effective method. SEND Ministries uses Impact Groups as part of REACH discipleship training school and the Staff Internship program and has published a guide to the Impact Group strategy for public use.

Download a free Impact Group brochure here.

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May 26, 2015

Cultural Snapshot: Springtime in Spain

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By Pablo,* RMM worker in Spain

Life goes on. A new month has brought the newness of Spring in its splendor. May 1 is a holiday, here, and was followed by Granada’s Day of the May Crosses. This day is celebrated by decorating crosses with red carnations, each cross surrounded by antiques and objects of bygone days. The 80 crosses registered for judging are placed in private patios or public plazas and people, some of them dressed in flamenco and old-style costumes, go around visiting them. A type of music and dance, the “Sevillana,” is popular at these fiestas, along with plenty of drink, to be sure, and horses and carriages in the streets.

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May 21, 2015

Introducing: Jordan Stoltzfus

RMM is delighted to welcome Jordan Stoltzfus onto our team! Jordan took on the role of Property Manager for the RIC in April 2015.

Jordan is originally from Leon, Iowa, where he was a member of the Mount Zion Mennonite Church. Most of Jordan’s adult life, though, has been spent far from his Iowan roots, working in missions and ministry. Jordan was a part of three REACH teams (Zambia, Himalayas, and North Africa), serving as team leader in the Himalayas and North Africa, and returned to the Himalayas for four months on his own the year after he was there with REACH. He is also serving a five-year volunteer term, along with his wife Megan, as Resident Director of the internship program for Reaching the Nations International, a ministry that focuses on the children of inner-city Columbus.

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May 18, 2015

Book Recommendation: Multiply by Francis Chan

Multiply by Francis Chan (with Mark Beuving) is a straightforward, simple tool for discipling others. Unlike many books on discipleship, Multiply is not meant to simply be read with the intent of absorbing information. It teaches a very relational method meant to be taught as soon as it’s learned, and read in the context of sharing life together with your disciple/discipler. Chan spends a significant amount of time discussing how to understand the Bible and walks through the Old and New Testaments, essentially outlining the metanarrative of Scripture. Chan does not try to interpret Scripture, but encourages readers to think about it for themselves. Each chapter ends with questions to help guide discussion, and a web address for an online video for leaders to help equip them further for discipling. One of the best features of the book is the emphasis on the importance of both the local church and global missions. Multiply is not a how-to on discipleship, but it is the perfect tool for facilitating any discipling relationship.

– Courtney Shenk, SEND Ministries assistant director

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May 13, 2015

Introducing Our New Staff Writer

RMM welcomes Hans Shenk who joins the Communications Department as staff writer on May 11. He is taking over the position from Candice who is returning to Thailand as a worker. While Hans is just starting as part-time staff writer, he has multiple connections already at RMM! His wife Courtney works in the SEND Department as assistant director and Hans has participated in REACH in the past; he was on the Himalayas team in 2010. His best memories from that time involve: dancing with children from the church, helping to run youth conferences, and speaking in local churches.

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May 07, 2015

Back to Thailand With Tom and Candice

Tom and Candice and their three children (Claire, Eliza and Silas) have been working with RMM in Thailand for seven years, and are heading back to the field after two years spent in the United States. They spoke to us about the challenges of returning, what has changed in the two years they’ve been gone, and what Thai dishes they’re looking forward to most.

When are you leaving to go back to Thailand?

We are moving out of our house in Columbus on June 20, will spend a few weeks with our families in Delaware and Virginia, and then fly to Bangkok on July 11.

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May 01, 2015

Growing and Learning With the REACH Teams

The following REACH updates are adapted excerpts from their team blogs, and give a small glimpse into their lives over the last five months.

Team South Asia Update- Abundance of Fruit

Recently, we spent some time in a village. We loaded up the jeep and headed to what would be our home for the next ten days, and as always, we arrived to one of the warmest welcomes you could imagine. As soon as our feet hit the ground, we were rushed into chairs, handed coconuts for drinking, and given more apples than we could eat. This was the start of our fruit overload that would last our entire visit. The next morning we woke up to rice cakes and chutney, a type of spicy peanut sauce that is probably my favorite breakfast of all time. After breakfast, we started right into telling Bible stories at two different churches. This started a pattern of this breakfast and sharing in two or three churches, and because of the constant chutney and fruit (and the fact that we can’t pronounce the actual name of this place), I call it The land of Fruit and Chutney.

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April 29, 2015

RMM in the City

By Joe Showalter, RMM President
Adapted and updated from an April 24, 2014 open letter

Within a few weeks after Rosedale Mennonite Missions had purchased the facility at 2120 E. 5th Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, that is now called the Rosedale International Center, a few of the RMM staff approached me about the possibility of RMM moving its headquarters from Rosedale to Columbus. At that point, we knew we had just purchased a large facility that would allow us to grow REACH and City Challenge, our summer and fall programs for youth and young adults. We also knew that it was for more than that. When the RMM board took action to purchase the building, they had clearly stated that they saw broader uses for the building. They had a sense that this could be a center that would take RMM to a new level in its mission training and networking and sending.

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April 24, 2015

Faith, Hope, and Love: a Whirlwind Visit With REACH Teams in Asia

By Hans Shenk

On a damp, dreary day in March, my wife Courtney and I flew out of Port Columbus International Airport, surrounded by crowds of Ohio State students headed for warmth and sunshine, fun and relaxation. Like them, we were headed someplace warm, but unlike them, we had few plans to relax.

We were on our way to visit the REACH teams in South Asia and the Himalayas; our primary aim was to encourage the teams and equip them to finish strong. Secondly, since communication with both teams had been limited, we were hoping to get a clearer understanding of how things were going by talking to the teams and observing their work in person. Finally, we hoped to meet with both teams’ outreach coordinators to ask how they felt about continuing to minister to the American church by hosting teams.

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April 16, 2015

Introducing a New Partnership in East Asia

We are pleased to introduce William and Rebecca,* a couple newly-appointed by RMM but with close connections to CMC and years of missions experience in a challenging setting. In 1998, William and Rebecca moved to a mountainous region of East Asia and began living among a people group with very little Christian witness. They have spent years learning the language and culture and building relationships. During that time their family has grown and they now have four young sons, ranging in age from two to nine. They have been working with Eastern Mennonite Missions and are continuing that relationship while also joining the RMM family. William explained that they wanted to formalize a connection to CMC and RMM that they already felt strongly since their family and church roots are in CMC (their sending church is Mechanicsburg Christian Fellowship).

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April 14, 2015

Guvech Recipe

Enjoy this recipe from RMM workers Paula and Art Shore, currently working in an immigrant community in the Waterloo region of Ontario.

In the hot climate of our former home in the Middle East, this dish (or a similar version) was often prepared in the homes and sent to the local ovens in the neighborhood. There it was baked and then, along with hot fresh pita bread, was delivered to our door. In the Cappadocian region, it is often baked inside clay pots. Although the preparation of guvech was somewhat time-consuming, I have great memories of sharing these experiences with friends and their daughters. We huddled around their cutting boards on the floor, sipping our tea and sharing our lives and experiences. My legs were soon aching because I didn’t fold up as well as my more flexible friends but time was forgotten in the enjoyment of the moment. The memories and delicious tastes still linger.

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March 31, 2015

Getting to Know Raleigh and Opal

Raleigh and Opal and their two children, Robbie (2) and Anna* (7 months) will be moving to North Africa later this year. Right now, on top of jobs and raising kids, they are working at fundraising and training and looking ahead to a year full of good-byes, changes, adjustments, and language learning. Without a doubt, they could use our prayers! We asked Raleigh and Opal to help us get to know them as they prepare to go. Thanks for encouraging them and lifting them up! *Names changed for security

Hi Raleigh and Opal! First of all, where are you from originally and where are you now living and working?

Opal: I grew up at Turkey Run Mennonite Church near Logan, OH. As a junior in college I transferred to Eastern Mennonite University, met Raleigh through his sister, and eventually married him! We’ve lived in Harrisonburg most of our married lives, excluding a year we spent in the Middle East.

Recently, our family went through some changes, and I now work while Raleigh stays with the children. We are really enjoying this transition. I work as an instructor at EMU in their Intensive English Program and love interacting with students from around the world. Before the recent change, I spent three years in graduate school and in the life-giving work of raising our two children.

Raleigh: I grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. My dad was a pastor at Dayton Mennonite Church, where I spent my formative years. I’m thankful for the many friends—both peers and mentors—who nurtured me at Dayton and continue to bless me with their friendship and encouragement.

The last three years I’ve been the executive director of a grassroots Christian organization in Harrisonburg called Our Community Place, which seeks to love the people on the fringes of society. It was an incredible time of growth and learning as my staff and I sought innovative ways to bring the gospel to life, build trusting relationships in community, and effect healthy transformation in individuals’ lives. Presently, I am very much enjoying my new role as stay-at-home dad for my two lovely little children! My oldest calls me “Baba,” which is Arabic for “Daddy.”

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March 26, 2015

Back to My Small Town Roots: A New Opportunity in Thailand

Many of you already know Dan* quite well! He’s been with RMM for 41 years as a worker in Nicaragua, Ecuador/Costa Rica, South Asia, and now Thailand. He is a visionary and a pioneer and God has given him many opportunities to serve, disciple, mentor, and begin work in new areas. Although you may already know him, he has recently moved to a new area of Thailand, and we wanted to give him the chance to talk about his new work and new area.

Dan, can you explain in general the work of the Thailand team in Bangkok and how you decided to make this move to a new area (Kanchanaburi)?

The team in Thailand works in pioneer church planting among the many people of Thailand and the surrounding countries. Most Thais are Buddhists. Our team looks for people whose hearts have been opened to the gospel message by God, and through them we establish fellowships of believers who will reach their own people for Christ. Our main task is to disciple those who come to faith and whom God is calling to be leaders. So far the team is limited to Bangkok and, through Southeast Asian people who have come to faith here, the team visits and encourages believers in a neighboring country. Kanchanaburi is on the Thailand Myanmar border and offers the opportunity to reach both Thais and different people groups in Myanmar.

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March 23, 2015

Book Recommendation: Contagious Disciple Making

In Contagious Disciple Making, David and Paul Watson (father and son, working for CityTeam), write about some very practical steps that all of us can take toward seeing more people become disciples of Jesus. This is a book about very big ideas—seeing rapid multiplication of believers as thousands or millions turn to Christ and then reproduce themselves. The stories are exciting and the Watsons’ make a compelling case for why every believer should want to be a part of a contagious movement. Additionally, they give ideas about the small things that we can do in our everyday lives to set the stage for a larger move of God. It’s a book about large-scale transformation, but the focus is on the very small, practical steps that lead to that kind of change.

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March 20, 2015

Is Jesus Really Worth It?

By Kevin Mayer, SEND Ministries director

In January, I had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia to attend the Annual Equipping Event with Global Disciples. This is a time where leaders of other discipleship programs similar to REACH spend a week praying, worshiping, encouraging and connecting with each other. I highly treasure these times where we can talk about the challenges and issues we face as leaders and to glean from the wisdom and experiences of others. I can quickly think of many highlights of our time together, such as witnessing the daring and determined faith of our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, their desperate hearts and utter dedication to the gospel, and their deep love for Jesus. Particularly moving for me, was hearing about the amount of persecution that many of our Ethiopian brothers and sisters have experienced over the past century. However, in spite of this intense persecution, the church has grown exponentially.

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March 18, 2015

Sure, Come on Over!

From the Canada REACH team blog

Greetings from the north where the weather is warming up and bringing with it lots of sunshine and smiles! It’s amazing how moods pick up when people can feel spring right around the corner! Also I love feeling like I am adapting quite well because at home 30 degrees feels pretty chilly and here it means it’s T-shirt time!

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March 16, 2015

Jesus in a Terroristic World

How should followers of Jesus respond to the very real threat of Islamist terrorism? Said and Cherif Kouachi massacre journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Boko Haram continues to massacre whole villages in Nigeria. The Islamic State drives out Christians from Mosul Iraq and brutally kills hostages.

What is real Islam and how should we as followers of Christ respond to such brutality? How should we relate to our Muslim neighbors in this kind of an atmosphere? The EMM Christian/Muslim relations team has written a very concise statement that we recommend to you, our readers. If we can live out all of the seven practical steps outlined below, we will witness again and again the transformative power of God’s redemptive love in our broken world. “May His kingdom come, his will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

– Jay Martin, Mediterranean Regional Director

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March 13, 2015

Fruits of the Spirit in My Honda Civic

By Courtney Shenk, SEND Ministries Assistant Director

What should a staff person in a mission organization want to share with the reading world? A plea for more workers? Sometimes. A story of souls getting saved? On occasion. But what does this missions worker want to share about? Commuting.

Initially, the topic of commuting came up in my mind because I was tired of thinking about “spiritual” things so much. As you can imagine, spiritual matters come up frequently in a short-term missions department, but I’m the kind of person that needs down-to-earth practicality sometimes. I need something tangible that I can apply to everyday life, and what could be more practical than commuting every day to work? The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that my commute to work has had a very profound effect on my spirituality.

Well, shoot. It appears as though life is inescapably spiritual.

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March 11, 2015

Stories from the Trail

By Levi,* REACH North Africa team leader

Greetings in the name of the Father!

