“Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10, NRSV)
The MCC UN Office is the voice at the United Nations for MCC and our global partners, including Anabaptist churches around the world. We keep MCC staff and partners informed about UN policies and program that may affect them, while bringing the expertise and experience of MCC partners and personnel to the UN diplomats and employees who establish and carry out UN policies. Our office focuses on areas of conflict where MCC and our partners are living and working. Our more specific efforts include:
- Networking with UN diplomats and ambassadors to advocate for international policies that reflect MCC’s stances on peace and reconciliation.
- Leading and participating in NGO working groups to advocate for UN action together as members of the civil society.
- Connecting MCC staff or local partners with members of the UN community.
- Advocating for humanitarian and human rights issues in ways that reflect MCC’s commitments and support its programming.
- Articulating and pursuing a Christian pacifist vision for peace and justice in international affairs.
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The Path to Advocacy Work
As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, I chose to do my alternative service working for MCC doing literacy work with Vietnamese children whose homes and schools had been destroyed by the US Military. At the end of my three-year term, my Vietnamese friends threw me a going away party, and I will never forget the toast they sent me with:
“Thank you for coming to Tam Ky. You have loved and educated our children. But you have been like a man at the bottom of a waterfall with a small bucket, trying the throw the water back up. . . Please go home and build a dam across the top.”
As a Mennonite, I had felt most comfortable doing direct service work. It took my friends in Vietnam to teach me the importance of advocacy: to change the systems themselves that create the suffering we work to alleviate – to trade my bucket for the tools to build a dam.
-Doug Hostetter, Director