We’re pleased to introduce the newest member of the Anabaptist Witness team, Jacob Liechty. Here is an introduction in his own words. Glad to have you on board, Jacob!
My name is Jacob Liechty, and I’m excited to be joining the Anabaptist Witness team as a student assistant. My own engagement with mission in the Anabaptist tradition has been lifelong and deeply personal. I was born in Dublin, Ireland, to Mennonite missionary parents. The very best part of my childhood was getting to participate in the annual gatherings of Mennonite missionaries in Europe. I loved meeting other missionary kids, but more than that, I discovered that I somehow had the good fortune to be born into a community that was quietly changing the world. Mission, for me, has always been associated with those people and the powerful gospel work I saw them doing across cultural boundaries. I’ve since engaged in mission, service, and cross-cultural work of my own, with Christian Peacemaker Teams, in Mali and South Africa, and through my home church in Denver, Colorado, where I lived for ten years before becoming a student this fall at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. I hope to graduate in three years with a Master of Divinity degree and a major in Pastoral Ministry. After that? I don’t know exactly (and I’ve learned not to put too much stock in the plans I carefully make), but I’d love to combine a vocation in pastoral ministry with a passion for communications. My professional background is in illustration, graphic design, marketing, web design, social media, creative writing, editing, and publication design. In doing that work, I’ve become convinced that a message is only as effective as the means by which it’s conveyed. Put another way, what matters isn’t just what I say, but how I say it. Communication — whether visual or verbal, online, in print, or in person — is translation. It’s the art of taking what I want to say and framing it in a way that allows you to hear it, of creating spaces where we can hear each other. I’m excited to bring that perspective to the excellent communications work that Anabaptist Witness is already doing. While I’ve worked for both churches and businesses, I’ve never been part of an organization that’s bringing so many different voices from around the world into conversation. I hope to contribute to the Anabaptist Witness team wherever I’m most needed, whether that’s through administrative tasks, maintaining and expanding our social media presence, developing marketing and outreach tools, or building connections with partners. Anabaptist Witness is hosting a vibrant conversation about what global Anabaptist mission looks like in the 21st century, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!