June 13, 2019

A Taste of Our Lives

By Tom and Candice, RMM workers in Thailand

We would like to share some of our adventures of the past months via food pictures. We are following Jesus, and he was always breaking bread with friends and strangers, at parties and on the seashore. We are fortunate to have friends from many cultures and we love to eat the spicy and savory foods from those places. It's been a spring of lots of travel for us and we ate new foods (like goat milk and paella and couscous) and felt re-invigorated by witnessing what God is doing in other places, not just our small world here in Bangkok. Have a taste!

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June 08, 2019

Expect the Unexpected

By Pablo, RMM worker in Spain

There is a saying here, which literally translated means, “Don’t put your jacket away until the 40th of May.” It means there can be cold spells until the first week or so of June, but Judi and I are second-guessing local folk wisdom and have gotten out our summer wardrobe. But you never know…

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May 31, 2019

“Doing things they do and going places they go”

By Lydia Gingerich

“It wasn’t something forced. We just had our eyes and ears open when people came and talked to us,” Rhonda said, as she described the process of making new friends in Thailand. Rhonda and her husband Nixson recently returned to the States after serving a four year term in Bangkok. They also both served in Thailand before getting married (Nixson for four years and Rhonda for three). During this time they formed friendships at the gym, in coffee shops, at school, and in homes. Their many relationships provided an opportunity to hear stories, have new experiences, and share the love of God.

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May 17, 2019

Stories of Hope

Following the call to share God’s word in another culture is difficult and many workers report times of fatigue and disconnection. But the hopeful message of God’s redemption is more powerful than any discouragement. Followers of Christ can put their trust in a God who has called us out of darkness and into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Below are three stories which speak of that light.

A Resurrection
By Phil, RMM worker in Spain

Springs of Life Camp

John Calvin observed that “the story of the church is a story of many resurrections.” We can certainly see that on a macro level through the last two thousand years of church history. Periods of time in which the church has been faithful to the Lord and his word and God’s kingdom on earth has flourished, have been eclipsed by times of apostasy and unfaithfulness. Miraculously, the church has, time and time again, been lifted out of its malaise and restored to fruitful ministry by the intervention of God’s Spirit.

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May 14, 2019

Pressing On: A REACH Update

By Morgan, REACH Team Thailand

The REACH teams have all finished their six-month outreaches and are beginning two weeks of re-entry at the Rosedale International Center. The following update from Morgan, Thailand team leader, was written during their last weeks in Bangkok.

It’s the final countdown – the final stretch of goodbyes, packing, and reentry in Ohio. To be quite honest, it feels like I never left Bangkok since entering the program two years ago, and that I will still be here for a while. Life here has become my “normal” and my “known.” My comfort zone has been expanded to include this country – many, many miles away from home. So now, when I’m faced with the reality that it will all come to an abrupt stop, I think back on my time here over the past two years and think to myself, “now what?”

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May 02, 2019

Introducing Alexis: Food Services Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the last few months we have been introducing our 2019 interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Alexis is this year’s Food Services Assistant, hailing from Belleville, Pennsylvania. She loves sports, calligraphy, reading books, and even has her own small photography business. Alexis also enjoys cooking and baking and is glad to have opportunities to practice these activities through her internship.

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April 29, 2019

Introducing Trevor: Community Outreach Coordinator

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the last few weeks we have been introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

“I am very much a people person,” said Trevor, this year’s Community Outreach Coordinator from Grantsville, Maryland. While he enjoys spending time with friends and meeting new people, he also finds it important to take a break from people and play guitar, watch anime, or color.

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April 26, 2019

Service, Play, and Connection

By Kyle, SEND Intern

Kyle is in the one-year internship program offered by SEND Ministries. He works as the Facilities Assistant, caring for the RIC grounds and helping with maintenance.

For our intern missions trip, we went to Indiana and volunteered at the Power House. If you don't know what the Power House is, it is an after school program for kids from 7th to 12th grade, where they can hang out in a safe place. During our time there we helped with some service projects. Some of it was as simple as cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming, but we also remodeled a desk and set up the upstairs for a rummage sale fundraiser. We sorted all kinds of donated clothes, furniture, signs, houseware items, games, books, etc.

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April 19, 2019

Introducing Emily: Hospitality Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the last few weeks we have been introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Emily is from Ithaca, New York, and is serving as one of this year’s hospitality assistants. She has found the job of making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and sweeping floors to be monotonous at times, but she is choosing to see it as a time to “put in ear buds, listen to good music, and just de-stress.” When Emily isn’t cleaning at the RIC, she likes to spend her time going on runs and baking.

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April 10, 2019

Introducing Kyle: Facilities Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

According to Kyle, the new Facilities Assistant intern, being stretched outside of one’s comfort zone is a good thing. Last year with his REACH team in the Himalayas, Kyle found that working and living with the same people every day caused him to dig past the awkward and difficult parts of a relationship to form stronger bonds.

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April 05, 2019

Introducing Damian: Prayer Coordinator

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

This year’s prayer coordinator, Damian, comes to Columbus all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, where he grew up. Some of Damian’s favorite things to do are play soccer, kayak, hike, snow board, swim, rock climb, and be with animals. Damian’s long list of preferred activities can probably be attributed to the fact that he loves trying new things: “Whether it be food or new skills or just trying something that I'm not normally comfortable with, I always find those things to be exciting and fun.”

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April 01, 2019

And We Danced: A REACH Update

By Julie, REACH Team Zambia

The theme for my week was dance. Lately I’ve been living out of perseverance, and out of my narrow view of what it means to be content. As more time passes and my heart longs for home, after being away for almost two years, I go into survival mode, simply going through the motions, forgetting to embrace every aspect of life as God intended. Satan whispers lies, “don’t get too close, you’re just going to leave,” and “you can’t speak the language or understand the culture, what’s the point in trying,” even, “don’t get emotionally attached.” God reminded me that these words are lies and he showed me truth. He said, “Julie I want you to dance with me this week.” I know this sounds cheesy but it’s a good metaphor. As we drove through the villages on Tuesday I could see Jesus running alongside the children, sitting with the men and women, talking and laughing, dancing his way through life, delighting in the people of Zambia, showing them his great love. This sparked the motivation in me to live out of that same joy, delighting in the people that I meet. I wanted to see life as a dance with Jesus, connected to emotion, not a solo performance with Jesus in the audience deciding what my score is. As we danced through the week, the thoughts of simply surviving life began to slide off.

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March 15, 2019

Updates from the Field

Times of confusion, trial, and frustration are often opportunities to see God’s faithfulness at work. RMM workers around the world share stories of what God is teaching them in the midst of (and through) their sometimes-chaotic lives, and how he is giving them peace in their current situations and hope for the future.

