Anabaptist Renewal Circles holds annual meeting
By Jewel Showalter
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA – More than 100 Anabaptist leaders from around the world gathered at Slate Hill Mennonite Church, Camp Hill, Pa., for the second annual meeting of the Anabaptist Renewal Circles (ARC) 21 July 2015, the day before the evening kick-off of Assembly 16.
The program highlighted the transforming work of God around the world with input from leaders in three Mennonite mission boards and from Global South leaders on three different continents.
Representing the church in Asia, Lydia Adi, director of communications for her home church, Jemaat Kristen Indonesia (JKI), brought greetings. Located in the world’s largest Muslim majority country, JKI has grown to 50,000 members in 350 congregations since the movement began as a small youth revival in 1979.
“We are called to impact the marketplace,” Adi said.
Bekele Bedada, the Africa director for Global Disciples, represented his continent in the day’s mission overview.
After his deliverance from witchcraft, “I experienced life and joy for the first time. Jesus said, ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17),” Bedada said. “This repentance is continuous in our lives.”
Healing, restoration and revival are the result of repentance, Bedada said.
Willi Hugo Perez, dean of SEMILLA in Guatemala, testified that Jesus set him free 25 years ago. After a particularly violent week in Guatemala City, one member of Perez’s pastors group said, “How can we continue to live here?” Another said, “We can, in the power of the Spirit.”
“Here in North America we are burdened by our own self-sufficiency,” said Stanley Green, president of Mennonite Mission Network.
“When we look at the book of Acts we see that outreach is the surest indicator of the Holy Spirit’s presence,” Green said. “We believe that the church can be revitalized to bear that good news.”
Calvin Greiner, an intercessor who has prayer walked across the USA, said he had a picture of God gathering the Mennonite community and speaking to them personally.
He urged the group to listen for Jesus in the coming week as MWC gathers.
“Let’s commit ourselves to move in the power of the Spirit,” said Richard Showalter, an international mission leader. “As we walk in surrendered faith, reading the Word, and taking it seriously, we can be a part of [the harvest].”
Nemi Chigoji, the executive director of ARC, announced the next annual meeting of the ARC at Journey Mennonite Church in South Hutchinson, Kansas, 21–23 July 2016.
“The ARC needs to do more than just facilitate periodic renewal meetings in North America,” said Sunoko Lin, an ARC leader with roots in JKI. “I am excited about working for worldwide renewal,” Lin said.
Jewel Showalter is a writer, grandmother of 14, and servant of the global church.