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Global MB Devotional Series


In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the MB church, a group of 50 writers, (men and women, old and young from most of the 18 member conferences of ICOMB), have gifted us with 50 devotionals to be used over the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost (April 8 – May 27, 2012). These devotionals allow voices from a broad cross section of the MB church to be heard.

Each devotional is also accompanied with a historical note covering the 150 years of the Mennonite Brethren Church.

To play online or download text, select a date and associated links below.
NOTE: If your browser does not play the audio files, download and install the free quicktime player from here.

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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1860-62: Movements of spiritual renewal led eighteen Mennonites in Molochna to begin holding separate meetings and observing separate communion services. Opposition quickly developed, and the group drew up a "secession document" in 1860.

Audio 01: EVIDENCE OF GOD'S LOVE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1863-65: A number of prominent leaders emerged to give guidance to the new movement and hold divergent practices in check.

Audio 02: FREE ACCESS TO THE BEST LIFE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1866-68: In 1866 August Liebig, a visiting Baptist minister from Germany, helped the new group, who came to be known as the "brethren," establish their own organization and adopt procedures for orderly meetings and contacts with the larger Mennonite body.

Audio 03: OBEDIENCE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1869-71: J. G. Oncken, the founder and leader of the German Baptist church, ministered to the Brethren and ordained Abraham Unger as elder.

Audio 04: TYPICAL WOMEN
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1872-74: The first general conference of the new movement (1872) and the building of an attractive new church in Rueckenau gave the Mennonite Brethren in Russia a center; just east of Buhler, Kansas, Mennonite Brethren organized their first church in North America.

Audio 05: WALKING WITH JESUS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1875-77: A largely Baptist confession, with some adaptation to Mennonite teachings was adopted and sent to government authorities in Russia.

Audio 06: A HEART BURNING EXPERIENCE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1878-80: Throughout the 1870s large numbers of Mennonites, including Mennonite Brethren, emigrated to United States and Canada. The Krimmer (Crimean) Mennonite Brethren came to United States in 1874. In 1879 Mennonite Brethren held their first general conference in North America.

Audio 07: EMPOWERED HEIRS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1881-83: Johann Wieler, a high school teacher, began evangelism among his Russian neighbors. Political authorities prohibited this, and Wieler was condemned to exile in Siberia. He later escaped to Rumania.  

Audio 08: RESCUED FROM THE EDGE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1884-86: Peter M. Friesen, principal of the teacher college in Halbstadt, was ordained a minister and soon became a noted leader and historian; the Zionsbote was launched as the publication of the MB church in North America.

Audio 09: WATERS THAT PURIFY
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1887-89: The rapid growth of the Mennonite population in Russia and United States led to  the  founding of many new settlements. In both countries, numerous new Mennonite Brethren churches were established. Canada’s first Mennonite Brethren church was established in Winkler, Manitoba.

Audio 10: LIFE BECOMES RISKY
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1890-92: In Russia, Abraham and Maria Friesen sent as missionaries to Nalgonda, India, and initiated a long and steady involvement of Mennonite Brethren in foreign missions. In North America, the N. N. Hieberts were commissioned to begin missionary work among the Telegus in India.

Audio 11: A DISCIPLE OF RISKY HOSPITALITY
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1893-95: MB mission to Comanche people established

Audio 12: TRUST GOD! HE WILL HELP YOU!
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1896-98: Abraham J. Kroeker became the “father” of MB publications in Russia when he, with his cousin, Jakob Kroeker, launched the almanac, the Christlicher Familienkalender.

Audio 13: THE HAPPINESS OF GOD, MOTIVATION FOR MISSIONS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1899-1901: In 1900 a Confession of Faith was drafted in Russia by educator and minister Peter M. Friesen.
1902-04: First official MB Confession of Faith, written by Friesen, adopted by the 1902 MB General Conference; soon to be adopted in North America.

Audio 14: THE THRONG AT THE THRONE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1905-07: Russian government promised complete religious liberty; MBs in Russia began, in 1906, to organize for evangelistic work among Ukrainian Orthodox; promises never transformed into laws, creating huge problems for MBs.

Audio 15: GIVING THANKS TO GOD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1908-10: Tabor College established in 1908 in Hillsboro, Kansas; took some time before it gained conference support.

Audio 16: SERVING JESUS BY HELPING OTHERS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1911-13: P. M. Friesen’s book The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia published in German. He attempted to explain both the 1860 division in the Russian Mennonite Church, and to write the history of all Mennonites in Russia.

Audio 17: A COMMUNITY OF FAITH
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1914-16: World War I began in August 1914. Created problems for all Mennonites, not only MBs, in Canada, the United States and Russia. Thousands of Mennonites enlisted as medics. Hatred of everything German – and as a consequence also of Mennonites – continued to grow during the war years.

Audio 18: TRUE LIFE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1917-19: At Neuhalbstadt General Conference, Mennonites in Russia strongly reaffirmed their adherence to the principles of non-resistance. In June, 1918 at Lichtenau this principle was attacked, but was staunchly defended by B.B. Janz, later to become a strong MB leader.

