“It is like a village in Africa”

Global church village is a marketplace of stories and sharing

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Photo: Mónica Figueroa

By Doris Dube

“I don’t know of any other place where I have encountered so many parts of the world all in one place,” says Donella M. Clemens of Perkasie Mennonite Church, Pennsylvania, as she watches people streaming in and out of the “marketplaces” of Global Church Village.

Here, PA 2015’s theme of walking with God is expressed through storytelling, cultural displays and songs from all parts of the world.

Mennonites migration stories testify to God’s leading into new areas of learning as God’s people walk with God.

Stories of ministry and mission to other lands show Anabaptist willingness to walk into the unknown in confidence and trust.

There are also stories of pain and healing. The picture and shoes of a young man who lost his life in the Middle East are just as poignant as the stories quilted on pieces of fabric.

“It is really a wonderful idea to have this nice place where people can come and relax as they visit with friends,” says Siaka Traore of Burkina Faso. “It is like a village [in Africa]. It’s inspiring to see old people telling stories. Even though we can’t trade here, the village also has the feel of a marketplace.”

“The activities are turning out even better than I planned,” says Andrea Geiser, stage activities coordinator. “The variety of people’s gifts and talents are truly a gift from God.”

Up to 36 people registered to spend up to 25 minutes share their experiences with a small crowd in the storytelling tent.

“We have had many amazing stories of conversion and transformation from every continent,” Storytelling organizer Lynn A. Miller says.

Vikal Rao, overall coordinator of all the GCV activities and displays, gives thanks and praise to God who brought all together.

Doris Dube is from Zimbabwe.