Mission and Service Workers

Many CMC members are serving people all around the world. On this page, you can read updates on their adventures.

 Lindsay and Asher Fast – Serving in Botswana with Mennonite Mission Network and Virginia Mennonite Missions

  • Braais & Byes January 13, 2019
    Lindsey and I were fortunate to take a gorgeous vacation and final African adventure to Cape Town over Christmas. We saw amazing, natural beauty and many things worthy of capturing with a picture. Alt …
  • Assigning Worth: What do we put price tags on? October 31, 2018
    As Lindsey and I are nearing the end of our two-year term of service in Botswana, I find myself reflecting over many things; even more so than usual. I’ve mentioned it before, but the pace of life her …
  • The Importance of Investing in Youth August 22, 2018
    Imagine growing up in a dry, desert terrain. The summers are long and hot. The winters short. You didn’t grow up with many toys in the house. You live with your grandmother and both of your parents ar …
  • Reflections on Cross-Cultural Emotions May 18, 2018
    Lindsey’s Thoughts My aunt sent us some proverbs recently about living in another culture (Jacob’s Proverbs on How to Live Happily in other Cultures, 1973). The first proverb is: “The psychological sp …
  • Risks and Rewards March 14, 2018
    We recently completed a 15-week cross-cultural discipleship course through Eastern Mennonite University. This course was designed to be apart of our service experience and involved international worke …

Jay and Sheri Hartzler – Serving in Romania

  • A season of wonder December 8, 2019
    Advent, the season of anticipation and wonder.  This week the word “wonder” has been cemented in my mind.  On Tuesday …Continue reading → …
  • We keep coming back September 11, 2019
    Last night we returned to begin our 6th year in Romania.  Sleep was a challenge and I was awake at …Continue reading → …
  • Here we go again! September 1, 2018
    We return to Romania with renewed strength and vision.  The pattern we hope to maintain is nine months in Romania …Continue reading → …
  • Staying Busy in the Tigmandru Woodshop May 12, 2018
    Here is a bit of an update on the shop.  First, we thank you for your financial support. It has …Continue reading → …
  • On being grateful November 25, 2017
    The summer months in the U.S. in 2017 were unusual.  Instead of actively doing all of my normal activities, I …Continue reading → …

Amy & Giles EanesServing in Colombia with MCC's SEED program

Greetings from Colombia.

The past few months have been full for both of us. We have had both sets of parents come and visit, travels for vacation and work, and holiday activities. Also, we have been kept busy going to doctor appointments and preparing for a new stage in life as parents! In the middle of May we are expecting a little boy that will be born here in Bogota.

Additionally, both of our jobs have kept us on our toes. The end of the year means lots of MCC partner project reports for Amy to help approve, translate, and submit as well as project planning for the new year. The 15th of February marked the end of this cycle of the 2-year Seed program which Giles helps to coordinate and thus was busy with closing activities for the Seeders. The next few months will bring a lot of changes as we start to transition out of our roles and start thinking about the next stage of life. We are planning to move back to Harrisonburg in late summer of 2018 and are looking forward to reconnecting with CMC.

Colombia continues to be a complex context. Over a year ago, Colombia signed a peace accord with the FARC guerrillas, and since then there has been a largely successful effort to demobilize and disarm. Unfortunately, there is little political will to put into law many of the parts of the accords related to social and economic reforms, and thus there is much uncertainty about what will happen. Many community and social leaders who support the implementation of the peace process, as well as environmental and human rights defenders, continue to be threatened and assassinated, further destabilizing regions – more than 170 have been killed since the signing of the accord. Additionally, congressional and presidential elections right around the corner lend more uncertainty to the process, since the next administration may or may not follow through on necessary legislation for implementation. This also affects the peace negotiations that have been going on for one year with the ELN guerrillas, which have currently been suspended. The situation in Venezuela has forced hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from their homes in search of jobs, medicine, and food, and they continue to pour into Colombia, straining many communities and giving politicians fuel as they claim that an implemented peace accord with the FARC and voting for politicians on the left will turn Colombia into Venezuela. Meanwhile, U.S. aid to Colombia and support of peace negotiations is being cut at a critical time, with a concerning return to war on drugs-type rhetoric.