It has been some time since I’ve updated you. Over the past three weeks we went out into the mountains trekking from village to village; and therefore, I have been “out of the office” so to speak for the last few weeks. If there is one thing I can say that is consistent about the trail, it’s that no day will ever go according to plan.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself here! Let’s back up to the beginning. Why do we do this? We go trekking into the mountains to share the love of Christ with those in the villages. When I came to North Africa last year in REACH, our whole purpose was to go out and walk into the mountains and share the Good News. This year we’re focusing on going trekking and working with agricultural projects, but our reason for doing both is the same.

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March 04, 2015

Skating, Painting, Trekking (and other REACH adventures)

In early December, five teams of REACHers took off for their outreaches in the Himalayas, Canada, North Africa, South Asia and Spain. After three months of discipleship training in Columbus, they were excited to be sent out and used by God for his purposes. Following are adapted excerpts from their team blogs which give a glimpse into the early months of outreach. Pray for these learners and explorers as they continue on their adventure for God!

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March 03, 2015

Dairy Farming in North Africa

By David,* recently returned RMM intern to North Africa

This year has brought some exciting new opportunities! I was raised on a dairy farm (I loved it!), and this year I’ve gotten some opportunities to use those skills in projects here in North Africa. Through friends, I met some people who are starting a small dairy cooperative. They asked me to come and look at things and give any ideas I had. We were able to start a few simple but practical projects in their barn. One was a simple water trough system in the barn that made water easily accessible for the cows. It was a simple and fun project that will improve milk output and cut down on work. Water is constantly available now, and there’s no need to take all the cows to the river a couple of times a day. I am excited to go back soon and see how it is working! Other small projects include natural, easy treatments for mastitis problems, and also some ideas for mats to put under the cows. It has been exciting and rewarding for me, and I am thankful for the opportunities there! I am also asking the Lord for guidance as to whether this is a potential platform for future time here.

I also recently got the opportunity to spend three weeks trekking in the mountains. One of my goals with coming back was to revisit people we had met through trekking with REACH teams in the past three years. I was very happy to have the company of (current REACHER’s) Asher* for ten days and Ike* for nine. We went with the hope of connecting roads, trails, and dots in a way that would allow us to spend the majority of our time with old friends, but also making new friends along the way! As usual, nothing went exactly as planned, but everything worked out—another usual thing with trekking!

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February 27, 2015

Passing the Peace to the “Beard Bosses”

By Josiah,*RMM worker in North Africa

The news is filled with hate and violence these days. One of our children is especially troubled by fearful thoughts. After reading a children’s story I remember as harmless, she often reports with consternation, “That story was bad.” I recently added a separate “kid’s corner” feature on my phone so that my children could access its educational apps and games without seeing news headlines that appear on one small tile of the welcome screen; the headlines alone provided plenty of fodder for fearful bedtime pondering.

Just as our daughter’s reading gives life to her fears, our media diet can make our own fears grow and impact our relationships. For example, in the midst of the recent rise of ISIS, a group of robed young men (many bearded) began using a school just up the street from our house for religious instruction. They always dress in the long, hooded robes that are traditional to the culture here, but wearing them to the exclusion of more “western” garb can signal a deeper religious orientation. When I walk by the building, I often hear Quranic chanting.

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February 25, 2015

Where Are They Now? RMM asks REACH alumni: “What is your new mission, post-REACH?”

Take Me Deeper

By Kristyn Byler

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

Over the summer of 2014 I sang this song every week during worship times, and every time I sang it I asked myself, “Do I even know what I am asking for?” My thoughts would wander to times in the past when God had led me farther than I could’ve imagined, and how those times really did make my faith stronger and my trust more firm. Of course I wanted to go deeper than before – farther out on the water. Yet the question remained, did I really want more than what he has already led me through, to go deeper? More than the nights of feeling completely alone after our last family move? More than the struggles in Malawi, the fear in Tanzania, and the craziness in Uganda? More than my year internship in Columbus where I had to serve people even when I had nothing to give? Was MORE something I really wanted?

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February 17, 2015

Welcomed and Transformed at Christ’s Table

By Timothy and Alice Colegrove

It’s 6:30 on a Sunday night and Dinner Church Boston, a new urban church plant of the CMC, is gathered around the table. Our bellies have been satisfied with a home cooked meal and we have transitioned to coffee and dessert. We are caught up in reflection on the Beatitudes of Matthew chapter 5, specifically the verses on judging. Christian and pagan sit elbow to elbow as we open up the scriptures. For some of us, this is our first encounter with Jesus. For all of us it is a time of deep listening and learning. I ask the group simple questions, to provoke discussion: “What do you observe in Jesus’ teaching here?”; “How does this resonate with your experience?” Some responses come easily: “Remove the log from my own eye first.” “Look at yourself before you look at others.” Others speak up from personal experience, “Many Christians I’ve met don’t seem to match up with this…”; “There seems to be a big difference between Christianity in essence and Christianity in practice when it comes to judging” and; “It seems that smaller churches do a better job at not judging. Why?” The time of sharing and reflection is lively and charitable, with no question or comment off limits, and no shame in not having all the answers.

It is in the context of this ragamuffin dinner community that we’ve embarked upon a crash course in church planting. A year and a half ago, when my wife Alice and I were first led to the CMC to plant a church, we were keenly aware that our community would be representative of a new wave of CMC churches adjusting to the challenges of a rapidly post-Christian context. We knew that the old presuppositions of Christendom often don’t hold water. People in Boston are no longer convinced by arguments such as, “Because the Bible tells me so” (should they ever have been?). Most of the people around us did not grow up in church-going households. Our society is no longer a place where Christians wield political power, and a growing number of individuals (22% in Massachusetts!) no longer identify with any religion. On our tiny one-way street alone we share space with Muslims, Hindus, Gnostics, and atheists. It seemed clear to us from the beginning that a long road of experimentation lay ahead of us, filled with successes and failures, trial and error.

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February 12, 2015

A Minefield for Methodologies

By Phil*, RMM worker in Malaga Spain

I was struck recently by the comment of a Spanish evangelical pastor. He was recounting to another Spanish church worker how he had thought that the expository approach to preaching and teaching the Bible would be the key to rapid church growth in Spain. He had seen the method used successfully in London, England to start and grow a church there. It was new to him and falling in love with the approach, he was convinced it was the key to success in his home country of Spain. Five years of church planting efforts later, while still highly appreciative of and committed to expository Bible teaching, he was much more sober about it being the methodology that held the key to successful church growth in Spain.

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February 10, 2015

Donut Dough and Kingdom Building

By Joe Showalter, RMM president

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” (Matthew 13:33, NLT)

We discussed these words of Jesus yesterday at our house church gathering while we waited for donut dough to rise. We had decided to make donuts as an intergenerational activity that would also produce some tasty holiday gifts for friends and neighbors. So after watching a couple of video clips about the science of yeast and sourdough, we discussed the implications of what Jesus had to say about yeast.

Someone noted that in order for yeast to do what we want it to do, it has to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. It doesn’t take much yeast to make a huge impact, but it does have to be mixed in. We figured that the yeast in our donut dough represented about 1/50th of the amount of flour we’d used.

Someone else noted that this parable seems to suggest that if there are places in the world where we can’t see the positive effects of the presence of those who follow Jesus, it means we haven’t permeated every part of the dough very effectively.

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February 09, 2015

REACH is...

Learn more at

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January 31, 2015

From San Jeronimo to Bangkok

RMM workers were first asked to come to Jonatan’s village, San Jeronimo, Nicaragua, during a severe drought in 1976 in the hope of being able to secure a water source for the village. They presented Christ, the source of Living Water, to Jonatan’s grandfather who became one of the first believers in this village, and his family later also accepted Christ. Never underestimate what God will do with a drought and a cup of water.

Jonatan felt the call to missions at the age of sixteen and began dreaming and working for when this time would come. Preparation to go overseas required finishing high school. Because there was no high school in his village, Jonatan would get up at 3:00 a.m. once a week to either ride a horse or walk, traveling three hours (each way) for five years to the town which offered a high school education. Jonatan also received Christian education courses which were taught by his father, who is a pastor.

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RIC Renovation Photos

Renovation is underway at the RIC! Leon Ruch from Beiharz Artchitect Inc. in Defiance, OH designed the floor plan for the remodel and Weaver Commercial Contractor from Wooster is doing the construction. Plans are for the office wing to be finished near the end of March and RMM staff will move offices in April. We’re super excited about being in one building instead of two!

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January 27, 2015

Introducing a New Member of the Thailand Team!

Anna* is a teacher in Thailand who has joined the RMM Thailand team. We are so happy to have her as a part of the team in Bangkok and for the gifts and desire to serve Jesus that she brings. Anna is from the London, Ohio area and grew up attending London Christian Fellowship, which is now her sending church. She attended Cedarville University, studying Elementary Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) and had the opportunity to do her student teaching in Bangkok. Anna taught at the International Community School (ICS) and fell in love with the school and with Thailand. She had peace about returning and when a teaching position became available, she decided to return the following year.

Anna is now in her second year of teaching at ICS and has committed to an additional year. She teaches students in grades K-5 in a pull-out ESL classroom. She is very involved in many other areas of school life as well including: English testing for admissions, facilitating chapel, teaching an after school Bible program, and tutoring. Outside of school, Anna enjoys time with her friends, running (when it’s not unbearably hot!), studying Thai with a tutor, and going on adventures around Thailand with her friends. She is also working with a ministry called Lifesong whose mission is to rescue and disciple children found in migrant construction sites and slum communities. Anna participates in this ministry by teaching English classes to children of Cambodian construction workers and local Thai kids who don’t have the opportunity to learn from native English speakers. She has made occasional trips to Cambodia to support the Cambodian side of the ministry.

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Keith Scheffel Resigning as CFO

Keith Scheffel, who has served with RMM for the past 22 years, recently announced plans to resign as CFO, effective February 28. He has accepted a position with Layman, Diener, and Borntrager Insurance and Financial Services. We are very sorry to see Keith move on after such a long history with RMM, but we appreciate the spirit in which he is leaving and we wish Keith and his family many blessings.

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January 23, 2015

Exciting Day!

Please pray for Nixson and Rhonda as they return to Bangkok today (January 23). They need prayer to find housing in a central location (between school and work). They will both be studying Thai for a few months as a refresher and to learn the more formal Thai used in the Bible, so pray for quick language progress. Pray for them as they reconnect with old friends, rejoin the RMM team, and begin their work again.

Pray also for Jonatan who will be flying from Nicaragua, to the States to meet Rhonda and Nixson and will fly to Thailand with them. Pray for his cultural adjustment and as he learns language. Pray that he could meet key people to help with his adjustment. Praise God that he can meet his goal of going to Thailand after four years of preparation!

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January 22, 2015

Puzzles and Seekers: A New Year in Spain

By Pablo,* RMM worker in Spain

For us, 2015 literally started out with a bang! We were able to watch fireworks from the rooftop after our New Year’s dinner. For the dinner, we had roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts and parsnips, made by a good friend with my help. It was a risky thing to do, given that he has not made it for 15 years and my major ignorance of cooking and kitchen protocol. But it turned out splendidly and was timely as well. We finished eating just before the stroke of midnight, then stuffed down grapes, one for each of the 12 chimes of midnight, which is a tradition here in Spain. Some say it’s for good luck, and if you can’t get all 12 grapes down in time, something bad will happen during the year. A more probable theory is that the tradition began within the past 75 years or so to get rid of an abundant grape harvest. Of course, making a profit had nothing to do with it! But I digress.

Last year six of us celebrated the New Year together. This year one couple couldn’t because of his mother’s advanced skin cancer. It’s untreatable at this point. She’s in pain and requires family members to be with her constantly. This is probably the last New Year she will be with them, unless God does a miraculous healing. We’ve not had opportunity to meet her, and visiting people in the condition she’s in is just not something Spanish families do. But why not ask him for healing? He can do it!

Continue reading "Puzzles and Seekers: A New Year in Spain" »

January 20, 2015

Hello from Sunny Costa Rica!

Liz is an associated worker with RMM. She is working as an assistant director of Vida 220, a discipleship training school based in Talamanca. She is mentoring students, working with local children and building friendships and discipling relationships with university students. She is from Plain City, Ohio and her sending church is Agape Community Fellowship.

Hello from sunny, warm Costa Rica! It's hard to believe how quickly the time has gone since I left Ohio back in September.

We are in the second to last week of Vida220 training Right now Elam Stauffer is with us teaching on the spiritual disciplines. We have a great group of students here, and it's been really fun getting to know each of them. There are four from the Hartville area in Ohio, two from Mexico, and six from Costa Rica—three of which are from the indigenous reserve where one of VidaNet's bases is located and where Vida220 training is held.

Continue reading "Hello from Sunny Costa Rica!" »

January 15, 2015

Needed: Both Sprinters and Ironmen

By Keith Scheffel

I’m awed by super athletic achievements. I remember watching in admiration at the smoothness and relative ease at which Usain Bolt, aka “the world’s fastest man,” won the 100 meter and 200 meter race in the 2012 Olympics. Both those races were over in the blink of an eye. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve stood in awe of my wife’s niece who has completed several Ironman triathlons. These grueling events take several hours to complete. I only wish I was fit enough to complete just one of the three legs of those triathlons—2 mile swim, 100 mile bike ride and 26 mile run!

