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Workers begin assignments with MCC

July 21, 2010

AKRON, Pa. — Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) commissioned 22 new workers for service after they participated in an orientation at MCC offices in Akron, April 12-23. Sixteen are serving in Canada or the United States, and seven are serving in other countries. 

MCC, a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. MCC personnel usually work in partnership with local churches and community organizations. Each year about 200 people begin MCC assignments. Currently, 1,126 MCC workers serve in 49 countries. For more information on MCC, visit
Participants beginning overseas assignments
Laura Demastus of Gap, Pa., is serving a three-year term as a peace and nonviolence promoter in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Demastus graduated from Temple University, Philadelphia, and West Chester University, West Chester, Pa. She attended Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Atglen, Pa.
Rachel Derstine of Blooming Glen, Pa., is serving a three-year term in Cambodia. She will work as a project coordinator in Southeast Asia. Derstine obtained a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College, Goshen, Ind. She attended Community House Church, Washington, D.C.
Willmar Harder and Hannah Neufeld of Shafter, Calif., along with their children Elias, Amos and Reuben, are serving three-year terms in Bolivia. Harder and Neufeld will work as co-coordinators of the Low German Mennonite program. They both earned bachelor’s degrees from Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. In addition, Harder earned a master’s degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., and Neufeld acquired a master’s degree from Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Ind. They attended Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, Inman, Kan.
Daron and Kirstin Showalter of Ann Arbor, Mich., are serving three-year terms in Cambodia. Daron will serve as a handicraft business advisor, and Kirstin will serve as an exchange coordinator. They both obtained bachelor’s degrees from Goshen College, Goshen, Ind., and attended Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle, Wash.
Ann Ward of State College, Pa., is serving a three-year term as a peace development worker in Iraq. Ward obtained degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She attended State College Friends Meeting.
Participants beginning assignments in Canada or the United States
Anne Boehlig of Cochrane, Alta., is serving as a human resources and administrative coordinator with MCC Alberta, Calgary. Boehlig attends Fish Creek Christian Fellowship, Calgary.
Wendy Cotter of Kitchener, Ont., is serving as a workroom coordinator for MCC Ontario Material Resources Centre, Kitchener. Cotter attends Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church. 
Emily Dueck of Toronto, Ont., is serving as a coordinator with TOOLS (Toronto Ontario Opportunity for Learning and Service) and as a street pastor with Lazarus Rising, an Toronto organization addressing homelessness. Dueck obtained bachelors’ degrees from Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Man., and The University of Winnipeg. She also earned a master’s degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. Dueck attends Toronto United Mennonite Church.
Carmen Epp of Saskatoon, Sask., is serving as an assistant accountant with MCC Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. Epp graduated from Saskatoon Business College. She attends Nutana Park Mennonite Church, Saskatoon.
Agatha Fehr of Plum Coulee, Man., is serving as a thrift shop coordinator at the Winkler MCC Community Store. Fehr obtained a degree from the Toronto School of Business, London, Ont. She attends Winkler Sommerfeld Mennonite Church.
Verna Froese of Calgary, Alta., is serving as an administrative assistant with MCC Alberta, Calgary.
Heather Gallian of Baden, Ont., is serving as general manager of the Waterloo Generations Thrift Shop. Gallian obtained a bachelor’s degree from Trent University, Peterborough, Ont. She attended Rouge Valley Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont.
Lisa Heft of Denver, Pa. is serving as an administrative assistant at the MCC East Coast Material Resources Center, Ephrata. Heft attends Weaverland Mennonite Church, East Earl, Pa.
Jacob Hildebrand of Leamington, Ont., is serving a 2½-year term as a pastoral outreach worker in Chatham-Kent, Ont. Hildebrand attends Old Colony Mennonite Church, Wheatley, Ont.
Krista Johnson of Greenwood, Ind., is serving as peace program coordinator in Akron, Pa. Johnson obtained a bachelor’s degree from Chapman University, Orange, Calif., and a master’s degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va. She attended Southport Christian Church, Indianapolis, Ind.
Timothy Leslie of Port Coquitlam, B.C., is serving as manager of the Surrey Thrift Shop, Surrey, B.C. Leslie attended The Salvation Army College for Officer Training at Crestmont, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. He attends Coquitlam Alliance Church.
Masako Moriyama of Abbotsford, British Columbia is serving as an administrative assistant with MCC B.C. Moriyama obtained a degree from Marie Tomko Career College, Vancouver, B.C. She attends Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford.
Samaneh Sazegar Nejad of Iran is serving as an international intern with MCC United Nations Office, New York City. She obtained a master’s degree from Université René-Descarte, Paris, France, and an undergraduate degree from Tehran University, Iran.
Dave Pauls of Dalmeny, Sask., is serving as donor development coordinator with MCC Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. Pauls attends Dalmeny Community Church.
Kayon Watson of Lansdowne, Pa., is serving a two-year term as a program associate with MCC United Nations Office, New York City. Watson obtained a bachelor’s degree from Eastern University, St. David’s, Pa. She attended New Testament Church of God, Philadelphia.