It's been a busy year. We know you haven't had time to read everything that comes through your inbox or across your Facebook feed. That's why we put together this collection of our favorite stories from 2017. Stories of ordinary people trying to make the world a better place. Stories of hope from inside conflict zones. And stories of people taking hold of new beginnings.
So get cozy. Take a few minutes to get inspired and see how your support made a difference around the world in 2017.
For around 15 years, MCC East Coast International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) participants have visited an Old Order Mennonite community in Dayton, Virginia, where peacebuilding happens in buggies and around the kitchen table. Read Diana's reflections from the weekend.
At the end of March, Doug and Naomi Enns had the opportunity to visit our programs and partners inside Syria. They were the first MCC workers to do so in more than five years. They said: "We saw acts of solidarity between people of various faiths and backgrounds. We saw hope, we saw resilience. We saw hardship and terrible loss. And we saw people really wanting to live." Check out the photos, videos and reflections from their trip.
You may have seen these signs popping up around your neighborhood. We talked to MCC Egypt alumnus and pastor Matthew Bucher about the origins of the welcome signs. He says, "In this political season where we see red signs and we see blue signs, what would it mean to have a sign that makes it very clear who we want to be as followers of Jesus." Watch the full interview.
Barsha was 11 years old when her mother started forcing her to traffic drugs between India and Bangladesh. She ran away, living in a train station and was forced into sex work. But at 18, she learned about an MCC program in Bangladesh that provides women leaving the sex trade with a safe place to live as well as child care and vocational training.She tells us what this new opportunity means for her and her son.
This photo from 1947-48 shows soup being served at a school in Germany as part of our relief work after World War II. Providing relief is how MCC got started and is a big part of our work today.Check out the interactive timelinewe put together with examples of our relief work over almost 100 years.
Thanks for reading, and for your support of MCC. We couldn't do any of this without your help!