Audio 19: SACRIFICIAL LOVE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1920-22: Tschongraw Bible School (closed in 1924) established in Ukraine; re-established in Winkler, Manitoba in 1925, with some continuity of teachers (A. H. Unruh); three years later another Bible school established in Hepburn, Saskatchewan, followed by many others across Canada.

Audio 20: HEARING THE VOICE OF JESUS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1923-25: The great migration of Mennonites from Russia occurred; lasted until 1926; first wave came primarily to Canada, the second wave was forced to go to South America (Brazil and Paraguay). First Mennonite World Conference held in Basel, Switzerland, June 13-15, 1925. The only MB speaker was Jakob Kroeker, former co-editor of the Friedensstimme published by the Raduga Press, sometimes labeled an MB publication.

Audio 21: A GLORIOUS WORSHIP SERVICE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1926-28: Sweeping collectivization of Mennonite farms and businesses in Russia.

Audio 22: HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN THE SHEPHERD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1929-31: First MB church in Paraguay organized in Fernheim under leadership of Elder Isaac Braun; later, with arrival of new immigrants, the church was divided into two groups.

Audio 23: MISSIO-DEI IS AN INCLUSIVE MISSION
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1932-34: Systematic forced dissolution of the MB churches in the Soviet Union. Starting in 1930 ministers arrested and sent to labor camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union, leaving many congregations leaderless; significant number of women emerged as new leaders.

Audio 24: RESPONDING TO GOD'S ASTONISHING GRACE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1935-37: A resolution at the Canadian Conference recommended election of a Committee on Military Problems. Under the leadership of B. B. Janz, definite proposals formulated for alternative service, including statement that “. . . we as disciples of Jesus should not oppose . . . the noncombatant medical corps.”

Audio 25: A SERVANT HEART
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1938-40: At General Conference in Corn, Oklahoma, the Board of Reference and Counsel, together with the Board of Foreign Missions, were commissioned “to work out a basis upon which the General Conference would assume responsibilities for missions in Africa and South China.”

Audio 26: IDENTIFY WITH JESUS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1941-43: The German army suffered severe defeats in Russia and began retreat to Germany. Large numbers of Mennonites (MBs included) accompanied troops back to Germany, from where many were rescued to emigrate to Canada; others forced to go to South America.

Audio 27: THE GLORIFIED SAVIOR
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1944-46: Pacific Bible Institute established in Fresno, California; Mennonite Brethren Bible College founded in Winnipeg with Dr. A. H. Unruh, formerly of Winkler Bible School, as president.

Audio 28: ENTERING GOD'S REST
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1947-49: J. B. Toews became president of Mennonite Brethren Bible College in 1945, resigned in 1948.

Audio 29: PRAISE THE LORD!
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1950-52: MB General Conference, meeting in Mountain Lake, expressed need for denominational seminary; commission set up that reported to the next general conference held in 1951 in Winkler, Manitoba.

Audio 30: THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIP
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1953-55: MB General Conference of North America agreed that “area conferences” (Canadian and US) should assume direction of programs such as home missions, higher education, youth and Sunday schools in their respective regions. Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary established in 1955 in Fresno, California, next to Pacific Bible Institute

Audio 31: A LIFE GIVING VICTORY
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1956-58: Direct contact re-established between Russian and North American Mennonites.

Audio 32: THE POWER OF PRAISE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1959-61: Official merger of the MB and KMB conferences; centennial of Mennonite Brethren Church; North Carolina district, predominantly African-American, officially joined US MB Conference.

Audio 33: GOD'S SPECIAL CONCERN FOR THE INSIGNIFICANT
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1962-64: MB Herald launched in Canada; translations of Genesis, Exodus, Psalms and the New Testament into Kituba completed through work of Congolese pastor and missionaries.

Audio 34: GOD IS OUR REFUGE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1965-67: Mission effort to Hispanic Americans living along the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and Mexico led to formation of Latin American MB District Conference; Words of the Gospel, radio voice of the US MB Church, heard in 12 states; Tabor College and Pacific College receive accreditation as 4-year liberal arts colleges.

Audio 35: A GRAND EFFORT
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1968-70: Corn Bible Academy, Corn, Oklahoma rebuilt; mission memorial court at MB Biblical Seminary dedicated to memory of 76 MB and KMB missionaries; observance of MCC’s 50th anniversary.

Audio 36: EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON GOD'S BLESSING
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1971-73: The Worship Hymnal, compiled and edited by the Hymnal Committee of the General Conference of the MB Church, published in cooperative effort between US and Canadian MB churches; Canadian and US MB Conferences establish a General Conference Seminary, with H.H. Dick as president.

Audio 37: NOT SERVED BUT SERVING
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1974-76: MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Calif., officially accepted as a General Conference MB institution.

Audio 38: TRUST IN THE LORD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1977-79: Southern District MB Conference first to accept an inter-Mennonite congregation into the conference: Manhattan (Kansas) Mennonite Fellowship. Words of the Gospel radio broadcast becomes international.