In the midst of these dynamics, Anabaptist churches and MCC partner organizations in Colombia continue to do the work of building peace in their local communities. Please pray for the safety of our Colombian brothers and sisters, as well as for their energy and encouragement as they navigate this post-accord time.

Much love,
Giles & Amy Eanes

  • An Update September 16, 2015
    In all of the busyness of the past few months, we’ve abandoned ship in terms of blogging. Other things have quickly filled up our schedules and thoughts, and it’s only occurring to me now, in our fina …
  • Privilege and the Little Blue Book May 18, 2015
    I first came to Colombia in December of 2012 as a tourist. My husband’s college roommate and friend is Colombian, and a few months after his wedding in Virginia, he and his wife planned to visit his f …
  • A step in the right direction May 13, 2015
    Glyphosate has been in the news a lot lately. Also known as Roundup, this chemical has been used for the past twenty years as part of the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia, a program supposedly designed to de …
  • Pasteles February 24, 2015
    One amazing aspect of living in Chocó is witnessing the community and work ethic among the church ladies. The hermanas are organized, both within each church and regionally, and they frequently hold c …
  • A year in December 3, 2014
    It has been a year. One year ago today, Amy and I landed in Quibdó and hauled our suitcases into a van for the curvy hour and a half ride to Istmina. I remember remarking on our arrival how much I lov …

David, Rebekka, Immanuel and Liana StutzmanServing in Germany with Virginia Mennonite Mission


Hanna Heishman – Serving with Habitat for Humanity

  • the art between us March 23, 2017
    A few days ago, I found myself at an event called “the art between us.” It was an eclectic gathering of souls: women shared hard-learned truths in the form of slam-poems, some shared original music, a …
  • "The Day After The Election I Did Not Go Outside" November 16, 2016
    by HANIF WILLIS-ABDURRAQIBBUT for a moment, to drive to the soulfood spot on Congress ave. where utensils,large & made for the hands of no one living amongus, hang on the walls & where the woman behin …
  • the dust settles. October 6, 2016
    Recently, one of my housemates posed the most seemingly benign question toward me.We were marching down the street, recanting through memories and noting how delightfully odd it was to feel as though …
  • Balance: A Reflection on the last two years — and a launch into the next chapter August 16, 2016
    I have forever gravitated toward adventure, and my pull to explore and to know difference has made me feel like a restless wanderer. I perceive myself as one who loves deeply, but sporadically, and be …
  • newness and familiarity October 7, 2015
    I’m seated back in the valley that cradled me for so many years; the weathered Blue Ridge mountains are holding me once again. I cannot shake one of my most recent memories: winding through roads I kn …

Tabea ZimmermanServing in Bolivia with MCC's SEED program

  • A Shameless Plug for Score Against Poverty April 21, 2018
    I am not an expert on community development, managing NGO’s and monitoring programs, or even on food security, gender sensitization, or environmental conservation. But in the past few years as I have …
  • Exchanging Ideas across Borders: A Trip to Zimbabwe April 21, 2018
    Thanks to all the traveling I’ve been able to do through the MCC Seed Southern Africa program, I have stuffed my passport with visas and immigration stamps, and even had to get a new 52-pager last Aug …
  • A long overdue update – mostly in pictures March 2, 2018
    The past three months have been full of exciting travels, people, and learning. I spent a month in December-January in South Africa, both for personal vacation and work meetings. I got to meet and spe …
  • Turning point March 2, 2018
    I have reached a turning point with the relationships I am creating in Halumba. I have lived here long enough, spent enough hours around kitchen fires drinking tea and roasting maize, walked enough ki …
  • How to accurately measure your crop yields March 2, 2018
    Most NGO’s that run Conservation Agriculture (CA) and food security projects include crop yield measurements somewhere in their monitoring and evaluation strategies. We want to know how much maize and …

 


John, Jennifer, Jonathan, Rebecca, Caroline, and Nicholas Murch – Serving in Puerto Rico with Mennonite Disaster services

