Strengthening relationships to serve

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

January 23-26, 2011

Paraguay is a long way to go for a meeting. But it seemed worth it when it meant that representatives from global churches from around the world could meet together to talk about how Anabaptist-related service agencies could form a new network to work more effectively together.

In our congregations, we help our members who are in need and we help others in our communities, too. Through Mennonite World Conference, we can help our brothers and sisters in Anabaptist churches in other parts of the world. We know the needs are great. Think of Zimbabwe, Chile, Indonesia and elsewhere where political unrest and disasters have given us ample opportunities to show our love for one another.

There are Anabaptist-related service agencies around the world, too, that help us reach beyond our own members to communities in need. Large service agencies are in Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, the United States and elsewhere, and many smaller ones in many countries, but there is currently no linking mechanism that helps these agencies on behalf of the church to work more effectively together.

That's what this meeting in Paraguay was all about. The group pictured above spent three days together, and I was able to give some support as a volunteer staff person for Mennonite World Conference, to plan for how a new network of agencies could best operate.

Toward the end of the meeting, Cynthia Peacock, from India, led us in a devotional from Phil. 4. She said we have much to do, but we can accomplish much more together if our relationships are strong in Christ.

If these five representatives are any indication, our churches and agencies will work with diligence to extend their work as Christ's body in the world. May it be so.


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