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Following the mile-wide tornado Apr. 14 that left 75 percent of mobile homes near Lighthouse Community (MB) Church, Wichita, Kan., uninhabitable, LCC volunteers distributed everything from Bibles and milkshakes to gas vouchers and shovels, and supported United Way of the Plains relief and cleanup efforts. The Southern District (MB) Conference office is working with LCC, Mennonite Disaster Service, and the Salvation Army to resource 5 families who need new roofs but have inadequate funds or insurance.—USMB release

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Begun in 1978, a translation of the complete Bible in Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people, will be dedicated this spring. Inuktitut is the most widely spoken aboriginal tongue in Canadas Arctic, with 33,000 speakers, the majority of them Christian. This is the first Bible translation in Canada completed by first language speakers rather than missionaries. Adapting Near Eastern terms to the Arctic required creativity (e.g., shepherd was translated as someone who tends a dog team), but the Old Testament proved easier to translate than the New because of Hebrew and aboriginal cultures shared value of oral storytelling. Canadian Bible Society translation director Hart Wiens believes the new Bible will go a long way to boost literacy and help redress past wrongs.–biblesociety.ca

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Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary will continue to be AMBS, but a new name, redesigned programs, and new faculty were announced May 4–5. Effective Aug. 28, the school’s name will be Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. AMBS is redesigning the master of divinity degree around the theme “leading communities of shalom: ministry in the way of Jesus,” for launch fall 2013. —Mennonite World Review
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With Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) funding, partner organization Caritas Jordan is providing hygiene and relief kits, including infant formula and diapers, to some of the 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. Many from middle class homes and businesses are now sleeping in warehouses, schools, or tents.—MCC release
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Eden Health Care Services, Winkler, Man., appointed Debra Stockwell as program director of Segue Career Options. Segue supports individuals through employment placements. Previously the director of Robertson College, Brandon campus, Stockwell’s experience includes human resources, curriculum development, and health care.—Eden release
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In April, Canada Family Action launched a controversial website that provides the names and photos (if available) of convicted pedophiles: StopPedophiles.ca. “The national sex offender registry is inadequate and incomplete…and not available to the public,” says Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action (CFA). “While violent crime in general has been decreasing, sexual offences against children have been increasing at an alarming rate.” Child pornography went up 36 percent in 2010 (Stats Canada police-reported crimes). —CFA release
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Charles W. Colson, the Watergate felon transformed into an evangelical icon and advocate for prisoners, died Apr. 21 at 80. Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976, a ministry that offers Bible training to 150,000 inmates and Christmas gifts to their 300,000 children, after his release from prison on Watergate-related charges. He authored more than 30 books. —Christian Century
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May 10, Canadians calling for legal protection for the child in the womb gathered on Parliament Hill. A September 2011 Environics poll told interviewees the heart begins beating at 3 weeks, and brainwaves can be detected and organs are in place in 2 months. According to LifeSite news, When asked when life should be protected, 28 percent said from conception, 17 percent said after 2 months and another 17 percent said after 3 months. Only 20 percent supported the current policy in Canada of no protection for human life until birth. And 92 percent said sex-selection abortions should be illegal in Canada.—Winnipeg Free Press
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Boards of most Mennonite Church USA agencies and the constituency leadership council (CLC) gathered in Goshen, Ind., in April to discuss the Mennonite “martyr complex.” Often when a group flees persecution, as most Swiss and German Mennonites did, the trauma “becomes part of their DNA,” says Iris De Leon-Hartshorn. She met a Lutheran bishop who, after receiving from Mennonites a painting of Anabaptist martyr Dirk Willems, wondered: “If we have a ceremony of reconciliation, why are you giving me a picture of what we did to put on our wall and look at every day?” One danger, says Andreas Gingerich Stoner, is that we may “assume non-Mennonites lack the ability to embrace Jesus or the peace witness.”—TheMennonite.org
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Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) original thrift operation in Yarrow, B.C., was damaged by fire in May. MCC volunteers expect to reopen the store in another location. B.C. has 9 MCC thrift shops that raised $1.4 million last year for MCC’s relief, development, and peace work in some 50 countries. The Yarrow shop had its roots in the 1940s when local Mennonites collected clothing for people in war-torn Europe. When the war ended, MCC’s efforts expanded globally and the winter clothing was no longer in demand overseas, so the clothing was sold locally. —MCC BC release

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