Katie,* REACH Team Indochina

Patience is something I’ve certainly learned a lot about over the past couple weeks. One particular day I was helping in the kindergartners’ class and they were doing a little craft coloring paper planets. A little girl had attached herself to me and wouldn’t let go, so I sat down and helped her and the others around her. It wasn’t long until she turned to me in distress, “teacher! I want the purple pencil!” The issue was, the little boy next to her was using it. “Well, you can wait until he’s done with it and then you can use it.” But she wasn’t satisfied, “no, teacher, no, I want it now!” I reminded her to be patient and wait for her turn. To which, of course, she responded that she didn’t want to be patient. And then I caught myself saying something I often heard growing up, “well, you know, patience is a virtue.” Then I had to try and describe what a virtue is to a kindergartner. That was fun. But it made me think. How many times have I heard that phrase and not really thought what it meant? Or even known what it meant?

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March 08, 2019

Holy Ground: A REACH Update

By Shontel, REACH Team Ecuador

Nap time arrives at 1pm every day – this is when we enter the zoo. Sometimes it involves wrestling six, seven, and eight year olds into their beds and holding them there until they calm down enough to sleep. There’s often yelling, running, chasing, and hiding. But eventually the room grows quiet as one by one, with our help, they fall asleep.

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March 06, 2019

A Change in Perspective

By Cora,* RMM worker in North Africa

Now that I travel out to Raleigh and Opal’s* town on Monday and then return to the city on Thursday, I have three hours of travel a week. When I first began thinking about this, I thought it would get old to wait for grand taxis and drive the same roads back and forth. It has only been six weeks, but I have begun to view this time as a gift.

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February 21, 2019

Introducing Hannah: Administrative Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Hannah hails from Apple Creek, Ohio, and enjoys playing the piano and hanging out with her friends. She also likes organization and paperwork, which makes her a perfect fit for her role as Administrative Assistant. For her position she helps out with tasks around the SEND office, processes REACH applications, and handles finances for the interns.

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February 18, 2019

Introducing Valerie: Hospitality Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2019 Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship with God, serving at the RIC, and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Valerie grew up in Abbeville, South Carolina, where she learned to enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors. This love of creation grew as she trekked through the Himalayas last year while participating in the REACH program. During this time she experienced a deeper relationship with the Creator, and found that God could use her life to bring him glory even when she was tired and weak. Valerie also started to see missions in a different light.

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February 08, 2019

Committed to the Cause

By Lydia Gingerich
This article is part three in a series highlighting the recent work of the Latin American Mission Partnership (LAMP). Links to the other pieces are listed below:

Part One – From Costa Rica to Thailand: Introducing Four New Workers

Part Two – Pursuing Partnership

William and Laura Quiros, along with their teenage son, Willie, traveled from their home in Costa Rica to live in Vigo, Spain in November of 2018. They are adjusting well to the culture and customs of their new community, but just three years ago, they never would have imagined a life outside of Costa Rica.

Dave and Mayela Diller (Costa Rica Representative for LAMP) first heard about the Quiros family’s desire to work overseas in early 2017. They had known the couple as strong leaders in the church who were involved in many different ministries, but the Dillers did not think of them as typical candidates for missions.

“We went to the Costa Rican churches looking for young people to go into missions. We met the Quiros family many times, but they have grown up kids and grandchildren in Costa Rica,” Mayela explained.

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Pursuing Partnership

By Lydia Gingerich
This article is part two in a series highlighting the recent work of the Latin American Mission Partnership. Links to the other pieces are listed below:

Part One – From Costa Rica to Thailand: Introducing Four New Workers

Part Three – Committed to the Cause

“When RMM workers were in Latin America in the ‘70s and ‘80s, our main goal was to see indigenous churches that operate on their own without financial help or other assistance from outside. That was pretty well accomplished, but we did not work much on promoting a cross-cultural missionary vision in the churches.”

As Dan* (long-term RMM worker in Latin America and Asia) recounted the details that led him to pursue the idea for a missions program in Latin America, he said that most Latin American Christians were unaware of the many people in the world who did not know Jesus. As these churches grew and matured during the ‘90s and early 2000s, Dan realized the need for these churches to be invested in global outreach.

Dan spoke with others at RMM who had a similar vision, and through lots of prayer and discussion, the Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP) was formed, working with churches in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

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January 30, 2019

A Lesson in Timing: Introducing New Workers to Thailand

By Lydia Gingerich

At a wedding reception four years ago, Jacob and Danielle first met and connected over a disagreement on the correct method to roast a marshmallow. Jacob prefers a slow-cooked mallow with a soft inside and a golden brown shell. Dani is just as happy with a marshmallow that is set on fire for a few seconds, blown out, and promptly consumed.

“That is a pretty good analogy of our strengths and weaknesses,” Jacob commented. “We have differing opinions on a lot of things, but we tend to even each other out.”

They have especially found this to be the case as they make preparations to go to Thailand as RMM workers in the summer of 2019.

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January 29, 2019

Rooks, Rubik’s, and Recess: A REACH Update

By Caleb, REACH Team Indochina

Often times as kids or young adults or old adults we may wonder about the passions and gifts that we have been given: Why do I care about this? What good is it that I am good at that? Growing up I had plenty of those questions. In school I very well could have been considered a “nerd.” While I didn’t have red curly hair or glasses or buck teeth or any of the physical features often associated with the label at the time, my talents and interests proved otherwise.

In middle school, I discovered an online program called “Scratch” which is essentially a computer programming language for kids. Through this I gained a passion for programming and for technology in general, that has led to me learning various other programming languages and skills. In high school, several of my friends and I became very interested in chess. We spent hours upon hours playing each other in games, either in real life or over the internet. We didn’t join the chess club, but that was only because our tiny rural school was too small to have one.

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January 18, 2019

Celebrating Milestones

In 2018, a number of overseas workers and office staff reached 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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January 15, 2019

He Will Provide

By Karly, RMM worker in Thailand

When Angie, Jake, and Karly moved to Pattaya, Thailand, last year, they were struck by the vast number of abandoned and abused children as a result of pervasive sex tourism in the city. While there are numerous organizations working to bring people out of this darkness, this team sent by Grace Mennonite Church feels called to work specifically with children who have been abused, abandoned, or trafficked. They are working to organize a group of homes that provide family-style settings for these children.

The journey to establish a foundation to care for orphans here in Pattaya, Thailand, is well underway. It’s been incredible to seek God through this process and see him provide and guide. We yearn for unity in this city in all sectors, non-governmental organizations, and local families. This is a time to unite together and work towards bringing the gospel and strengthening families. We feel God has clearly spoken to us to start a children’s home first and then hopefully a community center soon after. We are building relationships with different groups and individuals. We provide a weekly community outreach near our home that includes teaching English, instilling biblical values, playing games, sharing a snack and then praying together.

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December 24, 2018

New Traditions, Same Reason: Christmas in the Middle East

By Judah and Rayna, RMM workers in the Middle East

It’s that time of year once again where we celebrate and remember what Jesus did for us by taking on flesh and living among us. Being overseas adds a different twist to the season which is normally filled with making memories, spending extra time with family, and celebrating with others.

