April 14, 2014

The Art of Lingering

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By Ann Martin*

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

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

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April 10, 2014

Reaching a Wider Audience

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

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

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

*Name changed and country name omitted for security reasons.

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April 09, 2014

With Sadness, Nervousness, and Excitement

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A letter from Joe and Lynn*

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

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April 07, 2014

Forgive to Live:
Updates from the Greece REACH team

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By Erica*

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

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

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Updates from the Greece REACH team" »

April 04, 2014

Why We Attend BOOST

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By Larry and Dot Chupp

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

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

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April 02, 2014

Missions: Poisoned or Pure?

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At its worst, missions deserves the kind of negative critique that author Barbara Kingsolver delivers in The Poisonwood Bible through the character of Nathan Price. Culturally insensitive and theologically narrow-minded, Price heads deep into the African jungle to convert the Congolese heathen. Taking no time to understand the culture, he plows ahead with his immediate goals: to get the women properly dressed (by his standards) and to baptize as many of the Congolese as possible, as quickly as possible (in a crocodile-infested river).

On the other end of the spectrum is Rachel Lane in John Grisham’s The Testament. Rachel disappears deep into Brazil’s rain forest to live sacrificially among a small isolated tribe. She makes their village her home and their people her people. She lovingly proclaims and demonstrates the love of Jesus. When she is made aware of her wealthy father’s death back in the US and his $11 billion bequest to her, she is hesitant to receive it. Rachel is content where she is, and she fears that money of that quantity will only bring her trouble. Year after year, she selflessly pours her life into the work she knows her Master has called her to.

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March 31, 2014


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By Josiah* From the April 2014 Beacon

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” –Jesus of Nazareth

“Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” –David

From my earliest memories I’ve been planting seeds: first in the garden plot behind my childhood home in the city, but later on a bigger scale while riding beside my grandpa on the tractor, acres at a time. In the last few years, I’ve been learning a lot more about planting seeds, both wheat and seeds of the Kingdom, and what it means for them both to die in order to produce a harvest.

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March 24, 2014

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

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By Kirsten*

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

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

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March 20, 2014

Studying Nehemiah in Laos

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

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March 17, 2014

Mim’s Changing Role at RMM

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

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

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March 13, 2014

Cultural Snapshot: Unexpected Guests

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By Sarah, serving in North Africa

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

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

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March 11, 2014

New Workers for the Harvest in Thailand

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

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

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