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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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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December 02, 2015

Spirit Advent

Editor’s Note: Candice, an RMM worker in Thailand, wrote this poem as a reflection on what advent means to her, and what it means to those still searching and longing for the light of Christ’s coming. Please join us in praying for encouragement and perseverance for our workers as they carry the light of Christ’s love to places where darkness is powerful.
(A ghost story: As the Thai legend goes, two hundred years ago, a man in love went off to war and was wounded. Meanwhile, his beloved Mae Nak and her unborn child lost their lives in childbirth. Because of her great love for him, her ghost remained. When he returned home, he lived with his new bride and baby unaware that she was a spirit. After catching her in a ghostly act, he ran away, terrified. Today, in Bangkok, true believers visit a shrine to her angel/ghost to ask for favor in childbirth, love, war, and other matters of heart and luck.)

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April 20, 2015

Welcome to My World

A day in the life of Thailand team member, Rhonda

Each morning, Monday through Friday, I wake up bright and early at 5:30 to get ready for language school. I went to language school when I was in Thailand before, but now I am learning to read and write. My husband, Nixson, gets up with me every morning so we can eat breakfast together, then takes me to the end of the street on our motorcycle. Our house is pretty far away from the main road, and there is no public transportation that passes the village where we live.

I take a “songtaew,” which is like a pick-up truck with benches in the back, to the Skytrain station. It takes me about 15 minutes to get to the station.

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November 17, 2014

Open Doors

An update from Pablo and Judi, RMM workers in Malaga, Spain.

We went to our environmental class this morning. Why this class? We try to follow open doors. 6 1/2 years ago when we arrived in Spain, we said, "now what?" It soon became apparent that to connect with people we'd have to do what they do, better yet, what both they and we like to do. We soon realized that teaching English would be a good way to get to know people. Then a student told me about a neighbor who sings in a choir, so we got involved. A couple from the choir invited us to sign up for this environmental class, and through it we've gotten to know lots of people and have done lots of things: excursions, hiking, and attending concerts through access to super-discount tickets. The class is taught by a left-leaning teacher and we talk a lot about politics. This morning’s topic was multinationals taking over the agricultural business and the super-secret American-European trade treaty meetings currently going on that will (supposedly) eventually impoverish countries like Spain.

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April 06, 2013

Intercambio en España

By Lia Hershberger,
REACH Spain Co-Leader

Editor’s note: “Intercambios” in Granada, Spain are informal language learning groups that meet in public places like coffee shops. The groups have roughly equal numbers of English and Spanish speakers who learn each other’s language through conversation. Part of the Spain team’s outreach is participation in these conversations.

“Intercambio.” This is a word we use a lot here in Granada. It means exchange, and specifically, language exchange. But it is definitely more than that. You see, we start out with the exchange of pleasantries, and then progress into the exchange of life stories, of problems that popped up during the week, of morals, and of beliefs (or at least snippets). Soon you have a foundation for a friendship, and that was only your first time meeting. Week after week you start building on that first encounter and your conversations deepen as well as your respect for one another, and while they wouldn’t call you a friend, there is a definite relationship being created.

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February 15, 2013

Encouraging and Disappointing

Excerpts from the REACH North Africa team blog posted January 29, 2013
By D*

Hello everyone. Life here been crazy, fun, challenging, good, bad, and just about everything in between. Our Guide has been really good to us this month. This is the end of month two of life here in the city. In exactly one week and one day we will be packing up our packs and jumping on a bus. Destination: mountains.

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