“A chapter of my story was written while with YAMEN,” says Diana Martínez. The young church leader from Colombia served as an educational assistant at Casa Hogar Belén, a children’s home in Managua, Nicaragua, 2017–2018 through YAMEN.
YAMEN (Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network) is a joint program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite World Conference (MWC). Participants aged 18–30 from outside of Canada or the USA serve in ministries or businesses in a culture outside their own for one year.
During this year of challenges and unfamiliarity, YAMEN participants experience God as protector, provider and parent.
"During this time I have managed to develop a deeper connection and dependence [on God] that makes me feel so good, so relaxed and at peace," says Gloria Blanco a member of Centro de Discipulado Cristiano (Mennonite church) in Nicaragua who is serving in at Comisión de Accion Social Menonita (CASM) in Honduras.
Trust in the gifts
“I had to trust in the gifts that God has given me,” says Diana Martínez, who memorized Psalm 32:8 in preparation for her year. “When you make your time and your heart available to serve others, the Lord uses you in ways that you can never imagine.”
YAMENer from Cambodia Malin Yem carried the quote “‘All things can happen in life under God’s management’ reminds me to be ready for new things” into working in Haiti 2018–2019. “It reminds me that every second, God is here with me: helping me, protecting me, teaching me and other thousand things I can’t even say,” she says.
In the river of life
The words of Romans 12:14–18 spoke to Diana Martinez in times of uncertainty. “To be at peace with the world is something that can only become a reality in my life to the degree that I have a sincere relationship with God.”
Diana Martínez was impressed with the hospitality and simplicity of heart of her host culture.
“When we are able to give as well as value what others can contribute, without worrying about cultural backgrounds, nationalities, race or language, then we are making real the notion of being one body with Christ as the head,” she says.
—A Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee joint release.
|Guy Hermann Oulon||Burkina Faso||Uganda|
|Kendri Mastaki||DRC||Burkina Faso|
|Nancy Cecile Valle||Honduras||Ecuador|
|Gerhard Neufeld Peters||Mexico||Bolivia|
|Gloria Elieth Blanco||Nicaragua||Honduras|
|Chaambwa Siachiwena||Zambia||Republic of Korea (South)|