Wider View Archive

A prayer for hope

August 26, 2016 Thirdway

This prayer service was prepared by Joanna Hiebert Bergen, peacebuilding and advocacy coordinator for MCC Manitoba. This is one of a series of prayer services for peace prepared for each week of August. Introduction: Faith and hope abide alongside love as a triad, those elements of our spiritual journey that allow for perseverance. We acknowledge a God who lived with us in the person of Jesus, exemplifying all three of these elements. God continues to show up in our world in visible and invisible ways, manifest through encounters with the natural world and with one another, pointing us to faith, […]

Inspiration to Act: Immigration Advocacy

August 12, 2016 Thirdway

Alek D. Ball, Domestic policy intern Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office   Convincing college students that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary for the future of the United States is not an easy task. Many students at Georgetown University where I attend are from Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Students in certain parts of these states would likely never come into contact with someone who was affected by U.S. immigration policies unless they already had a reason to work on this issue. However, students at universities throughout our country have the opportunity to enhance their own perspectives and the […]

Love in the Time of Sanctions

August 1, 2016 Thirdway

By Jacob Greaser The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) is probably one of the most mysterious and least visited places in the world for North Americans. Even for many U.S. policymakers, DPRK is often seen through a political cloud of fear and presented as an unknowable and unpredictable enemy. For the U.S. government, the label of “enemy” usually leads to punitive measures such as sanctions, but as Christians, the label of “enemy” should mean something quite different. Jesus’ teaching to “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) may seem to be a meaningless phrase in the midst of political complexity, […]

One law for all

July 22, 2016 Tammy Alexander

By Tammy Alexander Recently the U.S. Senate considered two bills related to immigration enforcement. Both bills were introduced in response to the death of Kate Steinle who was shot while walking on a pier in San Francisco last year. Reports indicate the man who shot Steinle, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was not aiming at her but was firing recklessly and the bullet ricocheted. Lopez-Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant. The controversy that followed centered around whether local police should have held Lopez-Sanchez for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials after he finished serving a prison sentence earlier that year. More than 300 local […]

Walking the talk on women, peace and security

July 15, 2016 Thirdway

By Jennifer Wiebe, Director of MCC’s Ottawa Office. I’m sure you’ve heard by now. Canada has a self-professed feminist prime minister. Right out of the post-election gate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a gender-balanced Cabinet (“Because it’s 2015,” he explained. End of story.). Then there is his snapchat video on how men can be better feminists, his statements on gender parity at the World Economic Forum, his comments pushing for gender equality while in New York at the Commission on the Status of Women, and the list goes on… The prime minister is promoting himself globally as a defender and promoter of women’s rights. And there is […]

Praying by the Prison, Part 2

July 1, 2016 Thirdway

by Randy Klassen Does our place make a difference to our praying? That’s the question that came to me one morning last fall, as I realized my morning prayer walk took me right across the river from Saskatoon’s federal prison, the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC). How do my prayers take my location, my community, into account? Christians are often taught a posture of prayer with eyes closed—but if that also teaches us to shut our minds to the realities of life in our neighbourhood or our nation, our praying will be not only blind, but lame. I see things differently now. […]

No Way to Treat a Child

By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach In the documentary “Detaining Dreams,” Abed, a 15-year-old Palestinian, tells how he was arrested by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint in his home while sleeping and then was taken away, handcuffed and blindfolded. While in detention he was beaten, interrogated and placed in solitary confinement before eventually being released on bail. Abed’s story is not unique. At the end of April (the most recent numbers available), more than 400 Palestinian youth were being detained by the Israeli military. A recent report showed that three-quarters of children who are detained experience physical violence after their arrest. Two separate […]

Rejected and stigmatized, but saved by your love

June 10, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

    By Charles Kwuelum In March, I met with Hannatu Anthony* one of the beneficiaries of free medications, treatments and socio-economic empowerment programs made possible by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) support for the Faith Alive Clinic in Jos, Nigeria. Hannatu Anthony was pregnant and receiving free prenatal services and medical care at the Faith Alive Clinic. The clinic offers free health care services (prevention, treatment and control) to people with HIV and AIDS, making health care accessible to the most vulnerable, especially youth, infants, pregnant women and mothers. More than 250 patients are diagnosed daily by the doctors and […]

When good intentions go bad: U.S. dumping peanuts in Haiti

May 27, 2016 Charissa Zehr

By Charissa Zehr Just as many children in the U.S. enjoy eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter is a regular nutritious snack for Haitian children and adults. Peanuts represent an important industry in Haiti, where nearly 150,000 farmers produce roughly 70,000 metric tons of peanuts annually. A thriving peanut processing sector employs an estimated 500,000 Haitians, most of them women. In recent years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported a range of projects to increase food production and market access in Haiti, including the cultivation of peanuts. So when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) […]

Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral hope

May 13, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum When Laurent Kabila was installed as president of Zaire in 1997, he changed its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After he was assassinated by one of his body guards in 2001, his son Joseph Kabila succeeded him 10 days later. At the time that Joseph Kabila became president, there were lingering historical challenges related to rebel and ethnic violence that the Lusaka ceasefire agreement had attempted to address in 1999. A United Nations peacekeeping mission was formed in 2000 to monitor the ceasefire. Following years of economic and political decline, the war of 1998-2002 […]