At RMM we are grateful for both the “sprinters” and the “ironmen” in relation to financial partners. Sprinters are those who provide the burst of one-time contributions at the front end of a missions assignment. Ironmen are those who make monthly contributions for the duration of the assignment. We need both types. There are significant costs at the beginning of an assignment (plane tickets) that the sprinters help with. There are also ongoing costs (visa fees, housing, school) that need the monthly commitments of the ironmen. While both are needed and deeply appreciated, I’m especially grateful to those who are committed for the long haul.

Continue reading "Needed: Both Sprinters and Ironmen " »

January 12, 2015

Not that Different: An “Ordinary Life” at Home in North Africa

By sisters, Sarah and Candice (staff writer) Names changed or last names omitted for security in online version of this article

When we think of RMM workers living overseas, we picture a foreign culture, with a difficult language, strange food, and a religion that we don’t understand. For kids like Charis (11), Joy (9), and David (6), who moved to North Africa as young children (David was born there!), it’s what they’ve always known. Speaking with the children, via Skype, I was struck again by the normalcy of life for them. Charis had been making a pumpkin pie when I called and talked to me while wearing her apron. All the kids ran to bring me samples of their Arabic and French writing and pictures they had drawn. In the background was a steady stream of canary chirps and the shouts of their twin toddler brothers, Conrad and Philip. As we chatted, I got the sense that the kids think about living in North Africa not as “another culture” but simply “home.” For them, America is the second culture which they visit and adjust to as needed. In their little town, they lead a life that feels ordinary—getting up and going to school every day, sometimes arguing with their siblings, having playdates and making bracelets with friends, etc. Feel free to eavesdrop as their parents and I talk to them about life as it is right now...

What are your favorite things about living in North Africa?

David: My favorite things are making forts in the living room out of pillows and playing on my bicycle.

Joy: I like different places. I like a town where we visit sometimes because it has trees and green grass, and I like the town where we live because it has a bunch of hills and sunsets. I like the food—like couscous and tagine [a dish eaten by dipping bread in a common bowl] and also beets and peas.

I like the holiday Ashorah [10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar]. All the kids are happy because they get stuff from their parents.

Charis: Friends, fresh bread, milawi [crispy flat bread served warm with tea in the afternoons].

Continue reading "Not that Different: An “Ordinary Life” at Home in North Africa" »

January 07, 2015

Change of Plans for the Esh Family

There has been a change of plans with a family that we hoped to send to Thailand this month. We are disappointed to inform you that Conrad and Vicki Esh have decided not to join the RMM team in Thailand. They have reached this decision after a period of uncertainty and prayer. They have sought advice from RMM, their Mission Support Team and a professional counselor. We are sorry to lose Conrad and Vicki, but we are releasing them from their planned assignment and we wish them God’s blessing as they continue to seek and follow his leading.

Continue reading "Change of Plans for the Esh Family" »

December 22, 2014

Behold: A Christmas Play

RMM is excited to present a Christmas play by Esta Felder* from her new book of “plays and readings from a biblical perspective.” These plays have been performed at many special events in the Middle East as part of a Christian theater ministry. The book is available through Amazon but due to security reasons we cannot provide a link or title of the book. But we do welcome you to contact us at and we can share that information with you. The book is perfect for a church library or as a resource for creative presentations of many kinds. More information on the book will also be included in the January Mosaic.


Characters: Rich Man, Poor Man, Mary

Running time: 3-4 minutes

Setting: The Rich Man (dressed in very rich clothes) and the Poor Man (in very poor clothes) stand upstage left and upstage right. They do not acknowledge each other until the end.

Rich Man: All my life I've been successful at everything I've tried. It helped that I was born into a good family and was able to get the best education. Eventually I earned an excellent reputation as an astrologer and scientist. As far as my personal life, I married a woman I adored and we had a beautiful son. So you see, I was doing as well as anyone can in this life.

Poor Man: From the moment I was born, my fate was sealed. My father was a shepherd and his father before him. I started working in the fields as far back as I can remember. Out in the fields there's not much to do but think. Sometimes I would wonder about God. He obviously set all this up but, beyond that...well he certainly wasn't thinking about me. That's the only thing I was sure of.

Continue reading "Behold: A Christmas Play" »

December 19, 2014

Fellow-Traveler Kind of People: Getting to Know John and Cecelia

John and Cecelia* have been RMM workers in the Middle East for the past eight years. They are both working in English language instruction—Cecelia teaches English in a local language school and John teaches Environmental Law and International Energy and Environment Issues courses. Their ethos: “We feel we shine best as we work well, immerse ourselves in the lives of our students and build relationships with co-workers.”

Where are you from in the U.S.? How do you stay connected with your family, friends, and supporting church after being gone so long?

We hail from Wayne County Ohio, where we met in high school, married, and began raising our family until God moved us to pursue graduate school. At that point we began sharing our lives in a city setting and then moved in 2000 to Central Asia, where we lived for six years. It is a challenge to stay connected from a distance over so many years, but the internet has been a huge asset, allowing us to stay connected via Skype, Hangout, Facebook, Pinterest, and e-mail. We also make relationships a priority on our summer visits, connecting with friends and supporters and hanging out with our family as much as possible.

Previously, you were workers in another country. How long did it take you to feel like your current country became “home?”

It was different for the two of us. For Cecelia it didn’t take long. People here are friendly, and we soon met neighbors and others, many of whom are still close friends. I also think we had already learned a lot about the culture and knew how to give honor and live uprightly in Asian culture. We try to be teachable and curious and present ourselves as students of the culture by asking lots of questions, learning about their cultural values and saying ‘yes’ as much as possible. For John, it was much harder to adapt to the new country because of not having a clear identity or role in society here at first. It seems now as if we have three “homes:” our former host country, our current host country, and Ohio.

Continue reading "Fellow-Traveler Kind of People: Getting to Know John and Cecelia" »

December 16, 2014

A Christmas Commission

By Larissa Swartz

“Don’t be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy, news that will affect all people everywhere. Today, in the city of David, a Liberator has been born for you! He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! You will know you have found Him when you see a baby, wrapped in a blanket, lying in a feeding trough.”
(Luke 2:10-12, The Voice)

This passage has become familiar to us over the years through readings, dramas, songs, and movies where this scene is reenacted. But taking a look at it again this year, I realized something: the angels never told the shepherds to actually DO anything. They come, they deliver their proclamation, sing ”Glory to God in the highest,” and leave; after which the shepherds themselves search out the baby Jesus and spread the news of his birth, becoming the first evangelists. From the natural overflow of their amazement and joy at the birth of Christ, they glorify God and proclaim his awesomeness to the world.

Continue reading "A Christmas Commission" »

December 15, 2014

Come and Stand Amazed: A Christmas Greeting from RMM

As Christmas approaches and 2014 comes to a close, we “stand amazed” at the beautiful, life-changing work God has done this year...

Come and Stand Amazed

Continue reading "Come and Stand Amazed: A Christmas Greeting from RMM" »

December 12, 2014

Willing and Ready to Go: An Opportunity to Give

Over the past months we’ve introduced you to Nixson and Rhonda, (Preparing Workers to Join the Thailand Team and Shining the Light of Jesus on a University Campus) a young couple (Rhonda from Ohio and Nixson from Nicaragua) who met in Thailand, got married, and are preparing to return to Thailand long term in January. We are ready to send them and they are more than ready to go, but more financial partners are needed!

Nixson and Rhonda have spent the past four months in Nicaragua diligently working at missions mobilization. They have traveled extensively, meeting with churches, pastors, and prospective missions candidates. We’re excited about the growing vision for missions within Nicaragua. More than 30 people are actively pursuing the possibility of being sent. One of them, Jonatan, is a young man who has been preparing for the past three years. Within the past month he has been approved by the local council and with a combination of funding from his home country and from churches in North America, he is ready to go.

Continue reading "Willing and Ready to Go: An Opportunity to Give" »

December 11, 2014

What I Learned in DTS

As the REACH teams prepared to leave for outreach, we were curious…what were some of the things they learned in DTS (discipleship training school)? We asked a few of them to share their thoughts and searched through their blog entries to share some of their insights with you.

Last names omitted or names changed for security.

Team Canada

Micaela: One of the sessions that really hit home for me was when Galen Burkholder spoke about global realities. One thing that broke my heart was when he said that 49,000 people die daily without ever hearing about the gospel. It really moved me to see how passionate Galen was over this devastating fact, so much so that he was in tears. I think in America it’s so easy to get caught up in our comfortable lives because everything we could ever need or want is so easily accessible, while all across the globe many people are trying to live on less than $1.25 a day.

Continue reading "What I Learned in DTS" »

December 04, 2014

Getting to Know Efraín and Sujen

Interview and translation from Spanish by Dan, an RMM worker in Thailand

Efraín and Sujen are based in the city of Bangkok where Efraín is a third year student of English at a university and Sujen relates to Thai people and does hosting. They facilitate a small fellowship of Thai and Chinese people which often meets in their home. Efraín and Sujen are also discipling friends from a neighboring country, both in Bangkok and in their home areas.

Where are you from?
Tell us what your home area is like.

We come from a community called Las Palmas in rural Boaco, Nicaragua, which is 20 kilometers from Las Maderas. It is a quiet community without electricity and there are no roads into the community so we mainly use horses to travel. My wife is from a town in Carazo, Nicaragua called Jinotepe. It is a beautiful and happy place with a very nice climate.

Continue reading "Getting to Know Efraín and Sujen" »

November 25, 2014

Marriage on the Rocks in Spain

A cultural snapshot by Phil, RMM worker in Spain

By any analysis, marriage is on the rocks in Spain. At seventy-five percent, the divorce rate here is one of the highest in Europe. This means that almost three out of four marriages will eventually end up in divorce. Apparently, many divorces are initiated in the few months following the summer vacations. It seems couples spend more time with each other since they are not out working but vacationing and discover that they are incompatible! The Italian press are reporting that even King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía could be about to announce their divorce. Juan Carlos quietly abdicated the throne this summer amid corruption scandals associated with his family in favor of his son, Felipe, who had escaped being tarnished by what had happened. Sources from within the royal household have reported that the former King and Queen have for a long time lived in completely separate wings of the Zarzuela Palace and only communicate via their secretaries. The reason for this appears to be Juan Carlos' string of extramarital affairs over the years. Queen Sofía's biography claims that the King has been involved with over one thousand five hundred women.

Continue reading "Marriage on the Rocks in Spain" »

November 20, 2014

Thoughts from World Awareness Week

By a REACH participant

A few weeks ago, in REACH training, we observed world awareness week at the RIC. This was a week where we are asked to try to experience a world that is more like the general population of the world, something outside of the "American Dream." We ate nothing but rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week. The power only came on occasionally (which was the only time we were allowed to use our computers). Our mattresses were taken away, so we slept on the floor.

These are not exercises to punish us or make our lives miserable; they're designed to make us more aware and empathetic of how most of the world lives. They're reminders to pray. I've compiled some thoughts on this subject, and I really feel like this is what God has been laying on my heart.

Continue reading "Thoughts from World Awareness Week" »

November 14, 2014

Preparing Workers to Join the Thailand Team

By Rhonda

Rhonda and Nixson are visiting Nicaragua for about three months, spending time with Nixson’s family and reconnecting with the churches who would like to send workers to Thailand. They plan to return to work in Thailand in January 2015.

We've been quite busy since arriving in Nicaragua, and the times that we are with family and able to relax, we don't have internet access. So I'm finally sending an update!

Here are some of the things we've been up to...

Continue reading "Preparing Workers to Join the Thailand Team" »

November 05, 2014

An Introduction to Rosedale Business Group

By Larry and Dot Chupp

“Marketplace evangelism happens when we take who we are in Christ to the marketplace.”

Since the inception of Rosedale Business Group (RBG) in 2007, the first and foremost desire of each member has been to seek avenues for building Christ’s Kingdom via business and poverty alleviation opportunities, locally and overseas. Making inroads for the Good News can be very challenging in today’s global market and it is even more complex given the constraints of closed countries. The RBG board and partners have been seeking creative solutions to some of these problems. We would like to introduce you to some of RBG’s current projects.

Continue reading "An Introduction to Rosedale Business Group" »

November 02, 2014

Prayer Gathering Photos

The CMC prayer gathering this weekend was a wonderful time of hearing together from God.

Continue reading "Prayer Gathering Photos" »

October 28, 2014

Getting to Know Al Raber

Al is planning to begin his assignment in the Amazon River Basin of Brazil in 2015. Right now he is putting together his Missionary Support Team (MST), raising funds, training, and preparing to go. If you’d like to partner with Al in God’s work in this unreached area of the world, please visit

Can you tell us a little about your growing up years?

I was born into a large Amish family in Holmes County, Ohio. I am the second to youngest of twelve children. I attended elementary school thru the 8th grade and then began to work in my father’s sawmill at the age of fifteen. Growing up we were never farmers but always had various animals on our property, like horses, steers, dogs, and chickens. We always kept a large garden which we tended to religiously every morning during the summer months. We were never rich nor poor as dad, mom and all of us worked hard to keep food on our table.