We, of course, will miss those things here in our new city, but we are working to make it special anyway. This year, I made time in my schedule to make a batch of our favorite Christmas cookies and peanut butter chocolate candies.

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December 19, 2018

It’s the Little Things: A REACH Update

By Morgan, Team Thailand Leader

As I’ve been walking the nearby streets for the first time in a while, it has felt like a whole different experience than last year. I see the faces of familiar vendors for the first time in a long time and come to realize that only a short year ago I knew them only as strangers. It’s been fun to see a surprise flash across their faces when we make eye contact, and an encouragement to know that perhaps, by the grace of the Father, we may have made some sort of eternal impact. So without further ado, allow me to share with you some of these people and, along with that, ask for you to remember us as we continue to try to build relationships with them.

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December 14, 2018

When Our Best Doesn’t Feel Like Enough: A REACH Update

By Ginny, Team Mediterranean

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the culture and the things that the Albanians’ value. This place has an interesting history and a bright future! The people are ambitious and hard-working, and I have a lot of respect for them.

But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. In this time of change for us, there have been days that it has been hard to adjust. One of my best friends sent me a message one day (when I was really struggling with jet-lag), telling me to give myself lots of grace and not be too hard on myself. That was what I really needed to hear. It’s easy to let negativity get inside of my head. Some mornings I wake up and I don’t feel like I have anything to offer and every day reveals new areas where I am inadequate (like hardly being able to order from a restaurant). I’m learning to laugh at my mistakes and let go of my need to ‘have it all together.’ Because really, no one does.

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December 13, 2018

Piercing the Darkness

By Phil, RMM worker in Spain

Recently, The Pew Research Center conducted surveys among 24,599 adults (ages 18 and older) across 15 countries in Western Europe to assess the spiritual state of the region. Their report, “Being Christian in Western Europe” makes sobering reading. It seems like we live on a continent where God is unnecessary. For example, they found that across the 15 countries only a median of 11 percent of the population prays once a day (compared to 55 percent in the U.S.) and a median of 40 percent say they never pray (rising to 62 percent in Sweden and Denmark)! Only a median of 11 percent said religion was very important in their lives, only a median of 15 percent believe in God with absolute certainty, and only a median of 22 percent attend church at least once a month. Belief in God is met with skepticism and incredulity by a majority of the population.

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December 05, 2018

God’s Handiwork: A REACH Update

By Julie, Team Zambia Leader

Hello from Zambia! We were welcomed at the airport by our outreach coordinator and journeyed into town. I was excited to soak it all in but my overstimulated and tired brain limited me. As we drove the dirt roads to the place we now know as our temporary home, the base, I continued to be in awe that I was in Africa.

After a 45-minute drive, we stepped out of the van and were welcomed and greeted by the base staff. We spent the rest of the day taking tours of the base and the village, meeting new people, and settling in. A sense of peace washed over me as God reminded me that he has always been here and that he isn’t leaving. It’s quite obvious that God handcrafted this country, the people, the culture, the SUNSETS, the STARS, the river, it’s all so beautiful, and it all points to a beautiful creator.

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November 21, 2018

Jesus Is

By Amos, RMM worker in North Africa

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

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

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November 16, 2018

Introducing New SEND Assistant Director

By Lydia Gingerich

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

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

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November 13, 2018

“Show Me Your Glory”: A REACH Update

By Caleb, Team Indochina

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

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November 08, 2018

No Independence from God

By Jada, RMM worker in Thailand

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

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October 24, 2018

From Costa Rica to Thailand: Introducing Four New Workers

By Dave Diller, Costa Rica Representative for Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP)
This article is part three in a series highlighting the recent work of the Latin American Mission Partnership. Links to the other pieces are listed below:

Part Two – Pursuing Partnership

Part Three – Committed to the Cause

In September, Dina, Oscar, Joseph, and Charlie traveled from Talamanca, Costa Rica to Bangkok, Thailand to join the team of RMM workers already in the city. Their first few weeks in the country have included the usual challenges of adapting to a new culture, but overall the group is doing well. RMM Regional Director, Tom, reports that they have found the common "language" of soccer to be a valuable tool in connecting with their community and making friendships in their new neighborhood. Following is the story of how these four individuals ended up in Thailand through LAMP.
When a person answers God’s call to the ministry, whether in the local church or in overseas missions, you can never know what impact that ministry will have. I’m sure Dave and Pat Sharp never dreamed how many lives their ministry would touch when they moved to Shiroles, Talamanca in the jungles of southeastern Costa Rica in the mid-1970s. How could they have known that what they set in motion in Talamanca would continue to multiply, eventually reaching halfway across the world?

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October 18, 2018

Kids Helping Kids

By Lydia Gingerich

This story comes from Claire (15) and Eliza (13), daughters of Tom and Candice. Their family has served for the past 12 years as RMM workers in Bangkok.

Every Saturday Claire and Eliza’s family takes a taxi through the city of Bangkok, Thailand, to teach English at a Thai church. Their students are children of Cambodian construction workers who are in Thailand to take advantage of the employment opportunities.

The growing economy in Bangkok provides a wealth of jobs that are often unavailable in the surrounding countries. Even a low-paying and dangerous job, such as construction work, is better than no job at all. Many workers send money to families back in their home countries. Some have visas to work, while others crossed borders illegally, knowing there would be employers who would hire them anyway.

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October 15, 2018

“I’m Just a Missionary Kid”: Exploring What it Means to be a Child from Another Culture

Interview with Hannah Zimmerman by Lydia Gingerich

Hannah Zimmerman’s parents, Leon and Naomi, worked with RMM in Albania from 2006 to 2011. She now works as the Third Culture Kid (TCK) Mentor for Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM). In this role, she serves the children of EMM workers by leading classes at various trainings, retreats, and conferences, helping them to process their identity, emotions, and cultural transitions. She is also developing a curriculum for TCKs and planning a networking platform for TCKs and their parents.

What is a TCK?

A Third Culture Kid is someone who has spent a significant number of childhood years outside of their parents' passport country. The “third culture” is the hybrid culture created by your parents’ culture with any other host cultures you live in. So it’s not like you would become a fourth culture kid if your parents move to a second host culture. Being a TCK is not something that you lose when you become an adult.

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October 04, 2018

Empty Wells vs. God’s Infinite Love: A REACH Update

By Morgan, Leader of REACH Team Thailand

To be honest, I’m having quite a hard time coming up with the words to explain what happened or even express all that I have learned in the last two, very full weeks. When you boil a lot of it down, it all points to God’s love. It can sound so cliché, yet I’ve seen, once again, how foundational of a concept it is. It’s in the heart of the gospel and it has so much depth. In its perfection I find myself somewhere in the middle of it all, trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

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A Challenging Hispanic Example of “Mature and Multiply”

By Jewel Showalter

“You may have come from generations who’ve served the Lord, but I’m the first in my family,” Alejandro Colindres, the leader of Fraternidad Cristiana, a rapidly multiplying network of churches in New England, told CMC leaders in a special one-day Encounter in Montgomery, Indiana, July 19, 2018.

