A missionary and their sending church need a strong family bond, and yet, like a family, can suffer from misunderstood needs and expectations. Each needs to communicate expectations and serve their partner well. Even a supporting church should clarify its expectations and might need to assume a larger role. If your church is welcoming a missionary for home assignment (HA) or sending a new worker, be open about your expectations. Circulate your commitments. Perhaps these examples will help. Continue reading Expectations: What Do Missionaries and Churches Say to Each Other?
by Kevin Wiebe
Things were going just fine, or so you thought. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but what is? Then out of nowhere what you thought was going well just turned out to have been naive optimism, and now you get to be the next person to take your turn going for a ride on the conflict carousel. You don’t know what to do and you could use some advice, but you truly love the people you are in conflict with and don’t want to be spreading gossip about them. And, yet, you feel that if there is any hope for things to get better you will need to talk to someone. So, what do you do? How do you involve someone without becoming a gossip? Continue reading Getting Help Without Being a Gossip
By Ken Zacharias and Brad Brandt
Paraguay is not a strong tourist destination. It is often overshadowed by surrounding, bigger, and more noteworthy countries when describing beauty, progress and peoples. It is a landlocked country with just over seven million people and where 90 percent of the population speak Guarani as well as Spanish. Continue reading Paraguay: Old News? Not When Christ is at Work in New Ways!
By Terry M. Smith
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of our chosen sister send their greetings” (2 Jn 12-13). Continue reading Being Together Wasn’t Enough for Elder John
By James Driedger
The apostle Paul figured he could be “all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22). So, who is Paul for the EM Conference today and in its mission to advance Christ’s kingdom culture? Continue reading ‘Accept One Another’
By a Missionary
Dear EMC family,
These unusual times, combined with an online course on missionary care I’ve been taking during lock-down in Eastern Europe, have meant a lot of introspection. This introspection has included thinking about what EMC has done well in the course of our 20-plus years as overseas workers. Thus, this letter: I wanted to take a moment to thank you for these things, with a few other suggestions sprinkled in. Continue reading To My EMC Family: Thank You and a Few Suggestions
by Mary Ann Smith and Terry Smith
Ralph Friesen tells of how his father, Peter D. Friesen, grew up in the KG/EMC and served as a minister and, later, the lead pastor of Steinbach EMC for years while supporting his family as a businessman. His Dad suffered a stroke in his 50s and lived uncomfortably for several years before dying in his early 60s. As Friesen said in an interview elsewhere, the book intertwines two stories: his father’s and his own. Continue reading Review: Dad, God, and Me: Remembering a Mennonite Pastor and His Wayward Son
by Karla Hein
I used to think I was a calm, rational person. Then I met me, the mother of two preschoolers. My delusion shattered. I’m a nice person…the first time I have to wrestle dancing feet into a pair of jeans. Tell me to potty train a small human and my “good mommy” persona starts to slip. Most days my words are less than inspirational. Dirty dishes ferment on the counter; toys are scattered in every room. My husband comes home from a busy work day to hyper kids and a frazzled wife. Continue reading Musings from a Momma
Complaining About Restrictions?
by Bethany Matejka. Birch River, Man.
I have heard quite a few people, many of whom are Christians, complaining about the restrictions being put on us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not here to discuss the necessity or effectiveness of any of those measures. I am also not here to draw a comparison between the Manitoban or Canadian government and the Roman government of New Testament times. Continue reading Letters June 2020
by Layton Friesen
There is a lot of discussion about hell in Christian circles today. A big difference is made when we decide whether hell is an arbitrary punishment that God designs to make bad people suffer, or the natural consequence of choices we make here in this life. Try this analogy. It helps me think about hell. Continue reading Hell and Highwater