Anne Marie and Scott Stoner-Eby stand with sons Samuel, left, and Luke at their home in Kigali.

"Serving with MCC enables us to put our faith into action and be part of a global body of Christ."

- Scott Stoner-Eby

Names: Anne Marie and Scott Stoner-Eby

Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Blossom Hill Mennonite Church)

Assignment: As MCC representatives for Rwanda and Burundi, we live in Kigali, Rwanda, oversee MCC’s work with partner organizations and lead a team of eight local and international staff. We work with partners and MCC staff to build effective projects, including refining project proposals, giving feedback on progress reports and visiting project sites.

Growing our faith: Once a week we have devotions as a team, using lectionary readings, and it’s amazing how frequently the biblical passages we read are so concretely relevant to our work and to the contexts of Rwanda and Burundi. We have gained a new appreciation for Paul, especially his emphasis on reconciliation as central to the Gospel. We have been so inspired by the way peacebuilders in Rwanda and Burundi have contributed to healing and reconciliation in communities torn apart by violence.

Joys: Never a dull moment — something interesting is always happening that presents opportunities for learning and growth! Also, seeing partner organizations getting stronger and our staff building their skills. Realizing the impact that MCC’s contributions to peacebuilding efforts have made over the years here. Having the privilege of sharing resources in Rwanda and Burundi that others have so generously donated to MCC.

Challenge: The wide variety on our to-do lists is stimulating, but it can be challenging to prioritize when there are so many important tasks to accomplish.

Why we serve with MCC: Serving with MCC enables us to put our faith into action and be part of a global body of Christ. We believe a good work has truly been begun in MCC, to quote Paul. MCC is a wonderful church effort to love one’s neighbor as oneself, and MCC takes a very expansive view of who our neighbors are, which we appreciate. We’ve connected with MCC at several points in our lives and are happy to be back in the MCC family again.

Serving as a family: We started our current work with MCC when our sons were 8 and 12 years old. Now they are 13 and 17, and we feel like the experience has worked out well for them. Even though they haven’t had all of the accoutrements they might have had in the U.S., it’s been enriching for them to have friends from around the world and to get the chance to travel a lot. There are lots of challenges, but we’d encourage people to find ways to serve with MCC. MCC’s development work has gotten more rigorous over the years in terms of the framework of inputs, outputs, indicators and outcomes, but it’s not too hard to learn. Humility, flexibility, openness to others, a learning mindset and a desire to serve are most important.