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Fifty workers begin assignments with MCC

August 20, 2009

AKRON, Pa. — Fifty new workers were commissioned for service after participating in an orientation at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) offices in Akron, July 7-17. Nine are serving in Canada or the United States, and 41 are serving in other countries.

MCC is a relief, development and peace organization of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Canada and the United States. MCC personnel usually work in partnership with local churches and community organizations. Each year about 300 people begin MCC assignments. Currently, 1,165 MCC workers serve in 50 countries. For more information on MCC, visit mcc.org.

 

Participants beginning overseas assignments

Krista Allen of Marion, Ohio, is serving a three-year term as a peace curriculum developer in Ethiopia. Allen obtained a bachelor's in Bible and religion from Anderson University. She is a member of The Mercy House in Anderson, Ind.

Liliana Alvarez and Oscar Benavides of Bogotá, Colombia, are serving three-year terms as peace coordinators in Brazil. Liliana earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Universidad Santo Tomás and a master’s degree in clinical systemic therapy from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Oscar earned a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Nariño, Colombia. He also earned a master’s in human rights from Escuela Superior de Administacíon Pública and a certificate in theology from Mennonite Biblical Seminary of Colombia. They attend Teusaquillo Mennonite Church.

Rachel Colbourne and Joel Hoffman of New Farm, Queensland, Australia, are serving three-year terms in Haiti. Colbourne will serve as a human rights education program assistant, and Hoffman will serve as a human rights monitoring assistant. Colbourne and Hoffman obtained bachelor’s degrees in international studies from George Fox University. They attend Metro Church in Brisbane.

Aaron and Jennifer Deckert of Newton, Kan., along with their children Aaron, Abby and Lydia are serving three-year terms in Colombia. Aaron will serve as School for Peace coordinator and Jennifer will serve as a human rights documentation coordinator. Aaron obtained a bachelor’s in global studies from Bethel College and a master's in organizational development from Friends University. Jennifer obtained a bachelor’s in peace studies and international development from Bethel College and a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan. They attend Shalom Mennonite Church.

Brandon and Danielle Donelson-Sims of Granville, Ohio, are serving three-year terms in Indonesia. At Satya Wacana Christian University, Brandon will teach English and conflict transformation, and Danielle will teach English literature. Brandon obtained a bachelor's in political science from Marietta College and a master's from Antioch University. Danielle obtained a bachelor's from Marietta College and a master's from the University of Toledo. They attend Columbus Mennonite Church.

Doug and Naomi Enns of Winnipeg, Man., along with their daughter Hannah, are serving three-year terms in Chad. Doug will serve in a peace and reconciliation capacity, and Naomi's role is yet to be determined. Doug obtained a bachelor's from Trinity Western University and a master's from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. Naomi obtained a bachelor's in nursing from California State University of Fresno. The Ennses attend River East Mennonite Brethren Church.

Christina and David Ghan of Anchorage, Alaska, are serving three-year terms in Egypt as English as a Foreign Language teachers and peace facilitators. Christina obtained a bachelor's in psychology from Seattle Pacific University. David obtained a bachelor's in political science and international affairs from Seattle Pacific University.

Eleanor Hildebrand Guderian of Steinbach, Man., is serving a two-year assignment in Mexico as a community support worker. She attends Southland Community Church.

Rachel Hale of Bentonville, Ark., is serving a three-year term in Egypt as a peace resource worker. Hale obtained a bachelor's in journalism from Arkansas Technical University and a master's in international development from Eastern University. She attends Circle of Hope Brethren in Christ Church, Philadelphia.

Matthew Harms of Ephrata, Pa., is serving a three-year term in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a peace program assistant. He obtained a bachelor's from Goshen College. Harms attends Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Ind., and is a member of Akron Mennonite Church.

Andrew and Cassie Herringshaw of Ames, Iowa, are serving three-year terms in Bolivia. Andrew will serve as a rural agricultural worker, and Cassie will serve as a rural community development worker. Andrew obtained a bachelor's of business administration from The University of Oklahoma and a master's in sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University. Cassie obtained a bachelor's in zoology from The University of Oklahoma and a master's in environmental science from Iowa State University. They attend Trinity Christian Reformed Church.

Jacob Mathre of Barlow, Fla., is serving a three-year term in Sudan as an office manager. Mathre obtained a bachelor's from Warner Southern College and a master's from Luther Seminary. He attends First Presbyterian Church.

Elizabeth Miller and Neil Richer of Goshen, Ind., are serving three-year terms in Colombia. Miller will serve as an Anabaptist identity and history promoter, and Richer will serve as a micro-loan promoter. Miller obtained a bachelor's from Goshen College, and Richer obtained a bachelor's in business management from Greenville College. They attend Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship.

Allan and Catherine Mitch of Hillsborough, N.J., are serving three-year terms in Indonesia. Allan will serve in support services, and Catherine will serve as an English teacher. Allan obtained a master's in information services from Stevens Institute of Technology and a master's in chemistry from Florida Sate University. Catherine obtained a bachelor's in German, a master's in German literature, and a master's in multilingual/multicultural education, all from Florida State University. The Mitches attend Grace Community Church in Bridgewater, N.J.