How did you come to know Jesus?

Early in my life, I was introduced to God and his Word in the Amish church we attended, but I rejected God for a ten year period of my life. During that time, I went through the “rumspringa” (a rebellious adolescent) phase in my life. As alcohol and other worldly pleasures left me empty inside, I began to seek a deeper purpose for my life. Through several influential people, I came to give my life to Christ in the summer of 1999.

Continue reading "Getting to Know Al Raber" »

October 22, 2014

Praise from our friend Pon

By Tom,* RMM Asia regional director

Pon is a young friend from a neighboring country who came to know Jesus through the RMM team in Bangkok. Several years ago he returned to his home country and now lives in the capital city, Vientiane. He's gotten married and he and his wife, Nam, are expecting their first child in February! God has been blessing Pon in many ways over the last few years. During a recent visit, Pon excitedly shared with us about how he's seen God at work in and through his sushi business. When he started selling sushi, he wasn't sure that he could make it work. He had only a little capital and even less experience, but he prayed a lot and asked for God’s guidance in all the decisions he had to make. In the past year Pon’s business has begun to grow quickly. He’s opened a second kiosk and in the near future will open a shop where he will sell sushi and other Japanese food. He's quick to give God the credit for this and said that he prays about everything – even small details like the design of his logo. Praise God for all the good gifts God is giving to Pon and pray for continued wisdom for him in managing his business and hiring employees. Pray that those who work with him would be drawn to God through his witness.

*Last name omitted for security reasons.

October 15, 2014

Update from Sarah and Josiah

Excerpted from newsletter. If you would like to receive regular updates from these workers in North Africa, contact the RMM office at to be added to their mailing list.

School is off to a good start for our three oldest children! We're grateful for a smoother start this year and for some budding friendships for them. Thanks to all who have been praying for them!

A dear friend lost her mother several months ago. She invited us to join her family (“in place of my mother,” she said) during the Feast of the Sacrifice (Sunday), the high holy day of the Islamic year and an important time when families gather following the loss of a loved one. It's also a day of a lot of work, and both our help and presence seemed deeply appreciated. Join us in praying for this family’s peace.

Continue reading "Update from Sarah and Josiah" »

October 13, 2014

Greedy for Jesus

By Tom,* RMM Asia regional director

My first trip to one of the most densely populated countries in Southeast Asia was even more intense than I had expected. I’ve never been anywhere so crowded, noisy, or generally overwhelming! My introduction to the city was an auto-rickshaw ride that covered 15 kilometers and took nearly two hours in the blazing afternoon sun. At the time, I was sure that I’d never been so hot in my life. Later I discovered that the traffic never really gets any better and that the heat, noise, and smells are a normal part of life in that amazing city.

I only spent one week in the country—not nearly enough time to begin understanding life there. But I was able to spend a lot of that time with our team of national workers, Hiralel* and his wife Bindu* and Protap* learning more about their ministries. I saw some of the many challenges they face, but also some exciting glimpses of what God is doing through them.

Continue reading "Greedy for Jesus" »

October 07, 2014

Shining the Light of Jesus on a University Campus

By Nixson and Rhonda*


After an intense day of class, I left the classroom building and headed to the dorms. I was planning to go rest for a while before doing my homework, but on the way to my room I passed many of my friends who asked me to go the fitness center with them. My desire to build a relationship with my friends and show them the love of Jesus was greater than my desire to rest. So after changing out of my school uniform, I headed to the fitness center, where my friends were waiting for me. After working out for a couple hours, we went to eat supper together and had a good evening of sharing with each other. Instead of feeling tired, I felt reenergized after being with them. I headed to my room to get ready for bed, but more people came to see me in my room. They just wanted someone to talk to, someone who could listen and give them advice, someone who was willing to just stay up late and watch TV with them. So before going to sleep for the night, I spent a few hours talking and sharing with my friends in my room.

I started studying at KBU in Bangkok, Thailand in 2010. My goal in studying was to prepare myself to get a job in Thailand in the future, but even more than that, my goal was to have a ministry on campus. I will always remember the first people that I got to know at the university. I was far away from home and missing my family, and many of the other students were also far away from home and missing their families. One of the first people I got to know became one of my best friends.

Continue reading "Shining the Light of Jesus on a University Campus " »

October 01, 2014

The Unbelievers

By Phil*, RMM worker in Malaga, Spain

The recent release of the movie "The Unbelievers" is noteworthy, not from its huge box office success, but because it highlights a significant cultural phenomena of relevance to Christian witness in the West. The movie features spokesmen for the new atheism movement that is attempting to rid the world of the remnants of pre-scientific beliefs, especially religious beliefs. Unlike the old atheism of the previous generation, the new atheism does not lament the passing of theism due to the enlightenment attained through scientific inquiry, but rather sees this as an important development on humanity's road to a better corporate life together. Christian witness in modern western society thus finds itself on the defensive. "Christian witness in modern western society thus finds itself on the defensive. It is seen as representing an inferior, antiquated belief system that is actually holding society back from making progress."It is seen as representing an inferior, antiquated belief system that is actually holding society back from making progress. The new atheism is less tolerant about allowing religionists to continue to harbor their outdated beliefs. Religious beliefs, since they are not based on empirical evidence (as the secularist sees it), are uncertain and at times dangerous. Society is better off without the error and fanaticism they engender. The new atheism thus questions the propriety of allowing parents to keep on inculcating these erroneous religious beliefs in their children. Richard Dawkins, a leading voice in the new atheism movement, asserts that this is a form of child abuse. The future is shaped by the present education of the young and so it cannot be left in the hands of the religionists who are seemingly spurning the scientific worldview.

Continue reading "The Unbelievers" »

September 24, 2014

City Challenge: Crossroads

By Brittany Troyer

Crossroads. We all experience these in our lives.
Some may seem small and insignificant and others seem overwhelming and life-altering.

As we in the SEND Department were developing the theme of “Crossroads” for City Challenge, we were thinking about all the decisions a young person makes during their high school years. I remember in high school, especially as a senior, feeling stressed out anytime someone would ask me, “What are you going to do after you graduate?” Up until that point, my life had pretty much been decided for me. Now I suddenly needed to have a plan for my life. Was I going to go to college and get a degree? Continue at my job? Go on a missions trip? There are so many opportunities out there that it can be overwhelming to try and pick just one!

Continue reading "City Challenge: Crossroads" »

September 19, 2014

Introducing Tiffany Troyer: Finance Department Administrative Assistant

We’d love for you to meet the new administrative assistant in the Finance Department, Tiffany Troyer. Tiffany lives in Plain City, Ohio, and is a member of Shiloh Mennonite Church. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and has worked in the past both as an accounting clerk and as an administrative assistant. Tiffany has been on several short term mission trips with her church and youth group to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. Tiffany was interested in the position at RMM because the job description fit her experience and education and for the positive work environment. She loves RMM’s focus on “inviting the nations to worship Jesus.” In her free time, Tiffany enjoys reading, playing softball on a community co-ed team, and hanging out with her friends. Thanks for your prayers for Tiffany as she learns the details of her job!

Continue reading "Introducing Tiffany Troyer: Finance Department Administrative Assistant" »

September 16, 2014

Partnering in Missions with the Nicaraguan Church

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Participants from the Boaco Adentro Seminar.
By Dan B.*

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19

How is the church in Nicaragua to carry out this command when the nations (ethnic groups) that are unreached are so far away from them? This was the topic we discussed together this June and July in the eight regions where Mennonite churches are located in Nicaragua. Pastors, church leaders, and interested youth gathered for one-day seminars on missions in each of the regions to look at what the Bible teaches us about what the church is to be doing in missions and to discuss what this means specifically for the churches of Nicaragua. Altogether more than 350 people participated and there was a lot of discussion—especially on how the churches should respond to this challenge.

Continue reading "Partnering in Missions with the Nicaraguan Church" »

September 12, 2014

Introducing RMM’s New HR Director

By Candice, staff writer

RMM welcomes Colleen as the new HR director as of September 1. Colleen is from Leo, Indiana and Carrol Community Worship Center. She has a long history with RMM, beginning on a REACH team to Israel in 1996, following a year at Rosedale Bible College. After REACH, she served a two-year term as an RMM intern in Ecuador. As she reflects on that experience, she says that God used that time to test her missionary calling and she learned a lot about her ministry giftings. God confirmed to her through her time in Ecuador that he was calling her to longer term mission work. Colleen attended Grace College and earned a BA in Counseling/Psychology and a master’s degree in Intercultural Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary. During seminary, Colleen returned to Ecuador for field work related to church planting and cultural research. During the years that Colleen was discerning with RMM where and when to go into long-term service, she worked in her home area at a crisis pregnancy center, primarily with Hispanic clients.

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September 08, 2014

The Beauty of Mosaics

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By Paula Shore*

Paula and her husband Art are RMM workers among the immigrant community in the Waterloo region of Ontario. God is opening up many opportunities for them to live among, learn from, and love their neighbors from around the world.

Having lived in the Middle East for a period of time, I have come to appreciate and enjoy mosaics, the beautiful images and designs made from small pieces of different colors. These wide varieties of minuscule pieces combine to tell stories which widen the world of the viewer. Our multicultural neighborhood, too, is a mosaic of many cultures and races and we feel privileged to be a surrounded by this diverse richness.

Continue reading "The Beauty of Mosaics" »

September 02, 2014

Ride for Missions 2014: Thanks for Supporting RMM!

September 01, 2014

Fundraiser for Cassia Olmstead

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Many of you have been praying for Nate & Denise Olmstead (RMM Church Planting Team Coordinator) and their five-year old daughter Cassia who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. She recently started chemotherapy and they continue to need your support. If you would like to help cover some of her medical expenses and other costs associated with her care, please visit, or send a check made out to “Naumburg Mennonite Church” to:

Olmstead Fund
Naumburg Mennonite Church
PO Box 124
Castorland, NY 13620

Naumburg Mennonite Church is also holding a fundraiser for Cassia on Friday, September 19 from 4-8 p.m. if you live in the Upstate NY area.

Continue reading "Fundraiser for Cassia Olmstead" »

August 21, 2014

Six Ways to Help Kids Develop an Interest in Missions

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By Brenda Zook


Have a personal mission focus. A mission focus is kind of like a broccoli focus or a read-a-book-instead-of-watching-TV focus. It greatly depends on…the parents. You want your kiddos to love broccoli? You've gotta eat it! You want your sons to love reading books? No point in just talking about it, you have to read. In front of them. Prioritize reading. Take them to the library, read aloud to them, make time for reading…oh, I digress…but not really. If you want missions to be important in your family, missions should be important to you. If you say mission work is important but skip the missions focus Sundays at your church. If you toss the mission report letters in the trash unopened. If you make a major contribution to the building fund and throw a fiver in the missions offering, your kids are going to get the message you are modeling, not the one you talk about. So, the first, best way to raise kids with a heart for what God is doing around the world and in your community is to develop a heart for what God is doing around the world and in your community. No, that's not a repetitive typo. Reread. You want them to have it, you have to have it. If you don't, ask God to give you a heart like his. God is always willing to do more in our lives than what we are willing to have him do. So, ask…and hang on for the ride.

Continue reading "Six Ways to Help Kids Develop an Interest in Missions" »

August 19, 2014

Where Are They Now? RMM asks REACH alumni: “What is your new mission, post-REACH?”

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A Homegrown Mission

By Beth Hooley

From December 2011 to August 2012, I lived on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand with a REACH team of five girls. While there, I had the privilege of working in a classroom for children with special needs among other ministry opportunities. Although I’d known I wanted to work with children with special needs before REACH, this experience showed me that it was something I would deeply enjoy, and it fueled the passion that God had placed in me years before.

Continue reading "Where Are They Now? RMM asks REACH alumni: “What is your new mission, post-REACH?”" »

10 Tips on How to be Inclusive of Children with Special Needs

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Respect. Treat and talk to children with special needs with respect. Do not talk down or use a condescending tone of voice; talk to them the same way you would to any child. At the same time, be clear and avoid using figurative language (such as “it’s raining cats and dogs”) as this may be confusing to a child who takes these phrases literally.


Person First Language. One way to show respect to people with special needs is to use person first language. This simply means you put the person before the label. Instead of saying “an autistic child” or “a special needs child” say, “a child with autism” or “a child with special needs.” This shows that you are focusing more on the person than the disability.


Interact. The biggest mistake that adults make when they meet someone with special needs is failing to interact with them. The same rules of polite conversation of adults to children are applicable when the child has special needs. First, introduce yourself. Depending on the child’s special needs, it may be necessary to take the child’s hand or place a hand on the child’s shoulder to make a proper introduction. Then explain the activity that you will be doing with the child. Explain the different steps of the activity, including the beginning and the end, while making as much eye contact as possible. Some children may not be comfortable with making eye contact and should not be forced to do so. This is not necessarily a sign of inattention.

Continue reading "10 Tips on How to be Inclusive of Children with Special Needs" »

August 11, 2014

Toward a Clearer Understanding of Church Planting

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By Nathan Olmstead

“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).

