Eastern Mennonite Missions
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2008)|
Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) is a mission agency primarily supported by congregations of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, an area conference of Mennonite Church USA. Eastern Mennonite Missions sends more than 250 short- and long-term workers (some seconded to other organizations) per year to approximately thirty-five countries. The international churches that relate to EMM have well over 300,000 members.
Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (EMBMC) was formally organized in 1914 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Its initial activity was focused on local ministries and church plants; in 1934 the organization sent its first international team of missionaries, to Tanganyika. 475 Mennonites chartered a special train to New York City to see the three pioneering missionaries off.
Thus began the international vision of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in places of spiritual darkness, especially in places where the church was weak or nonexistent. The ministry vision is holistic, including: discipleship, church planting, leadership training, community development, medical ministries, peace and justice work, and humanitarian aid.
The next decades saw rapid expansion of overseas mission activity, as EMBMC missionaries entered into Ethiopia, Somalia, Belize, Honduras, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and many more. The popular name Eastern Mennonite Missions was adopted in 1993.
The North American churches that directly support this work are mostly located in the eastern seaboard region of the U.S. Eastern Mennonite Missions is supported by Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church, as well as by other churches, conferences, and agencies in North America -- including approximately 100 other churches from Good News Fellowship and Atlantic Coast, Franklin, and New York Mennonite conferences.