  • the quotidian (12.9.19) December 10, 2019
    Quotidian: daily, usual or customary; everyday; ordinary; commonplaceThe little (growing) boy makes his breakfast.The only thing missing is Goldilocks.Roasted cabbage.Eat your veggies.Restocking the j …
  • "take out the trash" December 7, 2019
    Anybody recognize what show that phrase comes from? No? Okay, I’ll tell you.I got it from an episode of West Wing in which “take out the trash” refers to the practice of releasing all the bad news in …
  • Clymer and Kurtz December 4, 2019
    Last year for my mom’s 70th birthday, my brother and his wife gave her a coupon for a free house concert to be cashed in upon her request. Eleven months later — two weeks ago — she finally did: she an …
  • Thanksgiving 2019 December 3, 2019
    Once again, the New York and Tennessee cousins made the long and arduous trek to our place for Thanksgiving.Photo credit: IzzyThis year, we borrowed a camper from our neighbors so the growing teens wo …
  • 2019 garden stats and notes November 27, 2019
    It was a fairly low-key and humdrum gardening year. As is our custom, we exerted minimal energy and scraped by with just the necessities. Good-enough gardening, I call it.Stats:Strawberries: 51½ quart …

 

Selena McCoy Carpenter and Rand CarpenterServing in Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee

  • Shots from the past few months December 11, 2015
    A few shots from the past months. If the picture is a good one, Reid probably took it. In October we took a trip with good friends and colleagues, Cristina and Doug, their boys, and friends, Glenda an …
  • In Reid's Words April 27, 2015
    Hello, beautiful people who spend their precious time reading the blog of some weirdos in Kenya. My name is Reid, and today, I’ve come to the blog because many people have told me to write for the blo …
  • Poetry April 7, 2015
    It has been a difficult few days in Kenya. The siege and killings in Garissa in Northeast Kenya have been difficult for many to even contemplate. I talked to at least two friends today who essentially …
  • If Mary were Maasai December 1, 2014
    Happy Advent: Come, Lord Jesus, come!For this blog, we are posting an article that our colleague, Corinna ClymerOlson wrote for The Mennonite World Review. It’s beautifully written and demonstrates th …
  • Swahili, Tanzania, and khat-chewing bus drivers October 14, 2014
    This looks familiar…https://www.flickr.com/photos/pelangio957/We finally stepped off the bus at 8:30 that night in a dark parking lot, crowded with taxi drivers, hawkers, and others whose occupation …

Rose Shenk, Bruce Buckwalter, Christian, Andrew, Daniel, and Jacob Stoltzfus – Serving in Ethiopia with Mennonite Central Committee

  • Butterfly in the Deep Blue Sky–no it’s not, it’s a MOTH! November 4, 2019
    How many lives does an Eri silk moth have? Life #1. Caterpillars cocooned, it got really cold and rainy, and they stayed put. We thought they died. After about a month too long, they hatched! Death de …
  • Tied Up In Knots October 30, 2019
    I’ve been teaching Rosa how to spin. And boy, have we gotten ourselves into a tangled mess. This is not how you spin. This is how you untangle your thread after you’ve gotten it looped around the bobb …
  • Treasures in Jimma City October 6, 2019
    When we visited Jimma to see the restoration of Aba Jifar‘s palace, it happened to be over the Meskel holiday. Like Irreecha, the Oromo holiday celebrating the end of the rains and the beginning of th …
  • Aba Jifar (not the villain from Aladin) October 2, 2019
    He was a six-foot ten Muslim king in Oromia, Ethiopia in the 1800’s. His palace is falling apart. Bruce’s uncle, Leon Buckwalter, is fixing it. We went to check up on his work last weekend. The restor …
  • A Fortnight of aFfirmative Findings September 17, 2019
    This is probably the worst way to write a blog. Anyone who is interested in eri silk or spinning, for example, won’t want to wade through a bunch of NGO projects or Ethiopian cultural holidays or my s …

Other CMCers Living Internationally

John, Glenda, Anisa, and Karen LeonardServing in Nairobi, Kenya, with Rosslyn Academy