MC Canada update - December 7, 2018

Published December 7, 2018

International Witness


Burkina Faso


Tany Warkentin, former mission worker in Burkina Faso, shares about 40th anniversary of the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso (l’Eglise Evangélique Mennonite du Burkina Faso)

For the past 40 years, the Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso, West Africa, has been involved in sharing the Good News of Jesus in a number of local languages. Donna and Loren Entz were among the first Mennonite mission workers. Lives were transformed, churches emerged and multiplied, members were discipled and leaders trained.

In response to God’s goodness and faithfulness during the past 40 years, what could the Burkina Faso church do but celebrate, and celebrate they did!  From November 23 to 25, at the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso (l’Eglise Evangélique Mennonite du Burkina Faso), at least 1,000 people gathered, including members from all of the 25 churches and over 30 international guests.  It was three days filled with worshipping, teaching, feasting, singing and dancing.  Special music groups and a marching band were invited, matching outfits were worn by each church, and women stayed up all night cooking for the final meal together (for which two cows were butchered).

Singing and dancing were part of the three-day celebrations for EEMBF’s 40th Anniversary.

Praise God for the joy and commitment with which the Burkina Faso churches serve God and share God's love with others. Also continue to support our sister churches in prayer - during the celebration last week, two Mennonite members passed away and delegates were sent from the celebration to the two villages for the funerals.  Pray that God's presence may be felt closely in times of joy and difficulty.

Donna Entz, one of the first Mennonite mission workers in Burkina Faso, shares at EEMBF’s 40th Anniversary.




Joji Pantoja (MC Canada Witness worker in Davao, Philippines) received the 2018 Developmental Social Enterprise Award on behalf of Coffee for Peace. The award is given for being a multiplier of social progress through entrepreneurship. We celebrate along with Joji and the Coffee for Peace team as they continue to give back to their country by sharing the wealth with the poor, mentoring people to pay-it-forward and being an inspiration to others.  



Tom and Christine Poovong (MC Canada Witness workers in Khon Kaen, Thailand) recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. We give thanks and praise to God for their married life together and for all workers and their marriage relationships. Pray for all of our workers that God’s grace and perseverance would be evident in their marriages as they face unique challenges of living and ministering cross-culturally.  


United Kingdom 

An update from Mike and Cheryl Nimz, Anabaptist Network in the U.K. 

“It isn’t feasible for us to travel all over the UK to continue on with the connections we have made and so we have suggested and the Anabaptist steering group has agreed that having regional ‘ambassadors’ is the way to go. 

One ambassador will be Simon Ramacci. He is a student from Essex and believes working for peace is at the core of the gospel. He works part-time for St John Ambulance and he had such a problem wearing the red poppy [Simon was being made to wear a red poppy] that he put forward his case for the white poppy to his managers and they agreed that he could wear his white poppy for peace.  This is a huge deal in the UK. Simon said finding Anabaptism has helped his faith grow.” 




Pray for Erwin Mirabal, president of the Evangelical Mennonite Church of the East in Venezuela, as he leads the denomination in desperate times. May church members demonstrate God’s love through the sharing of food, providing health care and following Jesus’s way of peace. 


Praise God for the vitality of the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo as evidenced in church planting and baptisms. Pray for Jean Felix Cimbalanga as he provides leadership for the denomination, and for Pastor Mimie Kanku and her husband, Bellarmé Ngalula, as they minister in a new congregation in Bandundu.  

(*The above two items regarding Venezuela and Congo first appeared in Mennonite Mission Network’s December 2018 Prayer Vine.)


Indigenous-Settler Relations


Interfaith Exploration of Treaties 

Indigenous-Settler Relations and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba (TRCM) are partnering to produce a new book, Nanabush and Buddha Link Arms: Why Treaties Matter to Religious Communities. The text will be a popular work that seeks to discover the rich resources that various spiritual traditions have to help all peoples engage Treaty relationship and land justice. Pray for the co-editors, Darren Courchene (TRCM) and Steve Heinrichs (MC Canada), as they welcome contributors from diverse backgrounds into conversations that can nurture respectful and transformative dialogue.  

Assassinations of Human Rights Leaders 

At least 105 human rights leaders and members of vulnerable ethnic communities have been assassinated in Colombia over this past year. Many of them are Afro-Colombian and Indigenous leaders advocating for land and workers’ rights. Our Christian Peacemaker Team colleagues serving in those contested lands invite us to pray for justice, for peace and for all those who are grieving. Let us pray for CPT as they accompany those seeking and embodying nonviolent change (see




Worship Calendar: 

Dec 3           Int. Day of Persons with Disabilities -

Dec 10         Human Rights Day –

Dec 24/25    Christmas Eve/Christmas Day –

Jan 6            Epiphany –

Jan 7-11       Week of Prayer for Christian Unity -

Jan 20          Mennonite World Fellowship Sunday –

Jan 27          Holocaust Memorial Day -  

Feb 20          World Day of Social Justice –

Mar 6            Ash Wednesday –

Mar 8            World Women's Day –

Mar 21          Int. Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination –                      

Mar 22          World Water Day –




Are you looking for an Advent study or an alternative to “Christmas” consumerism?  Perhaps a worship resource for Christmas Eve, a story or DVD for your children?  A drama or pageant?  Many Advent/Christmas resources, including dozens of free downloadable items from our congregations, can be found here:


Adult curriculum Banners_Adult Curriculum Options 1a.jpg">Beginning to plan your winter study? CommonWord has a wide range of adult curricula you can chose from. Whether you’re looking for resources for a small group, Bible study or simply for yourself, you can find numerous studies on a wide range of topics here:


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action. Buy ($1.25) -


Mennonite Heritage Gallery

Along the Road to Freedom by Ray Dirks follows the journey of women who led their families out of Russia to peace in Canada. For $35, this coffee table book will make a great Christmas present and is available at Banners_Adult Curriculum Options 1a.jpg"> Banners_Adult Curriculum Options 1a.jpg">