Why MBs should go to Asunción in July for Assembly 15
- Paraguay is a “Mennonite zoo” with at least 20 species. The MB church has been there almost from the beginning; as they crossed the ocean, Soviet Low German refugees were planning to establish a church. Today, Spanish, German, Enlhet, and Nivaclé call themselves Mennonite Brethren.
- Paraguay has an 80-year story of intra-Mennonite relationships. Mennonite and MB churches have become close in history, doctrine, mission, and fellowship.
- North American MB Missions and Services (now MBMSI) has been a pioneer and partner in bringing the gospel to the Chaco First Nation people, to Asunción, and to the campesinos of eastern Paraguay.
- MB leaders have played key roles in past assemblies: requesting help for Russsian refugees in the Paraguayan Chaco in 1930; signing a peace document “against the sin of war” in Amsterdam (World War II); and giving key addresses in Basel, 1952 and Wichita, 1978.
- Paraguay represents the “microcosmos” of Mennonite reality. The past meets the future with Germanic-Russian and new indigenous churches coexisting. A historical exhibit will enlarge this perspective.
- The theme, “Come together in the way of Jesus Christ,” points to the core of MB biblical convictions. Authentic Christian unity is based on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1–10).
Alfred Neufeld is a member of Concordia Mennonite Brethren Church in Asunción, Paraguay; chair of MWC National Coordinating Committee for Assembly 15; and dean of the faculty of theology at the Evangelical University of Paraguay. For more information about MWC Assembly 15, go to www.mwc–cmm.org