Krystan Pawlikowski and Ruth Plett of Kitchener, Ont., are serving three-year terms in Rwanda as capacity building advisors. Krystan has a bachelor’s in English from University of Pittsburgh and a master’s in philosophy from University of Waterloo. Ruth has a bachelor’s in international studies from University of Waterloo.

David and Margaret Penner of Winkler, Man., are serving three-year terms in Mexico as program managers. David studied accounting at Red River College. Margaret obtained a degree in applied counseling from University of Manitoba. She also has a registered psychiatric nursing degree from Manitoba School of Psychiatric Nursing. The Penners attend Grace Mennonite.

Ron and Roseann Sachs of Dillsburg, Pa., along with their children Janaya, Austin, and Acacia, are serving one-year terms in Cambodia. Ron will teach English, and Roseann will serve as a chemistry professor. Roseann obtained a bachelor's from Bethel University and holds a doctorate from University of Minnesota. The Sachs attend Slate Hill Mennonite in Camp Hill.

James and Stephanie Van Straten of Woodstock, Ont., are serving three-year terms in Egypt. James will serve in Menouf Hospital. Stephanie will serve as an English as a Foreign Language facilitator. James obtained a bachelor's from Redeemer University College and a bachelor's in nursing from the University of Toronto. Stephanie obtained a bachelor's from Redeemer University College and a bachelor's of education from York University. The Van Stratens attend Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, Caledon, Ont.

Jonathan Viducich of Hillsboro, Ore., is serving a three-year term in Mozambique as a water engineer. Vidicuch obtained a bachelor's in engineering applied sciences from Seattle Pacific University. He attends Solid Rock Fellowship.

Greg and Susanne Walker Wilson of Asheville, N.C., along with their children Caleb and Ascher, are serving three-year terms in Colombia. Greg will serve as a micro-credit promoter, and Susanne will serve as an accompaniment worker with victims. Greg obtained a bachelor's from Bluffton University in liberal arts, a bachelor’s in industrial engineering at Case Western Reserve University, and a master's in international development from American University. Susanne obtained a bachelor's degree from The University of North Carolina and a master's of social work from Catholic University. They attend Circle of Mercy Church.

Rachel Webster of Reading, Pa., is serving a three-year term in Bangladesh as a teacher/trainer. Webster obtained a bachelor's in elementary education from Goshen College. She attends Hopewell Mennonite Church.

Megan Weemes of Fresno, Calif., is serving a two-year term in Ethiopia as a community developer. Weemes obtained a bachelor's in pre-medicine from Fresno Pacific University. She attends Butler Mennonite Brethren Church.

David Wells and Jane Zawadowski of Oak Park, Ill., along with their children Alexander, Ezekiel, and Isadora, are serving three-year terms in China as English teachers. Wells obtained a bachelor's from Macalester College and a master’s from School of the Art Institute. Zawadowski obtained a bachelor's from Carleton College and a master's in criminal justice from Loyola University. They attend St. Catherine of Siena/St. Lucy Catholic Church.

Peder Wiegner of Ephrata, Pa., is serving a three-year term in Kosova as a peace development worker. Wiegner obtained a bachelor's in political science from Eastern University. He attends Akron Mennonite Church.

Albert and Tiffanee Wright of Garfield Heights, Ohio, along with their children Kiara and Kaiya, are serving three-year terms in Tanzania. Tiffanee will be a program facilitator. Albert's role is yet to be determined. Tiffanee obtained master's degrees in public health and medical anthropology from Case Western University. Albert completed an associate degree at Shorter College. They attend Hope Alliance Bible Church of Maple Heights.

 

Participants beginning assignments in Canada and the United States

Silas Crews of Lancaster, Pa., is serving in Akron, Pa., as a photographer and multimedia producer. Crews obtained a bachelor’s in communications from Trinity Western University.

Jim Hett of Waterloo, Ont., is serving as a business manager at Generations Thrift in Waterloo.  He obtained a bachelor’s in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. Hett attends Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont.

Derek Koch of Colorado Springs, Colo., is serving a two-year term in Abbotsford, B.C., as a truck driver.  He obtained a bachelor’s in theater from Goshen College. Koch attends East Goshen Mennonite Church in Indiana.

Amy and Daniel Landes of Harrisonburg, Va., are serving people with disabilities at Communitas Supportive Care Society in British Columbia. Amy has a bachelor’s in business from Eastern Mennonite University. Daniel has a bachelor’s in communication from Eastern Mennonite University. They attend Zion Mennonite Church, Broadway, Va.

Ingo and Natasha Janzen-Ulbricht of Berlin, Germany, along with their children, Tobin and Noah, are serving two-year terms in Akron, Pa. Ingo will serve as an information technology technician, and Natasha will serve as a records and archives worker. Ingo graduated with a master’s in education of physics and computer science from Freie Universitäet Berlin. Natasha has a bachelor’s of international development and human services from Bethel College.

Karyn Santiago of Abbotsford, B.C., is serving as an assistant accountant at MCC British Columbia. She obtained a bachelor’s in business administration from Trinity Western University.  She attends Life Centre Mennonite Brethren Church.

Michael Sprunger of Lancaster, Pa., is serving as manager of the Global Family education sponsorship program in Akron. He attends James Street Mennonite Church.