Mennonite Central Committee is blessed to be supported and sustained by a wide variety of groups and individuals in our Great Lakes communities.
A diverse group in Ohio came together this winter to make sure others around the world could stay warm. Katie Miller, who also volunteers at MCC Connections in Kidron, has been making comforters for MCC for over 15 years.
This year she organized a group of volunteers who knotted 250 comforters that she had pieced for MCC in the months of January, February and March. The group included people of all ages from Amish youth groups, neighbors, church groups and friends. They recently laid out all the comforters on her lawn for a stunning aerial photo showing the vibrant comforters outlined by some of the volunteers who helped make them.
When asked why she volunteers with MCC in this way, Miller said, “It’s nothing but joy. This is my mission. I do not go out in the mission field overseas. That’s why I’m doing this year after year.” And by partnering with others in her community, Miller was able share that joy in making connections between varying groups around the comforters in her basement.
Another local partnership came about when Anderson University, a Church of God institution in Anderson, Ind., donated and assembled 500 hygiene kits through MCC. John Aukerman, a professor in the School of Theology, was a member of a committee planning a conference on aging ministries. As part of the conference, they group wanted offer a hands-on service component for attendees. They also wanted to make it an intergenerational activity, so they invited children from the community to join the conference participants.
In just under an hour, the group had assembled all 500 kits. “It was good to find a project that we could do and know it will be useful to those who receive them,” said Aukerman. Once the kits were packed, the group laid hands on them and prayed for the people the kits would eventually reach.
This summer, Zenebe Abebe, MCC Great Lakes Executive Director, also had the chance to visit with some of our broad-ranging supporters in the southern portion of our region.
One of the churches he visited was Free Methodist Church in Wilmore, Ky., which is the home congregation of Miriam Powdrill, serving with MCC as an English teacher in China. Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., is also connected to MCC through service workers. Selena and Rand McCoy-Carpenter, along with their children Carolyn and Samuel, are serving as MCC Country Representatives in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I see these visits as a privilege to get to know individuals and non-Mennonite churches who are strong supporters of what we do at MCC,” said Abebe. “We certainly need their prayers, service and financial support as we try to meet the needs of people around the world.”
These are just a few of the stories of people across our region, from all denominations and backgrounds, giving their time and resources to MCC. This wide variety of local partnerships is in turn mirrored by the international partners MCC works with in 60 countries around the world. Together we work to share God’s love and compassion for all.