Feb 4, 2017

Nathan and Taryn Dirks - Update

Nathan and Taryn Dirks are recipients of our Pennies and Prayers Legacy Fund (PPLF). The following news release was recently published by Mennonite Church Canada.

For Nathan and Taryn Dirks, ministry in Gaborone, Botswana, is all about relationships. But ministry by relationship is hard to measure, so they’ve creatively translated some of their good news into numbers.

For almost five years, the Dirks have served youth and young adults from local African Initiated Churches (AICs) through their role as Mennonite Church Canada Witness Workers, in partnership with Mennonite Mission Network and local churches. Following community needs and initiatives, they focus on development and Bible teaching. They organize local volunteers for prison ministry and a school for special needs children, and they coordinate development projects, most notably Bontleng Park. This green, sustainable initiative supports urban agriculture and sports, and has revitalized an abandoned area in a disadvantaged area of Gaborone.

As they complete their last 6 months of service, the Dirks reflect on some of the successes achieved through local partnerships, by number. Nathan and Taryn complete their ministry term in June, 2017.

Here are a few of the numbers they've shared: 

46 prison inmates at First Offenders Prison, Gaborone, completed a certificate program offered by Mennonite Ministries in Botswana.
18 students graduated from the Inter-Church Ministries Botswana 3-year Bible study program.
42 students have already signed up for the 2017 program.
7 prison inmates will begin a Masters-level theology program by distance this year.
To read more, please CLICK HERE.

Women Walking Together in Faith - January 2017 - "Deepening our faith journeys"

Our most recent bi-monthly column was written by President Shirley Redekop and appeared in the January 16, 2017 issue of the Canadian Mennonite.  She begins her article with the following paragraphs:

“Jesus calls us to life-long journeys of faith—shaped in part by our age and stage in life. Faith practices are deepest and richest when our Christian community embraces and nurtures all these different ages and stages of our lives in a variety of contexts."

These words from an overview of the goals of the planners of the first-ever “Deep faith: Anabaptist faith formation for all ages” conference held at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., last fall, resonated with the goals of Mennonite Women Canada and MW U.S.A. to encourage women to nurture life in Christ, acknowledge and share their gifts, and hear and support each other, as we serve/minister across the street and around the world.

Shirley Stauffer Redekop, front row centre, is pictured with some
of the 24 Canadian participants at last fall’s ‘Deep faith’ conference
at AMBS.  
(Photo courtesy of Shirley Stauffer Redekop)