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 06, 2015

Locally Grown: Cherry Glade’s “Behold the King”

By Barry Maust, Pastor, Cherry Glade Mennonite Church, Accident, MD

Cherry Glade’s Easter Play has become a beloved tradition, drawing the church family together to produce the play, and reaching out to the community with a vivid portrayal of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This story is an inspiring example of how outreach can be woven seamlessly into the ongoing life of a church.

In the early 1980’s, Edna Bender, Chester Yoder and Esther Yoder were a part of the Special Programs Committee at Cherry Glade Mennonite Church. It was customary to have a Christmas Eve program that included special music and/or a drama, and concluded with singing Silent Night during a candle-lighting ceremony. At a meeting, these three committee members were brainstorming about how the Easter season could be celebrated. God had placed it on their hearts to do something that would bring honor to what the season means to believers. Chester suggested that a passion play should be produced, and Esther was given the task of writing the script for the drama.

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May 01, 2015

Growing and Learning With the REACH Teams

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

Team South Asia Update- Abundance of Fruit

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

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April 29, 2015

RMM in the City

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

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

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April 24, 2015

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

By Hans Shenk

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

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

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April 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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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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