My belief is that we have been guilty of over-thinking “church planting.” We have made complex what was intended to be simple and, in the process, have formulated an unbiblical and unhealthy view of our God-given responsibility and mandate as Christians which is to “make disciples.” My heart is not necessarily that we would remove the phrase “church planting” from our vocabulary, but that we would have greater understanding of its biblical implication.

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Getting to Know…Pablo and Judi

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Pablo and Judi have lived in Granada, Spain as RMM workers for the past six and a half years. Previously, they served in Ecuador and more recently pastored at Shiloh Mennonite Church in Plain City, Ohio. Here they share some of their heart for their friends in Spain and a taste of their daily life as expatriates.

*Note: Last names omitted and names of friends removed for security reasons.

Where are you from in the U.S. and who is your sending church? How do you stay connected with them?

In Spain when someone asks where you’re from, they mean, where were you born? For Judi and I, that’s Kentucky and Michigan, but Judi has also lived in Maryland and Virginia, and I’ve lived in Florida. We met in Costa Rica, married and lived in Ohio, moved to Ecuador, then back to Ohio, so we’re from a lot of places! Our sending church is Shiloh. We stay in touch through Pastor Brian and the people on our Missionary Support Team via a weekly e-mail update. We also visit the church on our bi-annual home assignment.

Continue reading "Getting to Know…Pablo and Judi " »

August 07, 2014

Missions Day Offering tops $296,000!

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A big thanks to the Rosedale Mission Cruisers (Neon Green) and Ride for Missions (Kelly Green)
We praise God for the generous response to this year’s Missions Day Offering. As of August 4 the grand total has exceeded $296,000! The following components are all significant pieces that combined to make up the grand total:

Ride for Missions = $150,341
Rosedale Mission Cruisers = $12,096
Lead gifts from Touchstone Donors = $100,000
The offering received at Conference = $34,108 (includes contributions received at the RMM office designated for the offering)

Grand Total = $296,545

Thanks to all who contributed in one way or another to the offering. We rejoice in knowing how many lives will be impacted for Christ as a result!

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August 04, 2014

A Call to New Frontiers

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By Ethan Mast

Is your home fully dedicated to the Kingdom and what the King wants to use your home for? Is it set aside for Kingdom purposes?

These words, spoken by Jay Martin* on Missions Day 2014, joined with a chorus of Conference speakers calling CMC families to reach out with their homes. Jay, RMM regional director for the Mediterranean, addressed his question to three groups of people: those called overseas, those called to stay where they are, and those called to migrate to nearby urban areas. The overall challenge was particularly for more urban migration.

What if we went and lived in the pockets of immigrants who have come to our world? I think that’s something Jesus would do.

Continue reading "A Call to New Frontiers" »

August 03, 2014

Taste of Missions 2014

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By Candice, RMM staff writer

Thursday night at CMC Conference 2014, Naumburg Mennonite Church. The theme of the 104th Annual Conference was “Faithfulness in the Home” and a prominent thread that ran through the meetings was how our families and homes can be extended out to include others and bring them to Jesus. RMM’s Taste of Missions program featured stories from our “extended family” in both local and international missions.

Wayne Yoder, ride coordinator, spoke about Ride for Missions (RFM), which is an annual event to raise money for RMM as cyclists collect pledges and bike to Conference. This year, the ride grew to 85 riders and 20 support people. Wayne emphasized that the ride is to raise money, but that’s secondary to the fact that we as Christians are called to be missionaries wherever we go. Riders have a chance to share about missions and also to fellowship together. If you can ride a bike and enjoy it, Wayne encourages you to come along next year! Marlin Ebersole, RMM board member, talked about the first year for Rosedale Missions Cruisers (RMC); eight persons rode motorcycles to Conference and were blessed with a good trip. Along with RFM, the goal of RMC is to invite the world to meet Jesus and to bless him in all they do.

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July 24, 2014

A Simple Act of Kindness

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By Amy*

I backed my scooter out of the carport and prayed that it would start easily after sitting idle for three weeks. Thankfully it started right up so I didn't have to face the embarrassment of sitting by the side of the road trying to start it while the school children sauntered by. We had just returned from our visa trip and I needed to stock up on groceries again, so I headed to the market. I drove slowly and relished the cool morning air, but not the speed bumps in the alley that I tried to ease over. As I turned toward the market, my eyes drifted to the hill climbing steeply up from our town nestled in a valley. That view always takes my breath away. Then my eyes quickly came back down the hill to scan the road as I began to navigate the crush of people, motorbikes, vans, and minibuses that surround the market, the center of life here. I was eager to see the people that, in the last year, I have come to know and enjoy chatting with every couple of days. These beautiful people have been my teachers as they have helped me learn "These beautiful people have been my teachers as they have helped me learn more language, the names of various fruits, vegetables and spices, and have helped me learn more of the culture of my new home."more language, the names of various fruits, vegetables and spices, and have helped me learn more of the culture of my new home. It felt good to look forward to reconnecting with the people even as, at the same time, my nose was revolting at the smell of the rotting vegetables that is a part of the market experience. As I pulled my scooter into the "parking lot," I looked for the kind parking man who always helps me find a place even when it looks impossible to me. Instead a young guy came up to give me my parking tag. "Hmm, that's odd," I thought, "he's always here, except around lunch time when I've seen him take a break. Maybe it's his day off." So I went to order my usual flat of eggs and continued on to find the rest of the things on my list.

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July 11, 2014

Seeking Applicants for an Administrative Assistant in the Finance Department

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RMM is seeking applicants for an administrative assistant in the finance department. Primary responsibilities of the position include receipting/depositing contributions and assisting with various accounting tasks. The ideal candidate is someone who is detail-oriented, good with numbers, and has computer experience. This is a full-time paid position with a preferred beginning date of mid-August 2014. Initially the position will be based in the Rosedale office but will move to the Rosedale International Center in Columbus late 2014/early 2015.

For more info or to express interest contact Mim Musser, HR Director, at (740) 857-1366 or

July 09, 2014

9 Ways to Support a Single Mission Worker in Your Life

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By Danielle Opel

Danielle served as a missionary intern in Thailand for two years. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio and is making plans to return to Bangkok. Here she offers a few suggestions for ways to build up single mission workers. Her advice for singles: “Singleness is really a gift if you choose to let it be. Grow. Be happy.”

As a worker in Thailand in my early twenties, I struggled with being single. Loneliness and insecurity were constant companions. I struggled with the feelings of low self-worth. I happily congratulated friends who had found their special someone, all the time wondering when it would be my turn. Being overseas made me feel like my chances of meeting someone were next to impossible. My Thai friends were always making comments about how I would be so much happier if I had a boyfriend. While these feelings are not all unique to single workers, I think some single workers share similar feelings. Following are some ways you as supporters can show you are behind them and truly care!

Continue reading "9 Ways to Support a Single Mission Worker in Your Life" »

July 01, 2014

Introduce the World at Your Dinner Table

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By Vicki

When I was growing up, I remember my mom making cornbread and beans and relish and a side of fried okra. Even though I was living in Pigeon, Michigan my mom was introducing her Southern heritage to me through food. Some of our dearest friends were a Hindu family who occasionally joined our family for holiday dinners. I can still remember the spicy curries our friend, Kala, contributed to our meals. Our noses would run and our eyes water from the spiciness of the dishes, but we kept going back for more because we loved it! Indian food is still one of my favorite cuisines.

Continue reading "Introduce the World at Your Dinner Table " »

June 30, 2014

A REACH Story: The Little Things

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June 25, 2014

Ready for New Things?

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Opportunities Abound!

By Candice, Tom and Jay*

Has God planted a love in your heart for other cultures? When you hear the stories from mission workers about buying noodles from a vendor, planting seeds with local farmers, or visiting with friends over tea, do you get that “homesick for the bigger world” feeling? Is it possible that God has given you that love for culture so that you can transplant yourself into another county and share Jesus with people who need him? Maybe you’ve already had a short-term missions experience that God keeps bringing back to your mind or maybe there is a people group who have been on your heart and in your prayers for a long time. If God is tugging at your heart about doing something new for him, we have a several opportunities at RMM for you. We are currently seeking workers for the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, and Thailand.

Continue reading "Ready for New Things?" »

June 11, 2014

Believers Arrested, Then Freed: Our God is Great!

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By Tom*, Asia Regional Director

Taa, a young man who is being discipled by our team and who is leading the small group of believers at a gas station in Bangkok, recently returned home to his village in a neighboring country, when his mother became seriously ill. His family came to faith around five years ago when his mother prayed to God and was healed. Since that time they have become leaders of the small fellowship in their village and have helped to introduce many of their friends and neighbors to Jesus. This time God did not heal his mother, but Taa wrote that as she was dying "my mother told us, 'Children, don't forget God. Love God.'" Taa is grateful that his mother is now with the Lord and is thankful for the support and prayers of his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Continue reading "Believers Arrested, Then Freed: Our God is Great!" »

June 06, 2014

5 Ways People Become Missions Active

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By Andrew Miller, Partner Development Director

Do you want to be more mission minded but feel stuck in your daily life and are too busy to even think about it? A recent study* shows that people who have participated in any of the following five things have become more focused on missions as a result. See if you can work one or more of the following in your life.

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May 27, 2014

Smiling Just Thinking About It:
Love and Landslides in the Himalayas

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By Eric, Himalayas REACH Team

Eric and his team have recently returned from their outreach in the Himalayas and are currently debriefing with the other REACH teams at the Rosedale International Center.

I know that God loves me. That’s a fact that I find alarmingly difficult to really absorb, to unbendingly believe, and to fully understand. My head registers God loving me as fact. But my heart often forgets it and I live as though his love has minimal impact on my life.

And yet, I’m starting to learn that the fact that God really, really loves me needs to define my life. In good times, God’s love is to radiate within me. In crisis, God’s love is still supposed to radiate within me. When I’m absolutely miserable, God’s love should still be there. He holds me up. His love should constantly enlighten me when I’m melting down.

Continue reading "Smiling Just Thinking About It:
Love and Landslides in the Himalayas" »

May 21, 2014

Exponential 2014

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By Nate Olmstead, Church Planting Team Coordinator

I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Exponential church planting conference in Orlando, Florida, April 29-May 1, 2104. RMM President, Joe Showalter, and CMC pastors, Duane Detweiler, Larry Kaufman, and Rocky Favia, and myself attended the annual event (the largest global church plant conference), with much anticipation of learning more about “Rethinking Evangelism” which was the theme of this year’s conference. Although I cannot say that I had any major “rethink” moments, I was blessed by the contact with many other missional people and from hearing their stories.

Continue reading "Exponential 2014" »

May 20, 2014

RMM in the City: An Open Letter About Office Relocation

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By Joe Showalter, RMM President


Within a few weeks after Rosedale Mennonite Missions had purchased the facility at 2120 E. 5th Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, that is now called the Rosedale International Center, a few of the RMM staff approached me about the possibility of RMM moving its headquarters from Rosedale to Columbus. At that point, we knew we had just purchased a large facility that would allow us to grow REACH and City Challenge, our summer and fall programs for youth and young adults. We also knew that it was for more than that. When the RMM board took action to purchase the building, they had clearly stated that they saw broader uses for the building. They had a sense that this could be a center that would take RMM to a new level in its mission training and networking and sending. While I had long seen some advantages to RMM's headquarters being in an urban setting rather than a rural one, I didn't immediately engage with the idea. I could easily see some major downsides, particularly the negative impact it could have on current employees and the inherent potential for loss of connectedness to Rosedale Bible College and the Conservative Mennonite Conference offices, which are all currently located on the same campus in Rosedale, Ohio. But by the time three or four staff members independently suggested that maybe RMM should consider going that route, I began to sit up and take notice and wonder if God was trying to speak to me.

Continue reading "RMM in the City: An Open Letter About Office Relocation" »

May 16, 2014

Pray for My Friend

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By Pablo, RMM worker in Spain

Names changed for security reasons.

I met Jorge about three and a half years ago at a restaurant owned and run by an English friend. He and his wife, Christina, had been in Granada for nearly a year and hadn't gotten to know many people yet. He's legally blind, a combination of albinism, and having meningitis at three- months old, after which his eyes never developed normally. Jorge was born in northwestern Spain, but moved to England when he was a teenager where he finished his education, married and worked for most of his adult life. In spite of his limited vision, he's traveled extensively. He has three grown children with his ex-wife, who all live in England.

Continue reading "Pray for My Friend" »

May 15, 2014

Getting to Know…Esta Felder

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Esta* is an RMM worker who has lived and worked in the Middle East for the past twelve years. She will be coming back to the U.S. for a home assignment from June to September. We hope the following interview will help you become better acquainted with Esta and her unique ministry in the Middle East.

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May 12, 2014

The Faceless Mother

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By Josiah, RMM worker in North Africa, excerpted from a weekly newsletter

The following are four recent encounters related to women: 1) last week I attended an international agriculture fair in our old city with some farmers. It was a hot day, and—besides the farm implements and livestock—there was on display a range of women’s dress one doesn’t see in the countryside. A particular woman caught the attention of one of the more pious members of the group, a man I’d never met before, and he turned to me and said, “She needs…,” and then wagged his hand with the sign for discipline, usually corporal; 2) a few days later as I passed a park, I saw a middle-aged man, his wife, their teenage son and 10-year-old daughter posing for a family picture. The daughter was dressed in shorts and trendy top, the mother appeared faceless wearing a hijab with an ankle-length dress with hand-concealing sleeves and a face-concealing veil; 3) a day later I saw a billboard whose dominant image was the stereotypical face of a female model, that unsmiling, shrunken-cheeked, hollow-eyed stare. It was an advertisement for a car, available “at a seductive rate”; 4) on Sunday we gathered with a few others for a time of worship, and as part of that time we acted out the story of Jesus and the disciples’ interactions with the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15): a desperate mother pleads for help, the disciples express their disdain, Jesus appears to voice their (disturbing) unspoken thoughts in several responses to the woman, but then resoundingly affirms her faith.

