Laura Litwiller (Lewistown, Pennsylvania, University Mennonite Church); Thabiso Matsoso (Mohales’ Hoek, Lesotho, Holy Cross Mission)
Litwiller (LL) served as an MCC field supervisor and technician for forestry and soil conservation in Ethiopia from 1986 to 1990 as her husband Ken served as MCC Ethiopia development director. Matsoso (TM) began serving in Mozambique through MCC’s two-year Seed program in 2016 and is now an MCC conservation agriculture worker there.
“If you really want to know something, consult with farmers. They are our mobile encyclopedias.”
- Thabiso Matsoso
LL: Living in rural Ethiopia; working, eating, visiting and conversing with local people; seeing trees grow from seeds to seedlings to mature trees; raising an infant daughter; hiking and riding mules to work sites; enjoying beautiful views; eating delicious food and drinking delightful coffee.
TM: There are a lot of things that are joyful: working and living amongst people with different ethnic backgrounds and denominational backgrounds; learning a new local language; being part of the young people at church. It’s a chance to enlarge my Christian faith. When I got this opportunity, I said, “Thank you God. I am looking forward to learning more about you and sharing more about your love.”
Receiving generous hospitality inspired me to be generous and hospitable with what I have.”
- Laura Litwiller
What I've learned from farmers
LL: Receiving generous hospitality inspired me to be generous and hospitable with what I have. Conversation, laughter and joy with farmers informed me that happiness is not dependent on wealth.
TM: If you really want to know something, consult with farmers. They are our mobile encyclopedias. I have learned a lot about rice, sesame and groundnut production from them — and the importance of showing respect, love and loyalty.
MCC photo/Amelia Masiko
LL: Slow start-up time for the project including housing; evacuated from project site after three years because of nearby rebel activity and not able to return.
TM: Political instability; attacks on a main road that sometimes make it hard to travel; climate change; damage from Cyclone Idai in 2019; floods; not to mention malaria.
Find your place
Find other MCC service opportunities at mcc.org/serve or linkedin.com/company/mccpeace or by contacting your nearest MCC office