Welcome to the Anabaptist Young Adults in Mission blog series! This is the first in a series of blog posts in which current and former young adult Mennonite volunteers in mission will share their reflections on Anabaptist identity, the spiritual foundations of their work, and explore what it’s like to engage a culture that is different than their own. This bimonthly blog will allow you and others to contribute to an ongoing conversation, and with young adults from a broad range of countries and theological backgrounds.
In the course of compiling and editing submissions for this series, I have found myself moved by the stories of these young people in mission. There are several reflections by volunteers to the United States from Indonesia who share their stories of ministry in small towns and their reflections on faith and spiritual sustenance in a new culture. Other reflections were submitted by Mennonite Voluntary Service workers who were stationed in conflict zones where they consider their pacifist religious tradition in the midst of violence.
Respondents were asked what sustains them in their work and why they chose to engage in voluntary service. They were also asked to reflect on how their understanding of mission and their Anabaptist identity have changed as a result of their service. I hope these reflections challenge you as much as they have me, and I look forward to this ongoing conversation on how Anabaptist faith is lived out by young people around the world.
We are still accepting submissions, and in any language, so if you are a current or former volunteer in mission and would like to share how God is at work in your community, do let us know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Sarah Werner, Guest Editor
Sarah Werner has a PhD in Religion from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on Mennonite environmental initiatives and she lives in Columbus, OH.