International Women’s Fund: Eliver’s Story

Eliver Omondi is an International Women’s Fund Scholarship recipient.

Glory be to the living God, my sisters in the diaspora. 

I am indeed overwhelmed by God’s grace that has allowed me to be a part of your scholarship program. It has been well with me in my studies. My course title, Higher Diploma in Psychological Counselling, at Kenya Institute of Professional counselling, Kisumu Campus, has impacted me mightily. 

During the week, I work as a teacher. On Saturdays, I go to college and then come back to prepare for church on Sundays. I am 51-years-old and the mother of five young-adult children (two sons and three daughters).  I am sometimes overwhelmed by my family responsibilities. Nevertheless, in Africa we believe that women are strong multi-taskers.

Eliver Omondi (left) presents during a Sister Care seminar in Musoma, Kenya.

I was ordained as a pastor in July 2018; I am the National Women’s Secretary General. Women’s ministry is my passion; my team and I have integrated Sister Care into our agenda. 

My husband, who is also a pastor, supports my ministry. Despite many challenges, we love the Lord and profess God as our saviour. May I thank International Women’s Fund [Mennonite Women USA] for what God has put into your hearts. We appreciate the work.

Thank you,
Eliver Omondi

This letter has been edited for clarity

International Women’s Fund: Febri’s Story

Hear from Febri Kristiani, an IWF 2017 recipient and student at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.

I was born in a small village called Karang Gumul. This little village is located in Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia. Indonesia is a very diverse country with different religions, language, and culture. I am part of the minority, I was raised in a Catholic family and was in a lower socio-economic class. Growing up as the minority in a poor family was hard. I was surrounded by people who always said, “Never dream a big dream, you will fall apart and get hurt badly if it does not come true.” They said, “Just finish high school, get a job, help your parents, get married and then stay home to take care of your children. Don’t try to do more than that; no one does that; it’s too impossible for us.” Growing up in this kind of society, I became a little girl who had no confidence and always felt that I was not enough. I was so scared and intimidated: what if what they said is true – is it impossible for a little girl like me to get a good education and make a difference? My parents told me the same thing, because they knew they would not be able to send me to college and they just did not want me to be disappointed. As a little girl, I was quite stubborn. When I was 10 years old, I kept telling my parents that I wanted to go to school out of the village. I was scared, but I could not resist my desire to dream a big dream and make a difference. Continue reading

International Women’s Fund: Shabnam’s Story

Hear from Shabnam Bagh, an IWF 2017 recipient and student at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. 

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

My name is Shabnam Pratik Bagh and I am from India. I am married to Pastor Pratik Bagh. Professionally, I am a nursing lecturer and have been teaching in a nursing college and giving practical training in hospital settings. I feel called to teach and serve people. As I am married to a pastor, I have had the opportunity to see the skills that are required to minister a church. It made me see a need in my life to be theologically trained to serve people both physically and spiritually. While I was still discerning about doing seminary my husband, Pratik was admitted to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary for a master’s degree program. Thus, I too came along with him, leaving my job and my profession. Being here in the seminary setting and after attending few seminars, I realized that it’s the opportunity for me to do seminary studies. And, AMBS is the best place for doing theology being a Mennonite. Continue reading

International Women’s Fund: Esther’s Story

Hear from Esther Mahagachi, an IWF 2017 recipient and student at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. 

My name is Esther Muhagachi and I am married to Bishop Amos Muhagachi. We are blessed with four children: Violet (24), Victor (22), Grace (20), Peace (15). I have been working for 10 years as Director of Grace and Healing Ministry Dodoma (GHMD) under Tanzania Mennonite Church. In this role, I have been supervising the health team that helps people living with HIV/AIDS and the most vulnerable children in the community. I also provide counseling and guidance to people living with HIV/AIDS, encouraging drug adherence, prevention of infections, and facilitate the trauma healing and mentorship program within the diocese. In addition, I am also in charge of the Stand with Students program for the most vulnerable children registered in the program.  Continue reading

Postcard & a Prayer :: November Email Newsletter

Enjoy November e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

Check out our new format to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage. We also include a prayer to bless your day, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA November Email 2016

Postcard & a Prayer :: March Email Newsletter

Enjoy March e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

Check out our new format to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage and giving tree. We also include a pertinent prayer, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA March Email 2016

You’re Invited to the Spring Supper of the South Central and Western Districts Mennonite Women

MW USA executive director, Marlene Bogard, is the keynote speaker for the 2016 Mennonite Women Spring Supper hosted by South Central and Western District Mennonite Women groups.