Along with his co-worker/translator Dennis Perdomo, Colindres told the story of how he was led to Christ as part of the work of a Mennonite missionary who was working with young people in Honduras.

“He held meetings in homes with ‘crazy’ young people. We found a spiritual home in this group. I’d never seen a Bible or been inside a church until I was 23. We saw a movement among the youth. We felt such passion to reach our families for Christ. We were all trained to preach the gospel and start cell groups wherever we went.”

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September 27, 2018

Open Doors

By Judah and Rayna,* RMM workers in the Middle East

"Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut."

In the country we are living in, this past month held a religious holiday that involved millions of animals being sacrificed. This provided us with opportunities to share about the sacrifice that we trust in. One afternoon during the holiday we visited a local coffee shop. Since there were few customers, the man running the shop spent a lot of time sitting and chatting with us. Because of the holiday, we struck up a conversation regarding sacrifices. Our friend was interested in hearing our view regarding sacrifices, which enabled us to share both about the ultimate sacrifice that was made, as well as other aspects of how we view the world. Even though he was not necessarily open to changing his thinking, he had the opportunity to hear the truth, and only the Father knows if or when the seed will sprout.

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September 21, 2018

My Time in Nicaragua

By Jonatan, RMM worker in Thailand
What follows is an account of Jonatan’s time at home in Nicaragua. As we read it, we were struck with the contrast of his initial departure three and a half years ago, compared to this time. He has committed to another three-year term and the likelihood of him seeing his family or anyone from his country during that time is slim. His tenacity in doing what he needed to do in order to return to Thailand is a testimony of his dedication to living there. It would have been so easy for him to say it wasn’t worth the risks he took. His family would have loved to have him stay, but he persevered and in the end was blessed with what he needed to return to Thailand.
– Larry and Dot*, Directors of Latin American Missions Partnership
After spending nearly three and a half years in Thailand, during which I did not see my family, I left on March 6 to go home to Nicaragua. I was very excited to see my family again and spend time with them, and also to see my friends and eat Nicaraguan food.

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September 07, 2018

Three Nights in the Jungle

By Nixson, RMM worker in Thailand

Since his baptism in 2011, Lan has been constantly looking for ways to share the gospel with people in his home village and surrounding areas in Southeast Asia. He has been working with a team of six other believers from nearby villages for almost two years (read more about this group here). They have been creative in finding ways to meet people in new areas and build relationships. Last year they started a project planting watermelons in a new village as a way of meeting people and sharing the gospel. They have also hosted Christmas and New Year’s parties in new villages. The people living in the villages of the teammates and the surrounding villages are mostly Buddhist, while those living in the more remote areas are tribal groups who worship spirits and ancestors. Lan and his team believe the tribal groups are more open to the gospel and that the gospel spreads more rapidly among them.

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September 06, 2018

Love the Lord with All Your Strength

By Lydia Gingerich

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Joe,* President of RMM, opened his Sunday morning address to the 2018 Multiply Conference with these verses from the end of Matthew 9. He went on to point out that the state of being “harassed and helpless” is still prevalent in our world today. Giving examples of helplessness in Central American countries and in the Middle East, adding that “even among us, we are harassed and helpless people, apart from Jesus.”

Joe continued with an encouraging account of the ways CMC has been involved in outreach since its formation. Through the power of Christ, this group of believers has proclaimed and extended God’s love to the harassed and helpless, starting in Maryland and Kentucky, and moving to Latin America, North Africa, and Asia. This process has not only expanded the Kingdom of God, but enriched the conference.

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August 27, 2018

Job Opening: SEND Assistant Director

SEND Ministries has an opening for someone with relational skills and the ability to provide thoughtful counsel to young men and women. The SEND Assistant Director will provide pastoral care and counsel to REACH program participants, instruct young men and women with spiritual truth(s), assist with the development and facilitation of various SEND programs, and provide support and leadership as needed within SEND Ministries. This is a full-time, salaried position. All applicants must apply on or before September 30, 2018.

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August 24, 2018

Bridges and Barriers

The Bible makes it clear that the gospel is good news for all people. But when the gospel message intersects with culture, the collision is never clean and tidy. Many cultures readily accept some aspects of the gospel message, while struggling to make sense of other parts in light of their cultural history and practices. This is seen clearly in the book of Acts, where the early church encountered various bridges and barriers as they shared the gospel with those around them. Even with the Jewish people themselves, common knowledge of the Old Testament formed a bridge between the apostles and the Jews, while the new covenant’s freedom regarding diet and circumcision created a barrier. As time progresses and the gospel spreads to the ends of the earth, the challenge is for followers of Jesus to boldly cross the bridges while trusting God to surmount the barriers.

We asked our workers to share stories of bridges and barriers in their relationships to the cultures in which they are living and working.

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August 17, 2018

Ten-year Anniversary for Awakened Youth

By Esta,* RMM worker in the Middle East

UG has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. UG is an acronym for words that are usually translated in English as Youth for Christ, although the more literal translation is Awakened Youth. It started 10 years ago because one awakened youth, 19-year-old Jacob,* felt God was calling him to serve the youth of our city. He took his vision to the leaders of his church, thinking he was too young to do anything about it. They said they would support him, but he should do it. He started by sharing his vision with the leaders of the other churches and Christian organizations in the city. Five months later UG had its first youth meeting. It lasted six hours because, as Jacob explains, “We didn’t know what we were doing.”

For 10 years the Lord has blessed this vision. UG has spread to five other cities in the country and for nine months out of the year the monthly meetings continue to be packed with new generations of young people.

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August 02, 2018

Evangelism Through a Rapala

By Al Raber, RMM Associate Worker serving among the river people of the Brazilian Amazon

I rent a house on the mission base where I work, but I spend most of my time on a boat called the Semeador II (Semeador means ‘sower’ in Portuguese). The primary purpose of the Semeador is to bring the evangelical gospel to villages that have not yet heard it, and to open the door for permanent missionaries in these areas. Our trips usually last from 21 days to a month.

We typically spend one day in every village, arriving in the morning or late evening. My days start at 5:30 in the morning with a short time of devotions followed by breakfast. By 7:00 we are either traveling to the next village or starting our work where we are. We try to visit every house in and around the village. Lunch is at noon, and then back to work around 1:30. There is a kids program in the afternoon, with a worship service at 7:00 in the evening. And 9:30 is lights out.

The river people of the Amazon live a subsistence lifestyle – hunting, fishing, gathering, and growing almost all of their food. Only buying basics like sugar, salt, rice, beans, flour, and coffee. Almost everything they need, they make from natural materials found in the forest.

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July 26, 2018

Moving into the Father’s Gifts

By Raleigh,* RMM worker in North Africa

The day began with the blessing of delay. I’m en route via taxi to my appointment when the 55-year-old man at the other end of the text says, “Sorry I will be half an hour late.” I quickly – and correctly – translate this to one hour. I exit the taxi and walk up to the appointed location (the front gate of our future house) as the minute hand clicks to 10:30. So American; or just lucky. Inshallah.

