Ministry partner update: ICOMB – August 2018
The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is made up of 21 national churches in 19 countries with approximately 450,000 members. ICOMB exists to facilitate relationships and ministries to enhance the witness and discipleship of its member national churches – connecting, strengthening and expanding.
Colombia women’s retreat, 30 June 30–2 July 2018
The national assembly of Christian women of the Mennonite Brethren, held every other year, was this time in Pradera Valle, Colombia. 240 women gathered from different parts of Colombia, Panama and Paraguay. The topics included “A Resilient Woman,” “The Church as a Social Transformation,” “Reconciliation as the Centre of our Task,” and “Woman of Peace.”
Testimony from participant Stella Villareal after the retreat: “’Sometimes God gives us dreams in order for us to awaken them in other people,’ this phrase is now key to my life… I was able to take a weight off my life…I had frustration at not having achieved some of my dreams, but now I understand many things and I know what God is doing with me.”
Luz Estella Mosquera, retreat leader, said, “We have seen that women are so willing to be in the hands of God, for which they have been called. Their capacities allow them to carry the gospel of God out of their different contexts. Women are called to lead with faith, hope, love and justice. They are called to stand up to current challenges and act out of the guidance of the Holy Spirit…”
Latin American Mennonite Brethren leaders meeting, 26–28 July 2018
“Growing toward a missional church.”
With this motto, we developed the first MB leaders meeting in Latin America and inaugurated a very intentional regional movement. 68 Leaders from 10 countries were present listening and discussing “what is a mature missional church,” “how can we work together so that we all grow toward it” and “how do we work together, so that the gifts of one conference supplies the need of others.”
The main areas we reflected on were discipleship and education, mission and conference leadership. The intention was not to have only information sessions, but rather build relationships and commit to a stronger joint vision. In planned meetings and also in spontaneous conversations, there have been encouraging commitments toward this outcome, some even with fixed dates.
We praise God for making this happen and we thank MB Mission/Multiply and both MB Conferences in Paraguay for all the support that enabled this meeting.
—Rudi Plett, executive director