July 05, 2015

Living Through the Aftermath

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

When I think of Nepal 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 26, 2015

Taught by God

Last Saturday I attended a conference at which we spent a few minutes reflecting on some verses from John 6, where Jesus quotes Isaiah, saying, “They will all be taught by God.” That concept isn’t one I’d thought much about before. Sure, I knew that Jesus was an amazing rabbi (teacher), and that the Holy Spirit is described as one who “will teach you all things,” and I hear people say things like “God has been teaching me to be patient.” But God the Teacher hadn’t really been on my radar.

“They will all be taught by God.” What is Jesus saying here? What sorts of things does God the Teacher teach us? Jesus doesn’t go on to say exactly what God teaches, he simply says what happens to people who listen and learn from him: “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.” God the Teacher enables us to come to Jesus.

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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 Mayer, director of SEND Ministires, shares about how Impact Groups have shaped his live 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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