What God seems to be willing, though (see last word of last paragraph), is that I make a warm acquaintance with a future neighbor. At precisely 10:30 am, Adil* is bending his old back in order to duck under a tree and come out from his yard. We meet for the first time, introducing ourselves. A few sentences later he asks me in his language, “Do you want to drink tea?”

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June 25, 2018

Restoration for Pattaya

By Lydia Gingerich

Angie, Jake, and Karly live in Pattaya, Thailand, and are engaging in the effort to care for orphans and victims of human trafficking. Find out more about their story here.

When Angie, Jake, and Karly moved to Pattaya, Thailand, last year, they were struck by the vast number of abandoned and abused children as a result of pervasive sex tourism in the city. Through prayer, conversations with the leadership at their home congregation, and meeting with other ministries in Pattaya, this team has decided to pursue opening a home for vulnerable children.

The home will be an extension of 58:12 Rescue, a ministry established by Grace Mennonite Church in Holmes County, Ohio, to care for women who have been physically or sexually abused. Seeing the need to bring God’s healing to their community, Grace established a home to offer rescue, shelter, and restoration for these women and their children.

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June 22, 2018

A Free Prayer

By Tom, Asia Regional Director

During my recent visit to South Asia I heard a lot of stories about what God is doing through our team there. One thing that stood out to me is the number of different people from a variety of ethnic groups that the team has worked with over the years. Many of these were young men who came through the hostels that the team has managed or supported. These men came to faith as students and now that they have graduated, have moved to various places around the country. Many of them are still in touch with our team and it’s exciting to think about how God will continue to use them in the future.

Another current development is in Bindu’s* ministry. After she moved to the northern part of the country with her husband a few years ago, she began visiting new believers in several villages. She has a friendly personality and is skilled at telling Bible stories in an engaging way. The villagers welcome her warmly and her reputation is growing. Hiralal,* her husband, complains (half-seriously) that when she visits the villages she never gets home before dark. He is worried about her safety, but she phones to say “I haven’t left yet…they are asking me to stay a little longer.” The women in the villages are especially receptive to her but even some of the men come to observe and listen as she shares.

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May 31, 2018

Rain in the Desert

By Joe,* RMM President

It had been raining heavily for a few weeks leading up to our arrival in Lodwar, a small city in northwestern Kenya’s Turkana County. Benson, known by many as “the Desert Boy,” informed us that they hadn’t seen rain like this for five years. While the region has experienced a physical drought over the last few years, it has been a place of spiritual new life and growth.

Benson leads a group of churches called Glory Outreach Ministries (GOM). With churches not only in Turkana but also in neighboring Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. With fifteen mission training centers, GOM is a vibrant and growing network of churches. When Benson entered the International School of Mission (ISOM) program in Thika, Kenya, in 2000, he had planted eight churches. (REACH was instrumental in launching ISOM in 1999.). With the training and tools he received at ISOM, Benson believed God was calling him to plant 100 churches among his own Turkana tribe. Today, Benson says there are about 175 GOM churches in Turkana, but when you include the churches planted among neighboring tribes (he’s currently engaged with five tribes and has a vision to reach seventeen) and in neighboring countries, the number is over 400. Given the nature of these things and the simplicity of their strategy, Benson guesses there could actually be as many as a thousand churches, since he’s not trying to track all of the added layers of multiplication.

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May 30, 2018

An All-powerful God: Reflections During Ramadan

By Eugene,* RMM worker in North Africa

As I sit here looking at a blank piece of paper thinking about what I should write, my neighbors and friends are out and about like any other day – except they are not eating or drinking. Yes, Ramadan is here once again.

Yesterday evening I went out to the local café I normally go to. I wanted to see what was going on since Ramadan was starting. I sat down and began talking to my friend. It wasn’t long until he asked me the question I knew would come: “Are you going to fast?”

I turned to him and responded by saying that no, I wasn’t. He paused for a moment and said to me, “Fasting is good for you.”

I decided to take the opportunity and responded, “I know. Jesus tells us to fast. Fasting is good.”

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May 25, 2018

Thoughts on Harvesting

By Dan, long-term RMM worker

What can we learn from church movements around the world? Can their experiences teach us to be more effective participants in the world-wide movement of Christ?

Nicaragua: An Exponential Harvest

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9: 37-38 NRSV).

The challenge for the church around the world – according to Jesus’ words – is not a lack of harvest, but rather a lack of harvesters. Therefore, the church is called to find more harvesters to reap the already-ripe harvest. One lesson from the churches growing exponentially around the world is that the vast majority of needed workers come from the harvest itself. I first saw this principle at work in the rural churches in the villages of Nicaragua.

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May 21, 2018

In Translation: Three Stories about Language

Compiled by Lydia Gingerich

Language learning is one of the least glamorous yet most important aspects of working cross-culturally. When learning the language gets difficult, it can cause doubts, feelings of inadequacy, and a sense that ministry is put on hold. But success can result in the ability to speak with locals on a deeper level, greater ease to maneuver in a country, and countless insights into a culture.

This month, we received three updates celebrating the joys of learning a language and the possibilities that come with it.

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May 16, 2018

Nearing the End: A REACH Update

By Morgan, Team Thailand

I’d say I can’t believe the end is here, but the truth is, I can. I’ve had a lot of things roaming in my mind lately. Things like…

How will our last week here go? How should I be processing the past nine months? What will reentry be like? How will I handle the goodbyes? What will it be like adjusting to a different culture and time zone again? What will it be like reuniting with loved ones? Where will I fit in? What happened while I was gone? How will I possibly summarize the last nine months to those who want to hear about my experience in this program? What will be the new normal? Will I be able to pick up where I left off? Do I have too high of expectations for my summer at home? What will my friendships look like? What will the next year of my life hold?

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May 08, 2018

Locally Grown: Building Community through Book Club

By Jessica Miller

When I lived overseas one of the things I enjoyed was the community that developed in neighborhoods. Visiting in each other's homes or yards and helping one another in practical ways was the social norm in the Middle Eastern city where I lived. Because everyone's worldview was impacted by religion, it was also common and fairly easy to have spiritual discussions with my neighbors. I found it much harder, after moving back to the US, to experience this same type of community in my neighborhood, but I was able to sometimes find it in small ways.

A little over two years ago, my husband accepted the pastor position at Bean Blossom Community Church and we moved to Indiana. We prayed and looked for a house that would be close to the church. We considered moving into a trailer park right next to the church, but felt like the Lord clearly led us to a house in a subdivision about a seven-minute drive from the church. After we settled in, I began to think and pray about how I could get better acquainted with my neighbors. I decided to try an experiment.