When: Thursday, March 17, 2016

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Where: Whitestone Mennonite Church, 629 Crescent Drive, Hesston, KS 67062

Theme: “Making Connections: friendship, faith and women today”

Marlene Bogard serves as executive director of Mennonite Women USA. She works from her home office in Salem, OR, and daily walks her cute little doggie up a hill, over a creek and beside tall trees. She regularly cuddles and reads to her grandson and is very grateful for that opportunity, but she still misses Kansas and all the wonderful Mennonite women who live there.

More highlights:

  • Music provided by Whitestone Women’s Quartet.
  • Full Meal provided by Whitestone Youth Group of Ham, Potatoes and more
  • Only $10 payable at the door

RSVP TODAY here:

email here: ksmennonitewomen@gmail.com

or

call here: 620-327-8201 (Angie at Hesston College).

This event is sponsored by Mennonite Women organizations of South Central and Western District Conferences. The offering will fund the WDC project:  The International Women’s Fund scholarships that help women around the world receive training and education for church leadership. Make check out to:  Mennonite Women USA for WDC project OR to South Central Conference.

Postcard & a Prayer :: February Email Newsletter

Enjoy February e-news from Mennonite Women USA!

Check out our new format to get all the latest information, reflections and images that cover all our national and international happenings from our Sister Care seminars to our upcoming Timbrel coverage and giving tree. We also include a pertinent prayer, excerpts from women in the greater church and content relevant to Mennonite women everywhere.

Sign-up today, stay connected each month!

MW USA February Email 2016

Mary Thosaengsiri 2016 IWF Scholarship Recipient

Meet one of our new 2016 International Women’s Fund scholarship recipients, Mary Thosaengsiri:

“My name is Mary Thosaengsiri. I was born on April 26, 1993. I was born into a Christian family since birth. My father’s name is Pornchai Thosaengsiri. He is the current pastor at St. Paul Hmong Mennonite Church. My mother’s name is Dao Thosaengsiri. I have five siblings including me and I am the second oldest or second child in the family. I have three sisters and one brother.

I am currently attending and am a member at a congregation called, Koob Moov, meaning “Blessings” in Hmong. This was the church that my father planted before he left for the United States. This congregation is located in Kheknoi, Thailand. I am also the Children Sunday School Teacher there as well. Right now I am studying at Bangkok Bible Seminary and this is my first year there. I have class every day Monday through Friday. On the weekends I would help out at my church with anything that is needed. Continue reading

Special Invitation from Executive Director, Marlene Bogard for #GivingTuesday

Dear Friends,

I can’t stop thinking about the Christian Anabaptist women from all over the world who are so hungry for learning, so ready for study, so able to serve and so very eager to lead. Each year we evaluate applications and choose who to support for our International Women’s Fund scholarships.

Listen to their hopes and dreams:

“I have a clear call from God. There are barriers for me to go to North Korea to share God’s love, but I trust that God will open them.”


“I want to train and teach children and youth, in the field of psychological health, based on biblical perspectives.”


“I am not able to take final exams because I have run out of funds. I want to teach religious studies.”


So here is my special invitation to you: will you support our International Women’s Fund by participating in #GivingTuesday tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1? Today, or tomorrow, just click on this link to our special IWF giving on the Mennonite Women USA website and give so women around the world can continue their theological studies.

Your dollars go much farther than you can imagine to support Anabaptist women in Thailand, Colombia, Korea, Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Nicaragua.

“The light that you plant is going to light up much more than you ever could imagine.” -Alix Lozano of Colombia–church leader and recipient of an International Women’s Fund scholarship.

 With a grateful heart,

Marlene Bogard