Romans 5:1–5 is exactly what the Christian community is called to do, said Abe Janzen, MCC’s executive director for Alberta, at Mennonite Central Committee B.C.’s annual meeting June 21, 2014, at North Langley (B.C.) Community Church.
“The world is full of people who live such desperate
lives,” said Janzen, the featured speaker. Director of donor relations Gerd Bartel told delegates there are now 50 million refugees in the world, the largest number since World War II. “MCC is there to help in those small places,” said Janzen, “and we can give many a sense of hope. And their faith becomes bigger.”
Janzen said MCC provides funds for Kenyans to build sand dams, which can provide water for up to 1,100 families. “This is like an MCC relief sale,” he said; “It shouldn’t work. Far too many people!” An average dam costs about $15,000 for materials.
“Our volunteers are the backbone of what we do,” MCC B.C. director Wayne Bremner said. “We have about 3,000 volunteers in B.C., plus others we don’t know of.”
Bremner hopes to see the new MCC B.C. centre in use by this fall, “while across the street [in Abbotsford] there are still problems in the homeless community.”
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce has recognized MCC B.C. as non-profit organization of the year, an honour, Bremner said, “that belongs to thousands of volunteers, staff and donors.”
—Barrie McMaster, B.C. correspondent