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May 04, 2018

Trees and Leadership: Hope for Nicaragua

By Dot,* co-director of Rosedale Business Group

Nicaragua has erupted in mass demonstrations against the country’s administration in response to a social security reform announced in April. While the president has rescinded this reform, the protests against his leadership continue. As I look at these issues, I’m struck with the thought that Rosedale Business Group’s projects in the country seem especially significant.

First of all, a project that has been in process for a while, and seems to have met considerable obstacles, is to get the Spanish translation of the book, The Serving Leader (El Líder que Sirve) finished and ready for print. From the first mention of this project to translate the book into Spanish, our desire has been to find a way for this powerful teaching to reach the hearts of our dear friends in Latin America and especially Nicaragua. So, we ask ourselves, “Where do we go from here? How do we actually get this teaching to them and help them find a way to implement it?” In conversation with John Stahl-Wert (co-author of the book with Ken Jennings) about the delay and our deep sadness about not getting it done, his encouraging words were that he’s not worried about the timing – because God is in control. While this is comforting to us, the delay still feels overwhelming and unacceptable.

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April 26, 2018

Searching for Peace

A compilation of updates from Phil and Maretta, RMM workers in Spain

It’s not too long ago, in the Franco era (1939-1975), that the evangelical church in Spain was an underground movement. One brother tells us of how his grandfather was sentenced to death for publically attacking the idolatry and Mariolatry in the Catholic Church. Fortunately, his grandfather’s future wife had some relational connections to the local authorities and so the death sentenced was commuted to imprisonment in an internment camp. His father, then, was born in the internment camp, in the company of other evangelical believers who Franco had locked up along with communists, socialists, and others he deemed as enemies of Catholic Spain. Another brother recounts how even up to the early 1970s the Civil Guard would come in and break up meetings of believers that got bigger than the size of a family gathering.

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April 20, 2018

Nearing the End of ‘Normal’: A REACH Update

By Shontel, REACH Team Indochina

Life here still looks the same on the outside. We teach at school five days a week. We plan lessons. We eat dinner with friends. We play team games. We cook. We babysit. We hang out with teens and college students. Anyone peering in wouldn’t notice anything spectacular or different from the previous months we have spent here. But internally we have been processing a lot, well at least I have. Knowing that in less than a month, we will be leaving this place puts a new tone on life here. It’s like I’ve begun to see things through a new lens. Sometimes that feels like a good thing.

Sometimes it makes it easier to be intentional, because I know our time is short. But other times, that lens brings into focus contemplating the future and stressing over looming changes. It’s hard, because as much as I want to, I can’t remove this new lens. I often long for the earlier days when life here didn’t seem to have a time measurement, when homesickness rarely crossed my mind, and when decisions for the next season of life didn’t have to be made.

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April 13, 2018

The Best of the Old and the Best of the New

By Jewel and Richard Showalter

Over the last two years, CMC and RMM have developed relationships with KMM in South Asia – a rapidly growing network of churches, training centers, and schools. We traveled in South Asia for five weeks last fall accompanied by KMM’s president, Jolem*. We encountered both encouraging glimpses of new work and amazing stories of Mennonite connections with this group that date back over 100 years.

We sat in house church meetings in the middle-class homes of recent Hindu-background believers in the mud-walled village home of a house church leader on an island. We met dozens of house church leaders who are part of KMM, an exciting web of resourcing and relationships.

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April 11, 2018

I Am Just Like Them: A REACH Update

By Morgan, Team Thailand

A few days ago my teammates and I were led for the first time through areas of Bangkok that we, up to that point, had only heard about. An area filled with so many broken people in search of fulfillment. As we walked through floors upon floors of closed curtains, cracked open doors, and bars filled with people, it was easy to feel a sense of hopelessness and desperation. But as we continued passing through, I couldn’t help but think, I am just like them!

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March 29, 2018

Being Still, Not Passive: A REACH Update

By Paige, Team Mediterranean

My heart is full – full of love, full of joy, and full of life that the Father has graciously given me these past few months. He has provided several amazing friends that have played major roles in the fullness of my heart. They have opened their lives to me and shown me incredible kindness. At the same time though, my heart is heavy – heavy from the thought that a lot of those friends aren’t believers. The more time I spend with them, the more I can see hurt and confusion in some of their eyes. It is so painful to see the darkness they are in. They are longing for truth, longing for the Father. They are some of the best people I have ever met, but without genuine faith in the Son, that means nothing.

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March 13, 2018

“Say God”: Moving Beyond Knowing the Right Answer

Jordan Stoltzfus, CMC Outreach Mobilizer, with his wife Megan and son (newborn daughter not pictured).
Part 1 by Joe,* RMM President

In 2016, CMC hired sociologist Conrad Kanagy to conduct a survey to help reveal and clarify the identity and vision of CMC. After surveying over 1,200 CMC respondents and conducting listening sessions with almost 200 individuals, Kanagy and his son Jacob report a variety of interesting data. In response to the question, “Can you name one thing that God may be calling CMC to embrace in order to become more faithful in fulfilling its mission?” the researchers note a key theme of “Emphasizing more local outreach and mission.”

Following are two survey comments representative of this larger theme:

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March 12, 2018

Called to Faithfulness: A REACH Update

By Isaac F, Team Himalayas team leader

As I walk up the rough stone steps, I breathe deep. Not only because the walk is making me short of breath, but also because I want to enjoy the cool crisp air. It is mountain air – cool winds blown down from snowy peaks – mixed with the sunlight that shines down as the sun nears the noon position. As I continue to climb, the sound of rushing water grows louder in my ears. Finally, I reach the top and view the massive waterfall. It is several hundred feet in height, and continually unleashes several hundred gallons of water into the large pool below. It is a beautiful sight and as I get out my phone to take pictures there is a small voice in my head that says, “Wait. Just enjoy this. Look around.” I take several pictures, but then try and take a moment to soak up my surroundings. In front of me is the waterfall – beautiful, powerful. Then I walk to a small building painted red and white sitting to the right of the falls. On shelves along the outside are many candles, not burning, but small and spent. Brass bells also hang on the side of the building. I look into the building and see what has become a normal sight – a small statue of some god and stone plaques that have prayers engraved into their surface. All is cold, lifeless, and hopeless.

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March 08, 2018

A Daily Choice: A REACH Update

By Kara, REACH Indochina team leader

Right before we flew out of the U.S. we had a session that looked briefly at the phases of culture shock. The first three months are commonly referred to as the “honeymoon phase,” where everything is exciting and rather rose-tinted. Three to six months marks the “frustration phase” when one can easily become irritated and emotionally exhausted. Six months to a year is the “recovery phase,” where one gains understanding and starts knowing how to better adapt to the culture. Since I’d already spent six months in this country last year, I was curious to see where I would fall on the cross-cultural wavelength, especially since I had never really dealt with the frustration phase, at least not in the cultural sense. Would I start the whole process at the honeymoon stage again? Would it feel like coming home? I’d spent most of my time back in the states daydreaming about returning to this country, so I was completely unprepared for what actually hit me.