Audio 39: TO BE A WITNESS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1980-82: MB General Conference (US and Canada) complete their “ first building together”—the new Seminary wing of the Hiebert Library.” Mennonite Brethren Umsiedler organize their own churches.

Audio 40: SALVATION FOR THE UNEXPECTED
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1983-85: First US MB Conference pastors’ orientation held in Fresno; 12 Quebec churches join the Canadian MB Conference.

Audio 41: AMAZED BY GRACE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1986-88: Mennonite Brethren Foundation officially organized; issue of women’s role in the MB church discussed at 1987 General Conference in Abbotsford, BC; the following spring Tabor College hosts a seminar on “Women in ministries of the church;” restructuring of the 5 MB schools in Canada -Columbia Bible College, Bethany Bible Institute, Winkler Bible Institute, Institut Biblique Laval, and MB Bible College.

Audio 42: TRUST GOD AS A CHILD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1989-91: Temporary withdrawal of MB Missions/Services workers from Zaire because of unrest; three MBM/S worker-families evacuated from Colombia due to violence. MB Bible College renamed Concord College.

Audio 43: LET THE EARTH REJOICE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1992-94: Chinese MB Herald launched. Mission USA, a national MB effort aimed at renewal and church planting, begun; new mission outreach in Southeast Asia an outgrowth of missionary work among Khmu in North America.

Audio 44: BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1995-97: The British Columbia Centre of the MB Biblical Seminary, Langley, BC, established; MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Calif., graduates its first woman with a Master of Divinity Degree.

Audio 45: OBEDIENCE AND LOVE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
1998-2000: India MB Conference celebrates the 100th anniversary of the arrival of first MB missionaries from North America. Delegates at Wichita, Kansas vote to dissolve the General Conference of MB Churches; transfer its ministries to the Canadian and US conferences. MB Biblical Seminary joins Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) as a full member.

Audio 46: UNITY: NOT AT ALL COST, BUT WITH PURPOSE
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
2001-03: The Mennonite Brethren “Mosaic” grows to include a Slavic MB District of nearly 8,000 members; Greater Vancouver, British Columbia has largest number of Chinese MB churches. Operation U-SERV, a volunteer lay MB ministry begun in 1988, matches 2,000 volunteers with some 60 building projects.

Audio 47: IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
2004-06: MB Missions/Services offices relocated from Fresno to Abbotsford: emphasis shifts from unrestricted missions giving to relational missions giving.

Audio 48: GOD IS FAITHFUL
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
2007-09: Canadian MB Conference executive board and US MB Conference leadership board meet together for the first time since 2000 divestiture of the binational General Conference, for interaction, evaluation and review of the 3 agencies jointly owned by both national conferences: MBMS International, MB Biblical Seminary, and MB Historical Commission. Historical Commission asked to collaborate with ICOMB to publish a global history of the Mennonite Brethren.

Audio 49: GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
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A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN MENNONITE BRETHREN HISTORY
2010 On January 6, 2010, 18 national conferences celebrated the 150th anniversary of the MB Church.

Audio 50: PRAISE GOD WITH OUR LIVES
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________With Gratitude________

Vision for the devotional series was birthed at the MWC Assembly 2009 in Paraguay It emerged from a conversation reflecting on meetings of women theologians between Marlene Enns of Paraguay, Tshikay Godet of Congo, and Mary Anne Isaak of Fresno. It was seen as a way to provide an avenue for both male and female voices from our MB global family to speak together.

Harold Ens served as General Editor for this devotional series. Peter Klassen served as Editor for the historical notes, with additional contributions by Abraham Friesen and Peggy Goertzen. A special thanks is extended to the following readers: Pedro Urena, Yesu Akepogu John, Doug Kulungu, Edmund Janzen, Melissa Ens, Mary Anne Isaak, Helen Ens, Harold Ens, Tomas Medrano and Adam Shellenburg.

________DEVOTIONAL SERIES ACCESS LINKS________



In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the MB church, a group of 50 writers, men and women, old and young from most of the 18 member conferences of International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) have gifted us with 50 devotionals to be used over the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost of 2010. Writers were selected by administrators of schools, colleges and seminaries. These devotionals allow voices from a broad cross section of the MB church to be heard.

Each devotional is also accompanied with a historical note covering the 150 years of the Mennonite Brethren Church.

WEBSITE LINK

The devotionals can be heard online below or downloaded as audio files to be heard at your convenience. Text for each devotional (in .pdf format) is also available for reading online or downloading. These devotional materials may be duplicated, printed and distributed in local churches as desired or linked to on other websites at:
http://icomb.org/globalmbdevotionals

MP3 ACCESS

To download all the devotionals for non-Apple .mp3 players click this link:
(A broadband internet connection is recommended)
Devotionals in MP3 Audio Format

ITUNES ACCESS

To download the devotionals into iTunes paste the following url in your iTunes Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast menu item.

http://learning.fresno.edu/GLN/icomb/devotionals/lentendevotionals.xml

Stations of the Cross

The stations of the cross were painted by David O'Connell (1898-1976) and hung in the church in Chichester, England in the early 1960s.