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May 08, 2014

Team North Africa Hits the Road

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The North Africa REACH team spends most of their outreach trekking through rugged mountain terrain. Modern day apostles, they pray, build relationships along the trail, and share Jesus with those who invite them in for the night. Team member’s last names have been omitted for security reasons.

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May 07, 2014

Integrity: You Never Know Who is Watching

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By Trent Miller

Trent and five other SEND Ministries interns are living and serving at the Rosedale International Center. As part of their intern training, they prepared speeches on different aspects of leadership. These are Trent’s thoughts on having integrity as a leader.

My father is someone that I see as a person of integrity. Growing up, I noticed how he was always willing to make things right with another person. Whether it was returning the extra money he had received from a store or living out what he was teaching my brother and me. I have always seen him as a man of his word and consistent in his actions. He set an example for me as being one who acts out what he truly believes in his heart.

Continue reading "Integrity: You Never Know Who is Watching" »

April 17, 2014

Menemen Recipe

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Some seriously flavorful scrambled eggs from our friend in the Middle EastBy Cecelia Aslan*

The recipes of our adopted country’s kitchen are rich with vegetables, olive oil, flavorings and use only small amounts of meat. You’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet? That’s it.

One simple, but bursting-with-flavor meal is ‘menemen’ (pronounced something like ‘many men!’). I sometimes joke with my classes that menemen is my favorite Turkish food – a joke they understand once I write ‘many men’ on the board. It is similar to scrambled eggs but full of veggies and more flavorful. It is usually eaten for breakfast but it is hearty enough for another meal and is good for a hot summer day since its preparation doesn’t heat up the kitchen too much. The recipe can be adapted; feel free to use less or leave out the onions or add sliced olives. If you don’t have pepper paste, no problem! You could also add crumbled bacon or pieces of ham, although that would be ‘haram’ (forbidden) in a Muslim country.

Continue reading "Menemen Recipe" »

April 14, 2014

The Art of Lingering

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By Ann Martin*

The night is pure black. One lone bulb beams a welcome as our driver carefully turns towards it. Jay and I get out of the car; the surf pounds thunderously and the wind whips our clothes. The driver seems relieved to finally be able to deliver his charges. We don't speak his language nor he ours. In the distance we hear a familiar voice confirming that the six-hour drive from the airport has brought us to the right place.

The annual retreat is part of the yearly rhythms of a mission worker's life. Many years ago our children were young and we were the only ones in country with RMM. Doing ministry without much support was often intense and lonely. We began joining with other organizations for retreats taking place in various countries in the region. One year we travelled by bus through Syria to Jordan. Another year we joined the retreat in Egypt. Years later as workers joined our company we had retreats together in country, sometimes inviting guests for input.

Continue reading "The Art of Lingering" »

April 10, 2014

Reaching a Wider Audience

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A note from Esta, an RMM worker in the Middle East, about an exciting new opportunity for the plays that she writes and directs to reach a wider audience…

Every year from October through June, youth from the Protestant churches gather monthly in a group they call Youth for Christ. Each meeting consists of worship, a drama, prayer (usually for a region of the country), and a guest (usually a pastor) who shares with the group. This group was started, and is run by, young local believers. All last season, the meetings were filmed by the one Christian television station in the country. This year those recordings are being broadcast every Sunday at different times. This is a national television station so the programs are broadcast nationwide. Thanks to outside funds, Youth for Christ has obtained their own good quality camera this season and continue to film each meeting. This way, the meetings can continue to be broadcast next year, assuming the quality is good enough. I’m happy that the plays will be seen and that many will hear the message, and also that viewers can see how theater can be used in their gatherings.

Please pray for Esta, for creativity from the Holy Spirit in sharing the Good News in her plays. Thank you for being a partner in her work!  

*Name changed and country name omitted for security reasons.

Continue reading "Reaching a Wider Audience" »

April 09, 2014

With Sadness, Nervousness, and Excitement

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A letter from Joe and Lynn*

What an incredible experience! Two and a half years ago we set out on an adventure and only God knew the outcome. In the last few years while living in Bangkok, God has brought amazing people and experiences into our lives. We have deep, meaningful friendships with both Thai and foreign friends and we have seen God use us and work through those friendships. The way we saw God work most clearly, was in our friendship with Khruu. In the last seven months Khruu moved into our home and lived with us. She was suffering physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband and we were able to offer her a safe and loving home. She is family now. We had many conversations with her about faith, Jesus, and life. She now calls herself half-Buddhist and half-Christian. We pray that she continues her journey toward Christ. She has now gotten back on her feet and is in a nice apartment and seems to have found joy in her life.

Continue reading "With Sadness, Nervousness, and Excitement" »

April 07, 2014

Forgive to Live:
Updates from the Greece REACH team

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By Erica*

There is one story that I would love to share because it is very encouraging to me and the team! This is how it happened:

Here in Greece we are able to do some outreaches in the center of the city. Basically, we try to go out and meet new people and hope to share Jesus with them. In order to draw their attention, we need to come up with some creative things to do out in the heart of the city. So while a YWAM team was here we decided to do a “forgiveness outreach.” We made our way into the city with paper, pens, a trashcan, and poster boards that said "Forgive to Live." During this time we met a young guy and explained what we were doing that night and asked if he needed to forgive anyone. We told him all he needed to do is write down a name or anything he wanted on the paper and then rip it up and throw it away. He wasn't interested in doing this at the moment but was very interested in practicing some conversational English with us and wanted to meet for coffee to talk and work on his English. "A lot of times we don't see the fruit of our seeds, but this time God blessed us all with showing us that he was at work!"We exchanged numbers and agreed to get in touch to set a date, but because of traveling and busy schedules we weren't able to meet for about two weeks. When we finally met, during one of our conversations, he explained to us that he had just forgiven the person he needed to forgive the day before! It was so encouraging to hear that he was able to let go of what had happened between him and the other person! A lot of times we don't see the fruit of our seeds, but this time God blessed us all with showing us that he was at work!

Continue reading "Forgive to Live:
Updates from the Greece REACH team" »

April 04, 2014

Why We Attend BOOST

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By Larry and Dot Chupp

Every year, sometime in March, there is a gathering of business people, pastors, and others at BOOST, a business retreat sponsored by Conservative Mennonite Conference, Rosedale Mennonite Missions, and Rosedale Bible College. Over the past nine years we have attended eight times. We love being there and always make sure it is on our calendar. The retreat normally starts on Thursday evening and ends Saturday noon. Here are some of the reasons we make it a priority and suggest you do as well.

We are so grateful for the relationships we have made over the years at BOOST. Each year we look forward to seeing those we met there in the past and have had the privilege of building relationships with. We find the camaraderie very fulfilling. We also look forward to seeing new people in attendance and gaining new friends. We have found ways to connect on many levels in addition to business. Fellowship is enhanced because this retreat is rooted in the teachings of Christ. This alone sets it apart from secular business seminars and retreats where God is not the center. Each day opens with a devotional and we see this as a strong asset to the retreat as we are called to focus on God.

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March 24, 2014

Christ is Enough: An Update from the REACH Team in Spain

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By Kirsten*

Life in Spain would probably seem pretty normal to all of you in the United States. We don’t have very many hardships when it comes to everyday living. Our city is very safe, and we have a comfortable apartment. Grocery stores here are similar to those at home, and roadway laws are also comparable. We help with English classes, provide language exchange opportunities for our friends, and go to church twice a week. Seems pretty nice, right?

Well, it is. I have absolutely loved being here, taking in the culture and making new friendships. I love this country and especially the community that we have been given the privilege of joining. I feel so blessed to have the honor of living here with my girls on my team. In all seriousness, this whole REACH experience has been the best time of my life so far, but that does not mean it has been easy and peachy to walk. We have had our struggles, but thankfully, I am surrounded by three amazing girls who push me to love Jesus more and fight for joy.

Continue reading "Christ is Enough: An Update from the REACH Team in Spain" »

March 20, 2014

Studying Nehemiah in Southeast Asia

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RMM's team in Thailand recently organized a seminar for a small group of Southeast Asian believers. They met in a town along the Mekong River and spent several days studying the book of Nehemiah. Nixson reported that "The seminar was good, it was interesting to hear their ideas about plans for the future. The study helped them to understand better leaders’ responsibilities and what leadership means."

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March 17, 2014

Mim’s Changing Role at RMM

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After nearly fourteen years as the HR director at RMM, Mim Musser is stepping down from that position, effective August 31, 2014. Though this does not mean Mim is leaving RMM, we are sad to see Mim resigning this role as she has deeply impacted our lives and served us so well over many years. She has cared for us with a lot of wisdom, personal sacrifice, and love. Thanks so much, Mim, for blessing us all in so many ways!

RMM is in discussion with Mim about continuing on a part-time basis as Prayer Coordinator and with other responsibilities that we find mutually beneficial and feasible. Mim, we wish you God’s blessings during this transition time in your life as you cut back at RMM and are thankful for the many opportunities God has given, and continues to give you, to encourage many people in your life. We thank God for you!

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March 13, 2014

Cultural Snapshot: Unexpected Guests

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By Sarah, serving in North Africa

We enjoyed hosting friends from another town this weekend. We had invited an extended family that we have become close to over our years there, but had no idea that they would literally bring the whole family! Josiah called from the taxi station to say that there were twelve people coming and I immediately thought: we might need to get more chicken. They arrived, however, with food in hand (four chickens stuffed with noodles) and we were set for lunch only needing to make salads, breads and fruit for dessert. They immediately made their way to the terrace to enjoy the sun and we served tea and coffeecake before part of the group left for an outing to the forest.

After returning, we enjoyed lunch together with lots of laughing and story-telling. There was a lot of sparring going on between the son-in-law and grandmother of the family, who took it with her great sense of humor. After strawberry shortcake and coffee, everyone left for the mountains to enjoy some sledding. Even the grandmother and her step-mother, both of whom are probably in their eighties, took several turns going down. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we are thankful for such good friends who travel to see us!

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March 11, 2014

New Workers for the Harvest in Thailand

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RMM is happy to announce the appointment of Conrad and Vicki Esh as workers to Thailand! They will be joining the RMM team that is working at church-planting in Bangkok. Conrad and Vicki are the parents of three daughters: Lydia, Bryn and Ellie. Conrad and Vicki currently live in Urbana, OH. Conrad is the pastor of Crossway Vineyard Church and Vicki is a full-time graduate student studying Intercultural Ministry. Their projected departure date is January 2015.

Praise God with us for these workers and please keep them in your prayers during this intense time in their lives.

Continue reading "New Workers for the Harvest in Thailand" »

March 06, 2014

Hey Kids! Your invitation to the Prayer Gathering

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By Irma Chon

Hey kids! I'm looking forward to spending time with you and "Time With Abba." Abba is your Father or Daddy God. When we are together we will enjoy a time of worship and hearing God's voice! Not only are we going to have fun together, but we are going to have a blast spending time with Abba! Our world is noisy and busy, and time with Abba can be easily passed over. Time with Abba is when you take time out of your day to make an appointment to connect with God. Even Jesus took this time. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). The bottom line is that you can’t be a healthy Christian without spending time with God. When you spend time with God, you will:

  • Fall in love with him more
  • Receive direction for daily living
  • Have his strength to keep going
  • Grow more like him
Come to the prayer conference with your parents on October 31 and November 1 and let’s learn about prayer together! The good news is, you don’t have to grow up first!

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March 03, 2014

Getting to know Phil and Maretta

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Phil and Maretta* are newly appointed RMM workers who arrived in Malaga Spain to begin their assignment on February 27. We invite your prayers for them as they begin new work and adjust to a new setting. Continue reading for a personal introduction to Phil and Maretta as well as a little more about their work and their prayer requests as they go.

By Bethany Geib (First printed in the newsletter of Shiloh Mennonite Church)

As the oldest of ten children (eight girls and two boys), Maretta’s responsibilities included sewing for her siblings and getting up early to milk the family herd. Their family didn't travel much, but they lived by a creek where they enjoyed playing, wading, and fishing. Munching on molasses chunks in the cow feed prepared Maretta well for eating strange things on the mission field! After a stroke, her grandmother came to live with Maretta's family, and Maretta was very involved with her care. Maretta accepted Christ at the age of 10 and knew she wanted to be a missionary nurse from a very young age. As the first family member to attend college, she had to convince her parents of why she wanted to go.

