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MC Canada Witness workers to itinerate in North America


Winnipeg, Man.—Once thought to hold promise of a sweeping evangelical movement that would transform society, Chile now struggles with fragmented churches that have not delivered what was expected.

Omar and Ester Cortes, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers, dreamed of a Chilean church that would understand both its mandate to minister to people and to cooperate with other Christians. Working through a local church, they began a multifaceted ministry called 5&2 Multiplying for All.

A volunteer staff runs a restaurant which allows the church contact in the community. The profits from the restaurant fund a home for abused women and children. Church people and seminary students work in the home and offer access to professional counseling for the women. The women can get job training and life skills by working in the restaurant.

The Home has lead to relationships through many segments of society. Omar is sharing his holistic mission ideas through a network he helped create throughout Latin America. He also serves on a Latin American Theological Fraternity executive committee and brings an Anabaptist perspective to the Baptist Theological Seminary through his teaching.

Omar and Ester left their homeland of Chile to study at Regent College in Vancouver in 1993. During their three years in Canada they pastored at first United Mennonite Church in Vancouver. In 1996 they returned to Chile as mission workers with the former COM (Commission on Overseas Mission). Their assignment was to fulfill a dream of theirs - to begin a holistic ministry. They returned to Canada this summer for an 8-month study leave, and while in Canada will call Vancouver home.

The Cortes-Gaibur's have three children: Catalina (15), Margarita (12) and Omar Jr. (11). In addition to studying, they will also be visiting North American congregations as time allows.


Brian and Lynell Bergen Dyck have completed their first term of service in Umtata, South Africa. They work with Bethany Bible School, a non-residential program, which provides Bible teaching and other resources to African -initiated churches in Umtata and surrounding areas. Weekend conferences provide the principal setting for Bible teaching.

Lynell also relates to the Umtata Women's Theology Group, which has produced 11 Bible studies in English. Most of the studies are translated into several other languages and have been widely distributed.

Bergen Dycks are members of Arnaud Mennonite Church of Arnaud, Manitoba, where they were co-pastors for more than six years prior to their present assignment. They are both graduates of Canadian Mennonite University and Associated Biblical Seminary. Brian also has a bachelor's degree from the University of Winnipeg, and Lynell has a bachelor's degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

They are the parents of two boys, Samuel, age 9, and Marcus, age 7. The family plans to return to South Africa later this year.


Todd and Jeannette Hanson are Mission Partnership Workers with Mennonite Church Canada Witness who have served in China since 1994. The Hansons live in Nanchong, a city in Sichuan Province. They have two daughters, 4 1/2 year-old Claire and Kate who was born to them on July 9th, 2002 in Nanchong.

Their work is administered by the China Educational Exchange (CEE) which now has about 40 workers teaching ESL (English as a second language) in China. Todd teaches English at the Nanchong Teachers' College. Jeannette administers a variety of development projects in the Nanchong area on behalf of CEE and MCC.

This has been a busy summer for the Hansons as they prepare to return to Canada in fall. Before leaving China Todd and Jeannette will give leadership to the CEE annual summer language program in Beijing. At the end of August, they will travel to Rosthern, Saskatchewan where they will be stationed for four months while on North American Ministry. Todd will attend the University of Saskatchewan for research and completion of a Master's Degree thesis. In addition the Hansons will be visiting numerous supporting congregations and involved in CEE meetings.

MC Canada Witness invites your prayers for the Bergen Dyck, Hanson, and Cortes-Gaibur families during these months of transitions and busy activity.