“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord….” (Jeremiah 30:17 NRSV)
In 1990, our family completed an MCC term in Nicaragua and I returned to Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to teach public health nursing.
I was reluctant to leave work with international health. But drawing on my experiences in Nicaragua, I shared with many students a wider perspective on health that includes basic human needs and peace and justice.
In 2019, when I retired from decades of teaching to move into an executive staff role with MCC U.S., I thought I was leaving my calling to work in health even farther behind.
Within six months, the pandemic was amongst us and my perspective on working toward health expanded yet again. I am reminded by Paul Shetler Fast, MCC global health coordinator, that we are all called to be agents of healing in the world, and I am reminded by Scripture that healing is broadly defined. My call is the same, my perspective has shifted.
This issue of A Common Place highlights the shifts that MCC and its partners made quickly in the last year to adapt to changing contexts and needs without losing sight of our purpose — to participate in God’s desire for health, for well-being, for all.
Despite extreme challenges, we are so grateful for the partners around the world and supporters like you who are responding with what one MCCer calls “holy imagination” to envision what is possible, even now.
The imagination of volunteers sewing at home, relief sale leaders’ creative modifications and deepened generosity of financial supporters, coupled with the ingenuity of partners, create this restoration of health that God desires for humankind. Thank you for joining us in this work of restoring health.
Ann Graber Hershberger
MCC U.S. Executive Director