Book Launch: Refugees and Ambassadors

You are invited to:

MHM BOOK LAUNCH:  Refugees and Ambassadors: Mennonite Missions in Brazil by Dr. Victor Wiens

Presentation begins at 2:00pm at the Mennonite Heritage Museum, Saturday, September 21, 2019

Books will be available for purchase from the MHM Bookstore

Meet the Author, Victor Wiens, Ph.D

Light refreshments.

This is a free event and we welcome you to bring family and friends!

Museum will be open from 1pm to 4pm.

2019 09 21 MHM Book Launch Victor Wiens PhD Poster

From amazon:

About the Author

Victor Wiens (M.Div., Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary; Ph.D. Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary) with his wife Marty, served as a missionary in São Paulo, Brazil for 25 years. He was active in church planting, leadership development, and denominational mission ministries. Since 2009 he serves as Mission Capacity Building coach for MB Mission in Abbotsford, Canada. In this role he coaches majority world church and mission leaders toward building capacities for healthy churches and global mission.



  • Refugees and Ambassadors: Mennonite Missions in Brazil, self-published, 2017 (also in Portuguese)


  • The Church in Mission: Global Mennonite Brethren Perspectives on Mission in the 21st Century, Kindred Productions, 2015 (also in Spanish).


  • Articles in Gemeinde unter dem Kreuz des Südens, Mission Focus, Direction Journal, Irmãos em Ação, Missions Manual, Bibel und Pflug, O Missionário, Witness, Intercâmbio Menonita, ICOMB

R + A book cover 2 from Vic

816pQrIF4hL Amazon Back Cover

Fridbert August (President, Association of Mennonite Churches in Brazil)

“This book is a milestone in Mennonite history in Brazil. Your passion for the subject of the book and your acquired knowledge are amazing. I love to hear the stories, and the excerpts you read from the book exemplifying how God uses people of all kinds were inspiring.”


Emerson Cardoso (President, Brazilian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches)

“Thank you Victor for your visit and commitment to … the Mennonite conferences in Brazil … your presentations were highly praised by leading pastors and people who were part of the history of migration and establishing of these families of churches.”


Hans Gerhard Peters (former President, Evangelical Mennonite Alliance, Brazil)

“… I want to congratulate and thank brother Victor for such fantastic material. I have read a good part of the book, also publicized it and promoted its reading in all the AEM (Evangelical Mennonite) churches.”


David Wiebe (former Executive Director, International Community of Mennonite Brethren – ICOMB)

“Victor Wiens combines his considerable experience as a missionary to and resident of Brazil with research data to formulate a very insightful missiological monograph. It addresses critical missiology questions within a case study he has experienced as a church planter and national conference supporter.  This book and his work shows he is among the Mennonite Brethren international movement’s “next generation” missiologists and deserves a hearing for his thoughtful work.”

Refugees and Ambassadors Mennonite Missions in Brazil  Victor Wiens

Who are the Mennonites in Brazil?  Arriving initially as refugees, are they still primarily an immigrant or ethnic group?  Are they a charming “quiet in the land” folk to be smiled at or be shown to tourists?  Are they still predominantly rural, or have they become urban, like most others in Brazil?   Most importantly, to what extent have Mennonites shared their Christian faith in word and in deed?  These questions and many others are answered in this first-time study of this topic.  You will discover …

  • The story of how Mennonites came to Brazil in 1930.
  • The identities of their churches and missions active today.
  • The variety of missional services that Mennonites offer.
  • The key people and movements that have shaped them.
  • The heart of Mennonite faith and what motivates them.

Those familiar with the Mennonite story will find a relevant case study of seven missions.  In light of the increasing involvement of Brazilian evangelicals in global missions, Brazilians and others will gain understanding of this missional story and what God has done through Mennonite missions in Brazil through 2015.  Through the four lenses of history, theology, training, and church growth, the reader will learn successes to be repeated and failures to be avoided.  Numerous anecdotes, photos and study questions enhance the text.  This study will lead to growth in faith, motivation, and missiological understanding.


MHM Book Launch “Finding Father” ed. Mary Ann Loewen

You are invited to this free event at the Museum!
Join us for a presentation at 7pm and meet the editor, Mary Ann Loewen and one of the contributors, local author, Elsie K. Neufeld!
Books will be available for purchase from our Bookstore & Gift Shop.
Book signing and light refreshments.
Gallery and Main Exhibits open!SKM_C45819050816570

Finding Father is a collection of stories about Mennonite fathers by their daughters. Written by well-known and first-time writers, these stories illuminate the often close and sometimes troubling relationships that exist between one of humanity’s most precious bonds. From battles over relationships and sexuality, to debates over chores and church, these stories also hold the shared intimacies of driving side by side with dad, laughing, and headed down the road. (Source:—-Book-Launch#.XPWo0sRlCUk)


Mary Ann Loewen Portrait

Photo: Mary Ann Loewen

Mary Ann Loewen teaches Academic Writing at the University of Winnipeg. She worked as a nurse and a piano instructor, and is married with three grown children. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mary Ann Loewen is interested in how story integrates into academe. Her MA thesis told the story of her mother, and interrogated the inevitably competing nature of an individual life’s narratives. Mary Ann also loves the way language works, and is always eager to see how messages are given and received: through the written word, through images, through sound; the classes she plans and the work she assigns in her Academic Writing course reflect these interests. She also thoroughly enjoys engaging with her students.

