Know them by their fruit

March 14, 2015

Last spring, I bought a new (to our family) vehicle. The 15-year-old minivan we were using at the time kept having maintenance issues. The starter faltered. The transmission was unresponsive at times. But I was prompted to action when the fuel line sprung a leak right over the exhaust manifold. The mechanic told me it […]

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Renewing our Connections

March 3, 2015

For the past 25 years, Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) and Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMMissions) have shared the publication, Connections. In this editorial, Clyde Kratz, VMC Executive Conference Minister, and Aaron Kauffman, VMMissions President, discuss the challenges and the dreams that have emerged about this communication tool. Clyde: I value the joint effort by VMC and […]

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More with less?

February 13, 2015

Over the past ten years, Virginia Mennonite Missions has more than tripled the number of adult mission workers in assignments of a year or more, from 16 to over 50. And that’s not including the children of those workers (27 and counting!), or the USA church planters and short-term teams we’ve supported. Meanwhile, our level […]

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Giving ourselves away

December 1, 2014

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:35 (NIV) I recently read about a congregation in Texas that has routinely given away some of its best leaders, most committed members and significant financial resources in its […]

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In step with the Spirit

October 1, 2014

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 On a warm January evening in Colombia, our church planting team gathered under a campground pavilion, with pastor Martín González leading us in worship and prayer as part of our retreat time. While we were praying for each […]

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Will our faith have children?

August 6, 2014

[The LORD] brought [Abram] outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:5-6 Outside of Europe and North America, the church […]

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Partnership as mission

May 27, 2014

A few months ago I had the opportunity to hear César García, General Secretary of Mennonite World Conference, speak about the role of North American mission agencies in the global church. García comes from the Mennonite Brethren Church of Colombia, a church birthed through the mission efforts of North Americans. When someone asked him whether […]

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People-fishing, Jesus-style

March 20, 2014

As a mission agency, what are we supposed to do? Evangelize? Plant churches? Train leaders? Provide education? Work at relief and development? Care for refugees? “Yes, but…” to all of the above. These activities do not define our core mission. Our mission is “to invite people to faithful living in Jesus Christ.” We seek to […]

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Ending and emerging

December 6, 2013

I come to the end of my presidency of VMMissions at the conclusion of 2013. As tenures go, eleven-and-a-half years is not so long. Earlene and I for the most part are not record-breakers. Add to these years, however, our years assisting two church plants in Virginia Conference, pastoring other churches, serving overseas with VMMissions, […]

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Start here

September 24, 2013

I like the tagline of Hesston College in Kansas, “Start Here, Go Everywhere.” I wish I’d thought of it. It makes a bold statement about Christian college education as a launching point from which people go virtually anywhere in the world. It implies that a college can broaden horizons, deepen perspectives and add to the […]

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