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March 06, 2018

Introducing Kris: SEND Facilities Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Kris serves as this year’s facilities assistant – changing light bulbs, mowing lawns, and helping to keep the RIC running smoothly. He joins the SEND Intern team from Fair Play, South Carolina, and was on the 2016-17 REACH Team Thailand.

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March 05, 2018

Introducing Candace: SEND Hospitality Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Candace serves as a hospitality assistant at the RIC. She is from Pryor, Oklahoma – making her the 2018 SEND Intern who traveled the farthest to get to Columbus.

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March 02, 2018

Introducing Aaron: SEND Prayer Coordinator

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

As the 2018 SEND prayer coordinator, Aaron leads prayer-related activities during REACH and City Challenge as well as within the SEND intern team. Aaron’s family currently resides in Goshen, Indiana (where he lived for the first part of his childhood), but they have also lived in Plain City, Ohio, and Richmond, Kentucky.

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February 27, 2018

“Faith is spelled R-I-S-K”

At the end of 2017, REACH Team Eurasia* left the U.S. not knowing if they would ever be able to enter their outreach country. Due to some unfavorable policy changes within their final destination, their plans were in flux throughout much of Discipleship Training School, and obtaining the right visas seemed like a long shot. After abundant prayer and consideration, they took a leap of faith and flew to a neighboring country – hoping to eventually land in the culture they had prepared their hearts and minds for. Here are some reflections on their journey:
SHARON: The most prominent feeling that I remember before we left the RIC was feeling like I was going to throw up. I remember that Suz [RIC Food Services Manager] had made a really delicious hearty soup and homemade bread for lunch. I had to choke most of it down without tasting it because I was so nervous. But why was I so anxious? I knew everything was going to be okay. And I was, in fact, excited to leave. We had been preparing for three months for this and the moment of our departure was finally here! But I also realized that life was about to change. While I knew where we were going to end up, the in between, the middle of here and there, was all murky and that made me rather uneasy.

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February 23, 2018

Eyes on the Invisible

By Sarah,* RMM worker in North Africa

Recently, I have been thinking about what it looks like to maintain and grow in our relationship with Jesus when our lives are full of the ordinary and seemingly insignificant details that feel unrelated to the Kingdom. How do I keep my eyes on the invisible when my life is full of the beautiful busyness of being a mom of five – keeping track of all the logistics of mealtimes, snacks, books for school, and bedtime routines? “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1). I try to focus on him as I pick up the tiny Lego pieces for the umpteenth time, as I pack the second snack for the day, hang up the next load of laundry or begin homeschool with our oldest daughter. I know this is all related to the Kingdom and the effort that I put into any of these tasks and into the relationships of those closest to me reveals my desire to be like him, but these are all the visible realities of my life.

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February 22, 2018

Introducing Paige: SEND Administrative Assistant Intern

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Paige, from Hartville, Ohio, joins the SEND Intern team as the administrative assistant. She helps with paperwork, mailing, and finances for both City Challenge and REACH.

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“Greetings from Granada, Spain!”

By Rolando and Andrea, RMM workers in Spain

Rolando and Andrea moved with their two sons to Granada, Spain, in January 2018. Before moving, Andrea taught Spanish and ESL to high schoolers while Rolando discipled men who had been incarcerated. Read more of their story here.

Greetings from Granada, Spain! We arrived safely on January 12 and are slowly getting used to so many new sights, smells, and sounds of our new home city. Since we arrived here, we’ve been staying at a hostel in the city center, where we also have access to a kitchen in a neighboring apartment. We will be moving to an apartment at the beginning of February. Wilmer and Daniel started school last week, Andrea starts her Hispanic studies classes this week, and Rolando is looking into how he can visit the local prison, among other things.

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February 20, 2018

Introducing Grant: SEND Outreach Coordinator

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Grant from Hartville, Ohio, serves as this year’s outreach coordinator. In this role, Grant contacts numerous outreach locations within Columbus, organizing service groups for both City Challenge and REACH.

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February 16, 2018

Introducing Brenda: SEND Food Services Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Brenda Miller, the 2018 food services assistant from Sugarcreek, Ohio, is excited to learn about meal preparation and planning as she helps the RIC food services manager, Susannah Cotman.

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February 15, 2018

Dismantling the View of Missionaries as Super-Saints

By Colleen, RMM Director of Human Resources and Calibrate Facilitator

Miraculous healings. Hundreds coming to Jesus at one time. Explosive church growth. These kinds of stories can cause us to put missionaries on a pedestal – a position of super spirituality and near perfection. I felt that pressure as an overseas worker. I lived with the burden of high expectations and often wrestled with knowing how to communicate my own disappointments, struggles, and fears to supporters. I often thought, “If I am honest, will people lose their trust in my ability to live here and do this job? Don’t they only want to hear good news and miraculous accounts?” These doubts were used as accusations from the enemy trying to convince me that I was not worthy of the calling and was not living up to the highest standard.

Enormous courage is required to share vulnerably from a pedestal position that was never desired in the first place. I did not choose to share the gospel in Ecuador or Thailand because I thought I could do it better than anyone else. I recognized my own weaknesses and even pointed them out to God. Yet, I could not deny the call to obey and make disciples of all nations. I know I am not alone in this. In my current position at RMM, I am privileged to care for and support our field workers. I hear their struggles, I see their pain, and I understand the pressure they feel to fully meet all of the needs around them.

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February 13, 2018

Introducing New Property Manager

By Lydia Gingerich

RMM is excited to introduce Kegan Yoder as the full-time property manager of the RIC. Kegan began this role at the end of January 2018.

Kegan currently lives in his hometown of Plain City, Ohio, but since graduating high school he has spent time in Virginia attending Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), and in Arizona volunteering with Aim Right Ministries. Interested in the idea of combining service with business, Kegan studied business administration at EMU. After graduating college in 2016, he spent a year with Aim Right Ministries, an urban youth ministry near downtown Phoenix. While there he led Bible studies, ran a mobile food pantry, and assisted in other community programs.

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February 06, 2018

A Day in the Life of a Mama

By Opal,* RMM worker in North Africa

In many ways my life as a mama here has not changed from the life I would lead as a mama there, but some glimpses into my days might show slight variations. Look into the window of my day…

Every day I think about food. At least one day a week, I walk with Raleigh* to the fresh market. We often stop at the cubicle which houses two men and a cage full of chickens, “a one pound chicken please.” It will be warm when we pick it up in a few minutes. We move on to the cubicle of Mohammed and Hamid. Vegetables are heaped all around. They hand us plastic bowls to fill and place on the scales (weights still made of heavy metal on one side). We choose a cabbage, potatoes, onions, peppers, peas/beans, parsley, and pumpkin (which they cut off from a massive pumpkin sitting on the old, wooden counter). We return to pick up the chicken and sometimes we add a kilo or two of sardines which someone has scaled and cleaned for us. Then we head home again to wash, peel, store, and cook meals from scratch. Right now, my laptop sits on the kitchen table and I juggle lunch prep, typing, and a one-year-old who will get into everything messy that she can!