You can find Mary Ann’s anthology of stories Mennonite men have written/told about their mothers, published by the University of Regina Press, available for purchase in the Museum Bookstore: “Sons & Mothers: Stories From Mennonite Men”.

More about Mary Ann:  “Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but has spent most of her life in Manitoba, Canada. She spent a few years working as a nurse, then taught piano part-time when her kids were young, and then realized that she wanted to know more about reading and writing. Since her stint in grad school, she has taught academic writing at the University of Winnipeg and Canadian literature at Canadian Mennonite University. She loves spending time in her kitchen and hanging out with her family: her husband, three adult children, and one adorable grandson.” (Source: “Finding Father: Stories From Mennonite Daughters”)

Photo below: Elsie K. Neufeld


elsie may 2019 (4)

About Elsie:

Elsie K Neufeld was born in Abbotsford where she has lived for approximately 85% of her life, or just over half a century! Her parents, Walter & Susanna Klassen, were Russian Mennonite immigrants who settled in the Fraser Valley in 1948.  The family, General Conference Mennonites, didn’t attend church Sunday evenings as did the Mennonite Brethern. Her parents spent Sunday evenings at the kitchen table writing German letters to family who had been repatriated to Siberia, settled in Germany, in Steinbach, and Winnipeg. Elsie’s mother enlisted her help, and taught Elsie to write about the details of everyday life. Elsie credits her mother for being her first and best writing teacher, as well as training her how to see and honor the parts of the whole.

In 1996, Elsie wrote her parents’ life-story, entitled “The Past inside the Present: a family story.”  This led to work in the community teaching others how to write their or their family’s stories. Elsie taught at the now University of the Fraser Valley in the Continuing Education program for 15 years. In the past 25 years she also: mentored individuals, and a local writers’ group, and taught writing workshops throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, and Vancouver in organizations such as hospice, Genealogy groups, and Seniors’ programs, She also worked as a personal historian, and eulogist. To date, she has midwifed 20 books and almost two dozen eulogies into being.

Elsie’s poetry and creative non-fiction essays have been published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. Her first book, a memoir, Dancing in the Dark: a sister grieves followed winning two national writing awards for first-ever-published essay, “Who is my neighbour?” in which she wrote of her brother John’s death in 1987.

Her poetry chapbook, Grief Blading Up was published in 2010. Her poem “Touching Forever,” about her father, is included in “Inside Poetry”, a nationally-used high school textbook. A series of her poems can be found on-line, in a journal published by Mennonite Center for Writing (Goshen, Indiana):

Elsie is also an editor, and edited several collections of stories for Abbotsford Learning Plus. For her community writing-related efforts, she received Abbotsford’s first ever “Arty award” for writing.

At the turn of the century, she was curious about how many writers of Mennonite heritage there were province-wide, and following a conversation with local poet Robert Martens, Elsie initiated, became editor-in-chief of, and contributed to Half in the Sun: an anthology of Mennonite Writings (Ronsdale Press, 2006), a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by 24 BC writers of Mennonite heritage.

Writing the lives of others continues to be Elsie’s greatest passion. She believes that the ordinary is extraordinary, and that there is no such thing as a boring life.

In 2017 she was commissioned to write the story of Mott Electric, a fourth generation family owned company that began in 1929 in New Westminster. For this book she conducted more than fifty interviews of past and current long-time employees, and is working now to distill 2000 pages into a 300 page book of text and photos. Her biggest project to date, it has also been her most astonishing as as she didn’t expect electricians to be such interesting and refined people. When she told a long-term Mott employee, who happens to live in Abbotsford, how respectfully she had been treated in all manner of interview settings, he responded with, “Well, we’re not plumbers, you know.”

Laughter is a main-stay of Elsie’s life, and she has come to understand that joy and sorrow exist concurrently. To remind herself of this, she had the words tattooed on her right wrist after a devastating life event.

Elsie lives in Vancouver now, where she enjoys walking, photography, reading, volunteering in a neighbourhood thrift store, and, of course, writing. When she wants human contact, she sits on a bench in English Bay, and talks to strangers.

She has three adult children, and a handsome, eight-month-old grandson, Mister Kade, who is her greatest joy and light.

Of her story in “Finding Father”, her friend, and top-drawer Canadian Mennonite writer Andreas Schroeder said, “Elsie K. Neufeld’s gripping eulogy MEMORIED WITH THE FEEL, foregrounds a heart-breaking effort to understand and celebrate her Russian-Mennonite father, against a lively historic backdrop of the challenges experienced by the Mennonites who emigrated to the Fraser Valley from Russia via Germany immediately after WWII. The result is inevitably stereoscopic — we each carry the story of an entire people strapped to our backs.       (Andreas Schroeder, author of “Renovating Heaven”)


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