“We eat together, sing together in both English and Chichewa, go on our nightly walks together, and laugh together like a family of hyenas,” says Eric Bishop of his family’s relationship with Madalitso Kaputa. Eric and Linda Bishop, Souderton congregation, have opened their home to Madalitso, a participant in the International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP). IVEP is a program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) that brings young adults from other countries to live and work in Canada and the United States for a year. Madalitso is far from his home in Malawi, Africa this year, yet clearly he also has found a family with the Bishops.
Mennonite Central Committee
Gary Lebo was on his cell phone 117 miles away in Dillsburg, Pa. Item number 104, a cultivator mattock, was up next at the Philadelphia Festival & Auction, which benefits Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
Why would these 8 people from three different churches in our conference choose to spend 5 of their lazy days of summer vacation together, being NOT-lazy?
- They enjoy making the wheels on a bike go round and round.
- They wanted to help raise money to support Mennonite Central Committee’s project of planting trees in Haiti.
Last summer, Ardi Hermawan took MCC grocery bags, which are filled with non-perishable food and given to Anabaptist churches in Philadelphia to share in their communities, to the near-by Walgreen’s and handed them out to people who could use some food and appreciated talking to someone. It went well and so over spring break this year, Hermawan arranged to do it again with a group of his fellow students from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) who came to Philadelphia to spend their week. Hermawan is part of Philadelphia Praise Center (PPC), a multi-ethnic congregation whose members speak Indonesian, English, and Spanish.
In 1978 Luke and Dorothy Beidler moved to Kalimantan, Indonesia — where the Dayak people live along wide rivers in a great tropical forest — as pioneer missionaries with Eastern Mennonite Missions.
In a groundbreaking partnership between an Anabaptist mission agency in the global South and two from the West, the Mennonite Mission Board of Indonesia (PIPKA), EMM and Mennonite Central Committee united to send the Beidlers and others from Indonesia and the U.S.
Drick Boyd, professor at Eastern University, and Fred Kauffman from Mennonite Central Committee (both from West Philadelphia congregation) shared stories of gun violence and redemption and encouraged leaders to engage their congregations around the topic of gun violence and gun control. There are deeper issues in our culture, Boyd said, and getting rid of guns won’t remove those deeper issues, but “at least we’ll live long enough to address them.”
On a Thursday afternoon around 10 a.m., Jared Hunsinger, 17, would normally be in class at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School. Instead, this Thursday, he stood observing a live auction of estate items at Alderfer Auction Co. in Hatfield.
Hunsinger got the opportunity as part of Christopher Dock’s “Senior Experiences Week,” which is a component of each senior’s Kingdom Living Class. Each student sets up his or her own opportunity to shadow someone in a vocational field or participate in a week of service.
“Good food. Good cause. Nice quilts!” observed Rosalie Rolón Dow, describing the October 27th Festival & Auction to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Over 300 people attended Philadelphia’s second “MCC Relief Sale,” bidding on 200 items that raised $19,000 for MCC. With over $5,000 spent on foods and small items plus direct project donations, total receipts exceeded $27,000.