Ukraine is not just a place on the map to me; it is a land that carries deep, personal meaning. My Grandmother Willems was born in southern Ukraine, in a small Mennonite village on the east bank of the Dnieper River about 200 miles from where that river’s waters empty into the Black Sea. Her … Continue reading Ukraine

How I got to the GTU

"Human inheritance is both blessing and curse.  And in religious inheritance this paradox is acute…. What curses do we need to shed, in the process of growing up?  What can we hold to as blessing? "                                                                    Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith The discovery of Mennonite history was exciting and welcome. But … Continue reading How I got to the GTU

Japan: 1956

HOKUSAI (1760-1849) Japan’s mountains receive abundant snow, but Tokyo is a coastal city. Winter brought cold rain, grey sky, damp air. It looked cold, and it felt cold. People on the streets walked huddled inside their coats, cheeks and hands red and chapped. Shops were open and unheated. The only source of heat in traditional … Continue reading Japan: 1956