Continue reading "Getting to know Phil and Maretta" »

Testimonies: My Experience of Worship-Based Prayer

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Rosedale Mennonite Missions and Conservative Mennonite Conference invite you to join us at the Rosedale International Center from October 31-November 1 for the 2014 CMC Prayer Gathering. We envision this as a time of encountering God in community. We expect to be refreshed and changed as we experience time set aside to corporately and inter-generationally focus on him. We envision a time of equipping and training for pastors and prayer leaders who will leave with a passion to make their churches “houses of prayer” and children being trained and excited about how God can use them in prayer. We long for and are asking God for a move of his Spirit among us. Come add your prayers to ours and see what God will do when we ask him with hope and expectancy.

Many people in CMC have already been blessed by experiencing corporate, worship-based prayer. We asked several of them to share some of their “takeaways” from those experiences with you…

Continue reading "Testimonies: My Experience of Worship-Based Prayer" »

Update from Team Himalayas

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By Eric*

I just love where we're at as a team right now. But on to what we're doing: we're mainly just taking it easy here in capital city* after our time in the East for the youth conference. And it's been really good for all of us to recharge.

The main event this week was the three-day youth conference. We were asked to play some songs and lead worship each of the three days, and so we practiced what we could and however we could, with only a guitar to use. We left on Wednesday morning and got there in the evening, pretty much right as the conference started. Zach was pretty sick on the second day, so Brennan played guitar and a local friend had to fill in on drums last minute. Also I didn't get to help for the first two days since they didn't have a keyboard onstage. On the third day, though, they got one set up and pretty much made my day.

Continue reading "Update from Team Himalayas" »

March 01, 2014

Reflections on the Middle East Summit

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By Regional Director Jay Martin*

In January of this year, a group of CMC and RMM leaders gathered in the Middle East to meet with our missionaries. We reflected together on what God has been doing in this country and listened to his voice about our future in this country. We visited a number of believers and churches in cities in the southeast part of the country. We listened, we interceded, we dreamed, and we studied the Word together in an upper room in the capital city. We are deeply grateful for reports of how God has raised up a young church in the past few decades. Since the year 2000 the number of evangelical churches has grown from 55 to 135. RMM has been a small but significant part of that work of God in raising up a church in that country. We left with a renewed vision to send a new generation of workers! The door is still open for North American Christians to live and work in this country. These are volatile times in the region. The very foundations of government and religious systems are being shaken in these days. I believe that the small and young church is poised to declare in both word and deed an unshakable kingdom of the Prince of Peace to those who are becoming disillusioned with Islam and political power.

Would you join us in prayer for our workers in this country and new workers, (teachers, disciplers, students,etc.) to walk with the growing church in declaring the kingdom of God.

*Place name omitted and author name changed for security reasons.

Continue reading "Reflections on the Middle East Summit" »

February 17, 2014

My Journey with Worship-Based Prayer

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by Lyn Byler

We are pleased to have Lyn Byler, pastor of Maranatha Fellowship in Dover, Delaware and owner of Byler’s Store leading our time of corporate prayer at the 2014 CMC Prayer Gathering, October 31-November 1. Lyn is an avid student of worship-based prayer and has a vision for seeing the church grow in prayer.

In the early years of my leadership at Maranatha Fellowship we had explored various models of church life learning many good ideas and principles for church health and growth. At some point I was handed the book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala which opened my eyes to the critical need for prayer in the life of the church in a whole new way. We embraced the call to prayer and spent several years exploring many avenues of bringing prayer to the core of our church life.

When RMM hosted the Prayer Conference at RBC with Daniel Henderson as the leader (April, 2008), Daniel’s introduction to corporate worship based prayer became the “rubber meets the road” of developing a prayer culture in our church. I’ve witnessed this in action through several visits to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for teaching sessions and by experiencing their Tuesday night prayer meeting with up to 4,000 people. My love for corporate prayer has increased by attending and leading various prayer gatherings. It never ceases to amaze me what God does during these times.

Continue reading "My Journey with Worship-Based Prayer" »

Last Month in Bangkok

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Danielle* is currently a student at Kasem Bundit University where she is developing relationships and sharing the love of Jesus. Danielle is preparing to return to the States as she completes her two-year apprentice term. She is in dialogue with RMM and plans a return to Thailand as a long-term worker. These are a few of her thoughts and prayer requests as she prepares to return home.

Hello to all in far off lands!

There is so much to tell and so little time, so let’s start with my departure date. I will arrive in America on the 25th of March. I will stay in Columbus for a week of re-entry and processing. Then I will be going home! I am so excited to see my friends and family! As far as future plans, they are still in process and I will fill you in when I know for sure.

Continue reading "Last Month in Bangkok" »

February 05, 2014

Shooting Stars

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An update from the North Africa REACH team*

Outreach has been going very well. Language training is, as they say it here, “shweeya b’shweeya” (slowly but surely). We finished phase 1A this week and are now looking forward to phase 1B. I feel like we have been advancing at an average pace, but we are doing very well nonetheless. While here in the city our main outreach is making friends and having interactions. We have all started to find our own little things. Our team leader visits many of his friends from last year. I have found two friends; one to drink tea with and another who helps me with my language. Another teammate has joined a gym and been working out there this month. He has already met a couple people that have the potential to be some good workout partners. One of the guys has found a shopkeeper up around the corner that he spends several hours a week with. We all enjoy it very much and are having a great time with building friendships! So all in all I say that things are going pretty well.

Continue reading "Shooting Stars" »

January 28, 2014

Video Postcards from the Middle East

A group of RMM staff, board members, and other interested individuals are currently spending time in RMM's location in the Middle East. They are visitng with our workers and local believers, becoming familiar with the region through travel and input, and spending concentrated time discussing issues in bi-annual regional director meetings.

Please keep them in your prayers and check back here for regular video updates from the trip.

Postcard One

Mediterranean Regional Director Jay Martin* asks the question, “God, how do you want us to work in this country in the next decade?”

Continue reading "Video Postcards from the Middle East" »

January 22, 2014

An Invitation to Pray

Today there is a group of people (RMM staff, board members, and other interested individuals) flying to the Middle East to spend time with our workers, become familiar with the region through travel and input, and spend concentrated time discussing issues in bi-annual regional director meetings.

Following are prayer requests from Jay Martin, Mediterranean regional director:

  1. We want to bless and encourage both local and foreign laborers in the harvest by listening to them and praying for them especially the first five days of traveling in the south and east.
  2. Pray that logistical details will work out as we travel: flights, connections, meeting with people, divine encounters.
  3. Health for the travelers and also the families and businesses left behind.
  4. Join us in prayer for an anointed time of studying the word and seeking the face of God for an unprecedented awakening in this nation.
  5. For protection from the enemies of the cross.
  6. For us to hear the voice of God as we reflect together on what he has done (during the past three decades), is doing, and wants to do in these tumultuous times in this part of the world. May his reign of peace and righteousness be established.

Continue reading "An Invitation to Pray" »

January 09, 2014

Camino de Santiago

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The Camino de Santiago (or the Way of St. James) is a major Christian pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where the remains of the apostle James are believed to be buried. On October 18 2013, RMM worker Pablo* and two of his Spanish friends, Jorge and Timoteo set out on the pilgrimage…

The whole idea began last May while walking with my friend Jorge. We’d had some good talks about faith and such things. He wants faith, but finds it difficult to get there, maybe because of his disillusionment with Catholic tradition and practice, in which he was brought up. Maybe also because of his intellectual capacities, which make him ask hard questions and demand clear answers. Somehow the idea emerged, since walking was becoming more fun and we were getting fitter, to do the Camino—not only for fitness, but also as a spiritual pilgrimage. October was targeted as the month to do it, and I told Bruce (the director of the academy where I teach), before school was out in the spring, of my intentions to take a week off in October. That goal motivated me to do daily walking routine of five miles or so each day all through the summer in the USA and after getting back to Granada. Shoes were purchased in the States, backpack and other necessary gear were purchased in September, so there was no going back! Also in September, Timoteo committed to going along and started preparing as well.

Continue reading "Camino de Santiago" »

January 08, 2014

New Workers for the Harvest

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“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38)

RMM would like to mobilize, train, and send more workers into the world this year. Would you be willing to ask God if he is calling you?

Here are a few specific ways to pray:

  • For young adults who will move to Thailand for their college education; university campuses there present many opportunities for discipling relationships
  • For a young adult to go to Thailand as an assistant, child mentor, and child care provider for two missionary families
  • Several young adults from Nicaragua and Costa Rica are interested in moving to Thailand; pray that their churches would equip and send them
  • Two single women from Ecuador are raising support from their local churches to be sent to North Africa; pray that they will be able to raise the funds needed to go in 2014
  • There are many opportunities for teachers to get employment in the region where RMM is working in the Middle East; pray that a new generation of singles and young married adults will walk through these open doors to live, work and make disciples in this country
  • There are opportunities for physical therapists to serve in rural areas where therapy is unavailable in a North African nation; disciple-makers who have specialized training in therapy are making a tangible difference in the lives of rural families, but much more could be done in bringing spiritual and physical wholeness to many who have yet to hear
  • The Spanish government is offering grants to college seniors and graduates to come to Spain to be teacher assistants in Spanish public schools. This is a unique opportunity to live and work as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven to those who live in the post-Christian kingdom of Spain
  • Praise God for the new workers he has called who are currently in the process of being sent

Continue reading "New Workers for the Harvest" »

Precious in His Sight

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From Karen* on the REACH South Africa team. Karen and her team are working in an orphanage in Johannesburg.

I found out over the weekend that two of the babies in my unit are going back to their parents at the beginning of the year. This is so hard for me to understand… How can parents abandon their children and then change their minds? I’m sure if I heard more of the story, maybe I would understand, but I get upset with a parent who could do that. I was pretty angry about it for the first couple hours, but then I just started praying that God would protect the children and I trust that He does. So, I am praying that these two babies will be able to connect with their families and grow to be people of faith as they go where God wants them to be. I have had an amazing amount of peace about it. There are a number of children who are getting adopted after the beginning of the year, so that is exciting and also hard to know that children I am learning to love so much are going to leave. But, they are also going to their “forever families” and I pray that they have been matched well and that bonds can form quickly in these new environments. I often wonder how a child came to be here, or question how a parent could abandon these beautiful babies. But, the reality is, that isn’t for me to know or question. I can’t do anything about a parent abandoning their child, and even hearing their story isn’t going to change what I can do about it. One thing I can do… I can lift these children up to our Father, and I can trust that He has their lives in His control. I know that He loves each one of these precious babies whom we have been privileged to spend time with during this period of our lives. They are indeed precious in His sight.

*Last name omitted for security reasons.

Read more from the South Africa REACH team on their blog.

Continue reading "Precious in His Sight" »

January 02, 2014

For Missions, for Brotherhood, and for Marilyn

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An Interview by Candice, RMM staff writer

In July of 2013, three brothers decided to tackle Ride for Missions as a united front. RMM President Joe Showalter, along with his two brothers, Nathan Showalter and Don Showalter, as well as 63 other riders, rode a total of 350 miles from Waynesboro, Virginia through the Appalachian Mountains to Belleville, Pennsylvania. Don lost his wife, Marilyn, to cancer only three months prior to the trip, so he rode in her honor and with the support of his brothers. We asked them to share some of their journey with us.

Q: Why did you decide to do RFM this year and why did you decide to do it together?

NS: I bike regularly in Shanghai and have wanted to do a longer ride. I heard of RFM and decided the ride from Virginia to Pennsylvania could work for me. I checked with Joe and he said he was also interested in doing the ride, so we decided to both sign up.

DS: Joe and Nate decided to do the Ride and began leaning on me to do it with them. At the time, Marilyn's health was not good, so I didn't figure there was any chance I could do it. But things changed at the end of April with her graduation to Glory, and I decided to do the Ride in her honor. I think she was proud of me!

JS: For most of the history of the Ride For Missions, I’ve been a jealous observer. I’ve often been present at the ride kick-off, and have always been there at the grand finale when that beautiful processional of riders in matching T-shirts comes coasting to a stop. I’ve listened to their stories and seen the camaraderie that has developed over the miles. Each time I wanted to be one of them, but it always seemed like I didn’t have time since the days leading up to Annual Conference are usually some of the busiest days in my schedule. This year, the ride came at the end of a three-month sabbatical, so I knew I would have the time not only to ride but to make sure I was prepared to ride.

Continue reading "For Missions, for Brotherhood, and for Marilyn" »

December 23, 2013

A Story of Multiplication

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Josiah,* an RMM worker in North Africa, sent this note as part of the family’s update earlier this month.

I returned to our old neighborhood several weeks ago on some errands and stopped in to visit a mechanic friend at the garage where he works. In the course of our conversation, he tried out some English he’d been learning. This young man has completed four years of formal education but has a passion to learn and an ear for language learning in particular. He told me he was taking a class in the neighborhood. Where? I wondered. At the association where you used to teach, he told me. I quizzed him about the books they were using and his teacher. Two young women whom a colleague and I had trained were teaching the class using a curriculum we had arranged for the association to receive. My friend described the interactions in class and the opportunities for speaking and said he was enjoying it a lot.