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February 05, 2018

Introducing Sarah: SEND Hospitality Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing our 2018 SEND Interns. This group of seven REACH graduates will spend the year deepening their relationship to God and his Kingdom through serving at the RIC and being discipled by the SEND Department. RMM is grateful for their hard work and is excited to see them grow this year.

Sarah is from Millersburg, Ohio, and was on the REACH 2016-17 Team Eurasia. She is one of the hospitality assistants with duties like making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and hosting groups who come to the RIC. When Sarah is not working, she likes to take naps, read, or journal. In her few weeks at the RIC, Sarah has enjoyed getting to know the other interns during their late-night chats over cereal.

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February 01, 2018

A Response to Pov.ology

By Candice, RMM worker in Thailand

We climb the concrete stairs of the pedestrian bridge, my mind on the long list of items my family needs from the grocery store. On the landing sits a small puddle of humanity, dressed in rags with beseeching eyes, her cup held out to me, holding me with her eyes. Further out on the bridge I find a man cooking eggs over coals; I buy two and some noodles. My daughter runs back to give them to the lady and we continue on our way to fill our cart with groceries. The guilt follows us. How can we be comfortable in our blessed state when there are those with deformities and open sores and hunger and lack sitting on the stairs? Poverty is all around – asking us for a response. What will it be?

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January 30, 2018

Encouraging Epiphany: A REACH Update

By Bri, Team Montana

This past week we continued following our normal schedule. We did, however, switch things up a little bit for Wednesday night youth group. Most of the time we split up and go to three different youth groups, but instead, we all came together for a volleyball night.

Team Montana and some others played against the youth group that I usually attend. The youth group is almost all girls, most of whom have played volleyball only a handful of times, but they were still willing to give it a try. Our team ended up getting beat. I’m not going to lie, it hurt my pride a bit because most of us had played volleyball many times before that. Something about how the other team played together really intrigued me. They were encouraging each other and cheering each other on the whole game. Normally they are a fairly quiet bunch, but that night they were filling the tiny gym with their not-so-tiny voices.

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January 24, 2018

Open Doors: Three Stories of God’s Provision

The following are three reports from both long and short-term RMM workers who are seeing God create opportunities for them in their different locations. Praise God for letting us be a part of growing his Kingdom!


By Jonatan

I have been helping some of the new Chinese students learn the Thai language because when they come to the university they do not speak Thai. It is very difficult for them when they try to communicate with people and when they want to buy something or order food. So every evening I help them with homework and practicing speaking.

Helping with Thai language has opened doors for me to get closer with Chinese students and build stronger friendships. It is a good opportunity to show Jesus’ love and to be a light and a testimony for them with my behavior. I am also looking for opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus more openly.

Please pray for all of the work here in Thailand. Pray for all of my friends at the university – that God would continue working in their hearts, and for me, that I can have a good testimony for them.

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January 23, 2018

Luke and Robyn Spaulding: SEND Program Facilitators

By Lydia Gingerich

RMM excitedly welcomes two new staff members to fill the role of SEND program facilitators: Luke and Robyn Spaulding. In the past, Luke and Robyn have both been involved with the SEND Department as REACH participants (2013-2014), Luke as a team leader (2014-2015), and Robyn as a SEND intern (2015). They enjoyed the community they experienced at the Rosedale International Center (RIC) and look forward to joining the staff as program facilitators.

After getting married in 2016, the Spauldings spent the last year and a half in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Luke held a job in construction and Robyn helped teach a preschool class and worked at a coffee shop. Luke and Robyn like to spend their time together drinking coffee, running (usually on treadmills at this time of the year), and exploring new restaurants.

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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

Returning to U.S. after 40 years

By Lydia Gingerich

Returning to the U.S. was not an easy decision. Dan 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,* 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, 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,* 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 17, 2017

The Best Way of Life

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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.

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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,* RMM President

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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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,* 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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:

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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."

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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.

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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!

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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."

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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,* 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* about the urgency of responding to God’s call.

A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness

Joe,* RMM President, and Mark,* 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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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 and Prayer Coordinator. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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June 04, 2016

Is Discipleship the Same as Disciple Making?

By Joe,* RMM President

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.”

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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?”

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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*

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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* – 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.

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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.

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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*

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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July 05, 2015

Living Through the Aftermath

By Larissa Stauffer, team leader of REACH Team Himalayas 2014-15

When I think of South Asia after the earthquake, there are three things I remember: the rubble, the stoic faces of the women as they press on with daily life, and the children.

The rubble stands in piles of dust; what once was a home is now worse than nothing. No longer a shelter, but a danger; no longer standing tall but laid low, devastated. Even the homes left standing are not safe.

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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.

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“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,* 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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An Opportunity To Be The Hands And Feet Of Jesus To The People Of Nepal

As you probably know, Nepal was recently hit with a devastating series of earthquakes and aftershocks that have left many people in desperate need. Our REACH team was located less than 10 miles from the epicenter and had the opportunity to help with relief work prior to their return to the States. While we are very thankful for their safe return home, we are also deeply conscious that for many in Nepal, the situation remains critical.

Moses,* the outreach coordinator for the Himalayas REACH team, has been a trusted friend of RMM for many years. His wisdom and work on behalf of the kingdom and his nation have been an inspiration and a blessing to many in the global church. Because of his role as a leader and guide in the Nepali church, many have turned to him for help. In the aftermath, Moses and his family have been working through their non-governmental organization (NGO), providing relief in remote areas that larger organizations have not been able to reach.

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June 02, 2015

Catching Up With the SEND Staff Interns

2015 SEND Staff Interns (L-R): Eric, Leah, Rodney, Robyn, Tyler, Briana, Brooks
During the first five months of their year at the RIC, we at RMM and SEND Ministries have come to know and love the 2015 SEND staff interns. We’re pleased to be able to introduce them to the broader community, and especially to groups planning to join us for City Challenge this summer. We think you’ll come to love them, too.

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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 11, 2015

Blessings of Safety: Team Himalaya’s First-Hand Account of the Earthquake in Nepal

The following account is taken from an update we received from REACH Team Himalayas after the earthquake in Nepal. It has been edited for publication.

I want to start out by giving our Father a shout-out of praise! As I’m sure you’ve all heard, there was a huge 7.8 earthquake here. We are staying in a village that is in the same district as the epicenter, around a four-hour bus ride from here. However, with the way the roads wind through the mountains, it is most likely a lot closer than it sounds. We are all safe and well. A lot of homes in the village have cracks, but it is a huge blessing that so very few have collapsed. At the same time, all of the cracked homes will have to be torn down and rebuilt. This will require a lot of time, effort, and money. Usually, the villagers come together as a community to build homes. Now, however, everyone will have to work on their own homes. It can be discouraging to look at the future. Still, there is some joy in the sadness.

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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,* 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,* 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,* 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!

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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.

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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.

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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].

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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