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Workers begin assignments with MCC

September 1, 2011

AKRON, Pa. — Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) commissioned new workers for service after they participated in an orientation at MCC offices in Akron, July 5-15.

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 staff usually work in partnership with local churches and community organizations.

Each year about 200 people begin MCC assignments. Currently, there are 1,100 MCC workers in 48 countries. For more information on MCC, visit

Participants beginning assignments overseas are:


Rachel Aeschliman of Linville, Va., has begun a three-year assignment in San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala, as a nursing instructor. Aeschliman has a bachelor’s in nursing from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va. She attended Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg.

Kristen and Mbugua “Wawa” Chege of Eugene, Ore., have begun three-year assignments in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as policy analyst and advocacy coordinators. Kristen has a bachelor’s in political science from Seattle Pacific University and a master’s in public administration from Seattle University. Mbugua has a bachelor’s in political science from Seattle Pacific University, and a master’s in international human rights law from The American University in Cairo, Egypt. The Cheges attended Heliopolis Community Church, Cairo.

Rya Crafts and Christopher Jordan of Lancaster, Pa., will begin three-year assignments in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, this fall. Crafts will be a capacity- building officer. Jordan’s position is yet to be determined. Crafts has a bachelor’s from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a master’s of business administration in international economic development from Eastern University, St. David’s, Pa. Jordan has a bachelor’s in graphic design from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, Lancaster. They attended Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Petersburg, Pa.

Tom Dechert and Judy Edmister of Moscow, Idaho, have begun three-year assignments in Kolkata, India, as program administrators. Dechert has a bachelor’s in agronomy from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and a master’s in soils from University of Idaho, Moscow. Edmister has a bachelor’s in home economics/foods and nutrition from State University of New York at Oneonta and a master’s in food science and technology from University of Minnesota, St. Paul. They attended St Mark's Episcopal Church, Moscow.

Irving Gomar of Laredo, Tex., has begun a one-year assignment in Beirut, Lebanon, as MCC representative for Lebanon and Syria. Gomar has a bachelor’s of international business management from University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, a master’s in finance from Texas A&M International University, Laredo, and a master’s in development economics from Hochshule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin, Germany. He attended Laredo Church of the Crossroads.

Philip Jackson of Kalamazoo, Mich., has begun a three-year assignment in Cairo, Egypt, as a seminary English instructor. Jackson has a bachelor’s in international relations from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., and a master’s in political science from The Ohio State University, Columbus. He attended Grace Central Presbyterian Church, Columbus.

Rebecca MacVaugh of Towson, Md., has begun a three-year assignment in Cairo, Egypt, as an English as a Foreign Language teacher and girls’ home assistant. MacVaugh has a bachelor’s in politics from Messiah College, Grantham, Pa. She attended Church of the Good Shepherd, Ruxton, Md.

Susanna Rempel of Shoreline, Wash., has begun a three-year assignment in Hanoi, Vietnam, as a peace worker/social worker. Rempel has a bachelor’s in psychology and French from Scripps College, Claremont, Calif., and a master’s of social work and public health from Portland (Ore.) State University. She attended Portland Mennonite Church.

Damaris and David Schmucker of Winkler, Man., have begun two-year assignments in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico, as program managers. Damaris has a bachelor’s in education from University of Toronto (Ont.) and a bachelor’s in music from Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), Winnipeg, Man. David has a bachelor’s in psychology from CMU. The Schmuckers attended Covenant Mennonite Church, Winkler.

Trish Wiebe of Blumenort, Man., has begun a three-year assignment in Cairo, Egypt, as a program coordinator. Wiebe has a bachelor’s in business administration/marketing from Biola University, La Mirada, Calif., and a master’s in international affairs/international development from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ont. She attended The Meeting Place, Winnipeg.

Participants beginning assignments in Canada or the United States include:


Zenebe Abebe of Indianapolis, Ind., has begun work as executive director of MCC Great Lakes, Goshen, Ind. Abebe has an associate degree from Hesston (Kan.) College; a bachelor’s from Goshen (Ind.) College; a master’s from Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Ind.; and a doctorate in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ind. He attends Shalom Mennonite Church, Indianapolis.

Rachel Cobarrubias of Selma, Calif., has begun a one-year assignment with West Coast MCC, Reedley, Calif., as an immigration documentation assistant. She attends Valley Life Community Church, Selma.

Rebecca Guderian of Winnipeg, Man., has begun working as the financial services coordinator with MCC Manitoba, Winnipeg. Guderian has a bachelor’s in commerce and a bachelor’s in sciences from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, and earned her chartered accountant designation from Chartered Accountant School of Business, Winnipeg. She attends First Mennonite Church, Winnipeg.

Allison Nafziger of Lancaster, Pa., has begun a one-year assignment in Akron as a receptionist with MCC U.S. Nafziger has a bachelor’s in missions and anthropology from Eastern University, St. David’s, Pa. She attends West End Mennonite Fellowship, Lancaster.

Frank Piñon of Reedley, Calif., has begun a one-year assignment with West Coast MCC, Reedley, as the church relations coordinator. Piñon attends Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church.

Jim Rodriguez of Fresno, Calif., has begun work as director of financial services for MCC U.S. He will be based in Fresno. Rodriguez has a bachelor’s in accountancy from California State University, Fresno. He attends United Faith Christian Fellowship, Fresno.

Jason Unruh of Peabody, Kan., has begun a two-year assignment based in Akron, Pa., as a meat canner operator. Unruh has an associate’s from Hesston (Kan.) College and a bachelor’s in agronomy from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. He attended Tabor Mennonite Church, Newton, Kan.

Laura Wagner of Lancaster, Pa., has begun work as an accountant with MCC U.S., Akron, Pa. Wagner has a bachelor’s in business management/accounting from East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University. She attends Mountville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.