Continue reading "A Story of Multiplication" »

December 19, 2013

Update from Joe & Lynn in Bangkok

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An excerpt from Joe and Lynn’s* December 2013 newsletter

We have been working hard at trying to see what the next three years will be like for us here in Thailand. We've decided to move toward business as missions. Our first two years were exploratory and feel we have found our groove, yet there is still a lot of work to do. Lynn has re-opened Lynn Michelle Design, creating a line of baby products as well as all-natural laundry soap. We are selling at local markets and will be getting our business licensed. I am “the help.” Whatever Lynn needs help with, I try to do. We want to live the light of Christ as people doing business in this city. We are excited about this! It will take time to be self-sufficient. So, we greatly appreciate your support and hope that with each year, we can support ourselves more and more.

I (Joe) have started a website to continue my goal of being involved in the health and running community of Bangkok. I will be writing a few small eBooks along the way to help fund ourselves, and share what Jesus is doing in my life. Through the site, I started a meet-up to discuss physical and spiritual health. The group is small. We’ve met four times so far and are of various religious beliefs; it will be interesting to see how God leads the group as I find opportunities to share.

Please pray for us we continue to discern what God has directed for our time in Thailand and how we are to move forward here.

Continue reading "Update from Joe & Lynn in Bangkok" »

December 17, 2013

What Exactly is Pride??

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By Christy*

Christy, along 30 other REACH participants, recently completed discipleship training at the Rosedale International Center in Columbus. The following is excerpted from her team’s blog…

God has been teaching me about hope, joy, grace and all kinds of things, and I just want to tell you about all of it! However, this is supposed to be a blog entry, not a book, so I won't.  But one thing I've been thinking about a lot in the last few years is pride, and some of the DTS (discipleship training) sessions and conversations I've had recently have furthered my quest for understanding of this subject.

Continue reading "What Exactly is Pride??" »

December 10, 2013

Christmas Greetings

Continue reading "Christmas Greetings" »

Political Clashes in Bangkok

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Over the past several weeks political tensions have resurfaced in Thailand leading to large demonstrations in Bangkok. Protesters have occupied government buildings and, while these events have been largely peaceful, there have been clashes between pro and anti-government groups and at least five people have died. Thailand’s Prime Minister has responded by dissolving parliament and calling for new elections to be held early next year.

Continue reading "Political Clashes in Bangkok" »

December 04, 2013

Softening Toward the Good News

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By Sara*

About six years ago, when Josiah and I were in language school full time, we hired Aicha* to come to our home to help with cleaning and child care. Our family connected with her right away. She and I talked, using the little Arabic that I had and the little French that she knew. She was great with our kids, playing with them and teaching them new songs. She would often put our daughter to bed or pretend to put her doll to sleep by singing Frere Jaque (Brother John). From early on we had a lot of conversations about faith and what we each believe. I would talk to her about Jesus and she would share with me some of the beliefs of Islam, and as we talked it was clear that she was cool towards followers of Jesus, especially those who had once been Muslims. She had an aunt who was a follower of Jesus and it was difficult for her to accept that reality.

Continue reading "Softening Toward the Good News" »

November 26, 2013

New Workers for the Harvest in Spain

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RMM is pleased to announce that as of November 1, 2013, Phil and Maretta* have been appointed to work in Spain. Their pre-field assignment has already begun. We are working in close partnership with their sending church, Allensville Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania, to send them early next year. Let’s be praying for them as they share the vision for Spain and raise prayer and financial support. We are rejoicing in God’s provision of new workers for the harvest in Spain!

If you would like to support Phil and Maretta you can make an online donation here, or contact RMM at or 740-857-1366 for more ways to get involved.

*Last name omitted for security reasons

Continue reading "New Workers for the Harvest in Spain" »

November 20, 2013

Welcome Nate!

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Nate Olmstead began his new part-time position as Church Planting Team Coordinator with RMM on October 1. Nate and his wife, Denise and their six children Abigail (8), Isaiah (7), Clay (5), Cassia (4), Trenton (2) and Jeremiah (5 months) live in Croghan, New York. They enjoy hiking, picnics, playing baseball, kickball, or anything that involves a ball!

Nate’s role involves assisting the Conservative Mennonite Conference in achieving its newly-adopted goal of seeing ten percent of our 105 churches plant a church within the next three years. He will be putting together a team of specialists who will help to foster and facilitate church planting initiatives across CMC.

Continue reading "Welcome Nate!" »


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The World at Your Table, Christmas 2013 special price: $10!

Starting early with your Christmas shopping this year? We have a great way to avoid crowded stores and give a thoughtful and useful gift, while simultaneously supporting the cause of missions! For anyone on your list who loves travel, cooking, or eating foods from other cultures, The World at Your Table: An RMM Cookbook (compiled by Susannah Fath Cotman), is a perfect gift. This cookbook is packed with simple, affordable, and flavorful recipes from around the globe. Sometimes international cooking can feel intimidating, but these easy recipes make ethnic foods accessible and easy to make at home. If you already own the cookbook, tell us some of your favorite recipes in comments below!

To purchase, you can pick one up at the RIC or the Rosedale office or order online at

Continue reading "ON SALE NOW! " »

October 31, 2013

An update from Esta Felder

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Esta* is a worker in the Middle East who writes and directs dramas and is training believers in theater. The plays are used by the monthly youth meetings, in regular church services, at camps, retreats, and conferences for a variety of purposes: to teach the youth, encourage and build up community, and reach out to non-believers.

Our last play depicting the parable of Lazarus and the rich man went really well. We received a lot of feedback on it and once again I was very proud of the actors. Our next play for Youth for Christ will deal with the issue of how easily people leave the church. I was asked by the leaders of Youth for Christ to write a play specifically on the topic of church. This is a shame-based culture and people are easily offended. Their response is to immediately cut themselves off instead of trying to resolve the problem. In the play we show that just as even loving marriages require work and commitment, so does being part of the Body of Christ.

Continue reading "An update from Esta Felder" »

October 29, 2013

Becoming a Man of Prayer

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Some reflections from a REACH practicum in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania

By Luke*

I’m sitting in a hammock, the breeze gently pushing me back and forth. It’s cold up here on the mountain, so I decided to bundle up with my hat and warm jacket. I close my eyes and rely on my remaining senses to paint the picture that I’m seeing before me. I open my ears and hear a chipmunk squeaking; perhaps he’s angry that I’ve invaded his territory. A cricket is singing just a few yards away and a small spring is trickling down the rocky path to the ravine. A few birds are singing their sweet song that could easily put me to sleep, but the cold has sent most of them away already. I breathe in deep, taking in the fresh air. A slight tinge of smoke from a campfire finds its way out of the woven layers of my jacket; I can almost feel its warming glow.

Continue reading "Becoming a Man of Prayer" »

October 25, 2013

From Mustard Seed to Tree

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By Tom M, Asia regional director

During my recent visit to Thailand, one of the highlights was spending an entire day with members of the RMM team and several of the local believers studying the Bible, talking about church planting principles, and discussing life and ministry in their specific contexts. Dan Byler shared from his experiences years ago in Nicaragua, telling us how his work with some unlikely young men led to the birth of many churches in a remote area. He told of how the gospel spread from village to village and the way in which uneducated, marginalized people were instrumental to that growth. We can see the same potential now—both in the villages of a neighboring country and even in the sprawling city of Bangkok. Faith in Jesus can spread naturally along relationship lines and in ways that are often unexpected. Another highlight that day was reading together the account of Paul’s work in Ephesus and discussing the importance that he placed on leadership development. We recognized that it is crucial to make disciples who will in turn make disciples. It’s the only way that the gospel will take root and spread among their people.

Continue reading "From Mustard Seed to Tree" »

October 20, 2013

We've Moved (our website)

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We’ve moved our old website address of to our new and shorter address of, and request that you update your bookmarks/favorites to our new address.

We have kept our old address live (it simply mirrors what’s available on our new address), but plan to discontinue that in the near future. Additionally, if you are a church or entity that has our old address linked on your website we need you to update that link as well.


Continue reading "We've Moved (our website)" »

October 17, 2013

Welcome New Board Member

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David Kochsmeier, appointed to a six- year term ending August 2019.

David and his wife Beverly (Bev), have been married for 25 years. They live in Bethlehem, PA. They have four sons: Aaron, 24; Philip, 22; Daniel, 18; and Joshua, 17. David has been the senior pastor of Steel City Mennonite Church in Bethlehem, PA for the past 24 years. He is a speaker and program producer for Life with God Ministries which produces a 30 minute weekly broadcast heard on six radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic region and Puerto Rico. He has served as board chair for Lehigh Valley Christian School for the past eight years. He also currently represents CMC on the planning Advisory Committee for Mennonite World Conference’s General Assembly. For relaxation, David enjoys reading, playing golf, and vacationing on a cruise ship (David says he refuses to take life seriously!). David’s interest in and support for global missions has been growing and expanding in the past several years. He is “thrilled to hear stories of what God is doing through ordinary people with an anointing to reach individuals with the gospel of Jesus.” He sees his role on the RMM board as an encourager and supporter of workers on the field.

Continue reading "Welcome New Board Member" »

October 16, 2013

Seeking Your Story

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Do you have a strong desire to share your faith with your friends who don’t yet believe? Have you discovered creative ways to love others and share God’s Word? How have you and your church been a light to your community?

Maybe you feel successful or unsuccessful. Maybe you’ve gotten discouraged or your passion for reaching friends for Jesus is at an all-time high. Maybe you feel alone in your mission. Whatever place you find yourself in, we at RMM want to hear your story. We believe that the more stories we hear and share, the more we can inspire each other to live a missional life. God’s Spirit is unstoppable and we want to join with him to seek the lost. Let us know what your church is trying or share a story from your own life. Respond right here or send staff writer Candice an e-mail today.

Continue reading "Seeking Your Story" »

October 07, 2013

The Path Where He Has Placed Our Feet

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An Update from Art and Paula Shore*

At some point several years ago, the government of our country in the Middle East, our home for the past fourteen years, decided we were no longer welcome on their soil. This decision affected all the foreign Christian workers from our part of the country. But rather than deporting people and creating a scene, they preferred to merely not renew residence permits, while refusing to give any reason. “You’ll have to ask Angora” (the capital).

Continue reading "The Path Where He Has Placed Our Feet" »

October 04, 2013

Farewell Party for Paul Kurtz

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Paul Kurtz is leaving Rosedale Mennonite Missions
after 20 years of dedicated service.
He is leaving to follow God’s call and his own passion
to devote more time to Hemisphere Coffee Roasters.
Please join us in expressing
our appreciation and blessings for his future.

Continue reading "Farewell Party for Paul Kurtz" »

October 03, 2013

New SEND Ministries Program Facilitators

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Brian and Brittany Troyer began serving as the new SEND Ministries Program Facilitators on Sept 16. Brian was on the REACH Spain team in 2009, and served as the Outreach Coordinator Staff Intern in 2011. Brittany was on the REACH Thailand team in 2007, served as Outreach Coordinator Staff Intern in 2009, and lead the REACH team to Thailand in 2010. Brian and Brittany were recently married in May of this year. They are relocating to the Rosedale International Center in Columbus from Hartville, OH. We are so thankful for God’s provision and for the gifts and leadership Brian and Brittany bring to the SEND Department. Welcome Brian and Brittany!

Continue reading "New SEND Ministries Program Facilitators" »

September 26, 2013

The Age of the Spirit

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RMM and our sister churches in Nicaragua and Costa Rica are members of the International Mission Association, along with 19 other Anabaptist-related churches and mission groups from around the globe. The following article describes the recent annual gathering in Singapore, attended by RMM representatives.

By Jewel Showalter
CHANGI COVE, Singapore: It wasn't an ordinary annual meeting for the International Missions Association (IMA), but a grand joint assembly with more than 60 alumni and students of Bethany International University (BIU) August 26-Sept. 2 at Changi Cove, in Singapore.

Students trained at BIU serve in the Asia Pacific Mission (APM), one of the 22 member organizations of the IMA, an association of Anabaptist mission bodies established for prayer, mutual support, and partnering in the task of world missions.

Continue reading "The Age of the Spirit" »

Introducing Andrew Miller

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Andrew Miller will be serving as RMM’s Director of Donor Relations (50%) and as Rosedale International Center Director (50%). He began work on September 16 and is working out of both the Rosedale and the Columbus offices. Andrew is originally from Hartville, OH, and now lives in Urbana, OH. He is married to Dawn and is father to two-year old daughter Jasmine. We are thankful for Andrew’s background which has prepared him for this position. Andrew has had a heart for missions from an early age and in 1990 spent two months in the Middle East with RMM’s Summer Witness in Missions program. He went back in 1996 and served one year as a missionary apprentice. With his exposure to cross-cultural ministry, he will be a great advocate for workers. He also has a work background in hospitality and restaurant management which will help him in his roles in donor relations and the day-to-day details of running the RIC.

Welcome to the RMM family, Andrew!

Continue reading "Introducing Andrew Miller" »

September 23, 2013

Answer to Prayer from North Africa

About a month ago, we posted a prayer request from Sara and Josiah* in North Africa. Today, we’re happy to report of God’s provision in response to the prayers of many. The following is a note we received from the family this week:

Praise God! We found an apartment!

Let me back up: a week ago we moved into a cramped but furnished apartment at the end of the street of the children's school, a temporary place from which we could continue the housing search. It's on the very edge of the town, "where the sidewalk ends,” a great place for children to explore. Though much of the area is filled with large walled villas, the place we've been staying is on an older lane that feels more l