From post-World War II Japan to present-day Iraq, MCC has distributed colorful comforters pieced by its supporters in Canada and the United States to internally displaced persons and others whose lives have been disrupted by war. Recipients prize the comforters not only for their warmth but also for their beauty.
Every year since 1946 MCC has sent a mobile meat canner to communities in Canada and the United States, where Mennonites, Amish and others come together to can meat for hungry people around the world. Today a four-person crew guides the meat canner through communities in 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, beginning in October and ending in April.
Since its inception, MCC has served as a means of inter-Mennonite support, beginning with relief aid, including tractors, sent by Mennonites in Canada and the U.S. to fellow believers in what had become the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. Today MCC partners with Mennonite and other Anabaptist churches in dozens of countries including Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia and India.
From the Second World War through the wars in Korea and Vietnam and up to today's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, MCC has found different ways to proclaim Jesus' gospel of peace and to testify that war is contrary to the will of God.
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2008 (photo by Melissa Engle)
A hallmark of MCC's work over the decades has been an effort to support community health initiatives. The Menno-Santé initiative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo stands as a current example of MCC's commitment to strengthening local health initiatives.
In more than 40 communities each year, thousands of volunteers gather to hold relief sales to support MCC's work. Many sales feature auctions where vigorous bidding ensues for handmade quilts and other items, and no sale is complete without plenty of food stands selling local delicacies. Last year these sales raised $5 million for MCC's relief, development and peacebuilding efforts.
In addition to sending emergency relief assistance to communities upended by war and natural disaster, MCC helps people achieve sustainable livelihoods so that they can provide for themselves and their families.
Over the past decades thousands of women and men have served with MCC through such programs as Pax, the Teachers Abroad Program, Serving and Learning Together (SALT), the International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP), the Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN!) and other service opportunties in Canada and the United States.
Supporting farmers and rural communities has been a key part of MCC's identity since its founding. Today MCC works with rural communities adopting environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies and practices.
Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) 1993 (photo by Dan Jantzi)
Kenya 2008 (photo by Melissa Engle)
In scores of countries and communities around the world, MCC workers have been blessed to be gathered around a bounteous table of sharing, a table prepared by our Lord Jesus Christ, at which all are welcome.