How do I feel about looking like the actors in movies playing the ugly, undesirable, lazy, or stupid characters? Or seeing a physical representation of myself on the news, with all the faces blurred out, as they discuss an epidemic in our society? Yup, I am a fat person. I really am fat; significantly overweight. One of the first impressions anyone has of me when they see me is my size. My fat morphs my face, and makes my eyes squint when I smile. My stomach is round, making me touch the table when I sit at a restaurant. My arms stick out from my body, even when they are relaxed. There is just no way around it. How does that feel? Honestly, it feels a little dehumanizing.
I haven’t put pen to paper about my anorexia in years. Maybe even a decade. As unbelievable as it is for me to be typing the next sentence, it is true: I was anorexic more than 20 years ago. I can pontificate (and perhaps I will at another time) on what life has been like since but I think what is important is to get inside the mind of an anorexic for a bit. That season of my life is vivid as though I’m watching short films of my life as a fifteen-year-old. I can see moments and everything distinctly: the clothes I wore, the eyes of my mother, the sound of stepping on the scale while the metal wheel of numbers spun around until settling on the big red line. Even though it was a scary, dark time it was also one where my body was working fiercely to stay afloat, stay alive, stay aloft this strangely creeping vine which is anorexia nervosa.
MW USA’s primary guideline is to use the Missionary Pension Fund interest to meet needs of missionaries not available through mission resource funds. This is keeping with our understanding of the original intention of the Missionary Pension Fund donors when they assisted missionaries with retirement needs, something not available at that time from mission agencies.
At the February 20-21, 2004 board meeting the MW USA board of directors selected two criteria for use of these funds out of six possible ideas presented by MMN directors. The criteria selected are listed here from the minutes of the February board meeting:
Missionary Pension Fund: The Finance Committee recommends using Missionary Pension Fund interest for health/mental health crisis leaves and funeral travel expenses. Funds would be used for both men and women per the original intent of the fund. MW USA would give Mennonite Mission Network the discretion to use the funds with the understanding that they will send MW USA a yearly report about how the funds are used.
ACTION NO. 3: To release interest from the Missionary Pension Fund to Mennonite Mission Network to be used for health/mental health crisis leaves or funeral travel expenses for mission workers. (Nancy Sauder/Juel Yoder Russell). Carried.
If needs such as the above do not occur in a given year, the amount can continue to accrue. Mennonite Women USA requests a report from Mennonite Mission Network annually for the spring board meeting.
Hyacinth Stevens co-pastors King of Glory Tabernacle with her husband, Benjamin Stevens. They have four children. Hyacinth is the executive director of Project Charisma After-school Center, which serves the children and families in the North West Bronx neighborhood where her congregation is located. Hyacinth has a strong passion for the empowerment of children and women in the community she serves.
Beth Martin Birky is a professor of English and women’s and gender studies at Goshen College, where she has taught for for more than two decades. She loves working with young women and men around issues of gender and identity and wants to support their development of leadership skills in the church. Beth helped host the first Sister Care workshop for college-aged women and is excited to see that program grow. Beth and her husband, David Birky, are members of the College Mennonite Church in Goshen. They are parents to young adult children: Maddie and Hugh.
Marie Harnish, Indianapolis, Indiana, attends First Mennonite Church where she is active on the fellowship, mentor-mentee, Jr. Mennonite Youth Fellowship and allergy awareness committees. She makes pottery in her home studio and considers her garden to be an art project. Marie and her husband, Ned Geiser, have three children.
Peggy Martin, Cheraw, Colorado, is a member of East Holbrook Mennonite church. She serves in Christian education and as a worship leader. She works as a registered nurse at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta, Colorado where her fluency in Spanish is very helpful. She has been a Bible study fellowship group leader for 23 years.
We had a delightful Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis, Minnesota shooting the cover images for this summer’s Timbrel issue.
Denise Miller and her daughters, Nicole and Samantha, are a lovely family! Denise knows the power of her hands because one summer she created a weeklong camp at her home for the girls from church in which she taught them various sewing projects. I’ll never forget, too, when she helped my daughter, Gloria, fix a row from the scarf she was knitting–her hands sped through the yarn and fixed all the places with dropped knits and pearls. Amazing hands!
by Anna Yoder
We have been lost to each other for so long.
It was that first line from Anita Diamant’s novel The Red Tent pulled me in immediately; it was as if an ancient voice from the past had finally found me.
The Red Tent tells the story of Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah, who is barely mentioned in the Old Testament save a few lines about her being raped and her brothers’ bloody revenge. Told from her perspective, Dinah begins her tale by saying, “There was far more to tell. Had I been asked to speak of it, I would have begun with the story of the generation that raised me, which is the only place to begin. If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and the listen carefully…The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life – without flinching or whining – the stronger the daughter.” Continue reading
The Latin American Anabaptist Women Theologians Movement (also known as MTAL from the Spanish name) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in Mexico this year. Part of the celebration included the creating of a banner with the idea that people could sign it with words of encouragement to MTAL. The banner is set to travel to Sister Care workshops in various countries during 2013 for people to sign.
There was such an outpouring of love and encouragement for this important movement that a second banner was prepared in Guatemala allowing more space for signatures.
Read more about the 10th Anniversary of MTAL by Ofelia Garcia.
For more historical data on the MTAL download this PDF titled: Mennonite Women USA MTAL Historical Summary 2008.07.21