Wayne and Anamarie Joosse did not grow up knowing about MCC, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming fervent supporters.
Members of the Christian Reformed Church, they first became acquainted with MCC when they moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., and got connected with Calvin College. Wayne went on to teach psychology at the college for 36 years, and Anamarie was a counselor for 30 years.
Some of their friends involved with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, now World Renew, first introduced them to MCC and spoke positively about the organization. Wayne and Anamarie discovered that MCC’s values of humility and servanthood resonated with their own, which are different priorities than the American culture.
“We have great respect for the Mennonite tradition, though it is not our own. We have trust that MCC exemplifies faithful stewardship with the funds entrusted to them,” said Wayne. “MCC is responding to God’s call with authenticity and effectiveness but needs other disciples to support them prayerfully and financially. That we should give to MCC seems to us to be an easy choice.”
The concept of biblical stewardship is very important to the Joosses. “Everything – our money, talents, life itself – belongs to God,” said Wayne. “He entrusts us, but we are accountable to Him.”
In response to this, they have opened their home for six to nine months at a time to college students experiencing various psychological challenges. For about 30 years, they have also made their large back yard available for 12 to 15 local families to plant community gardens. In addition, they loan out their car to individuals and families who don’t have a trip-reliable vehicle. “We have tried to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us,” emphasized Wayne.
Part of this stewardship also includes giving of their financial resources to organizations like MCC, including through their will. “God has blessed us with more than we need, but we need organizations like MCC to use those resources in God-pleasing ways,” said Wayne. “The first great command is to love God above all else. The second is to love our neighbors but the two are inextricably connected.”
For Wayne, living with Parkinson’s disease has shaped his outlook on life and priorities. He says that due to his age and health concerns, it’s more difficult for him to physically care for the needs of the widows, orphans, refugees, powerless and victims of injustice – people of special concern to God. But that doesn’t mean he gives up.
“None of us are exempt from those biblical mandates, but many of us are limited, from aging or health issues, in how we can respond,” he says. “I cannot go to Haiti for disaster relief. I can’t teach Sudanese better farming practices. But MCC can and does. We are very grateful for that and are blessed to be supporters.”