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: Women in Ministry Leadership

2019 07 13 MHM Book Launch Douglas Heidebrecht Women in Ministry Leadership

You are invited to this FREE event!

Join us for an afternoon with author, Douglas J. Heidebrecht

July 13th at the Mennonite Heritage Museum

Presentation at 2pm

Light refreshments, meet the author, purchase books and have your book signed!

Everyone welcome, bring your friends and family!


This book explores the journey of the Mennonite Brethren – an Anabaptist-Evangelical church denomination in North America – highlighting their attempt to find consensus in their convictions and practice regarding the role of women in church ministry and leadership. Throughout this complex and vibrant conversation spanning over 50 years (1954-2010), Mennonite Brethren have sought to discern together as a community how to interpret the Scriptures in the midst of prevailing cultural changes. No other issue has received this level of attention by Mennonite Brethren during the second half of the 20th century. Author Doug Heidebrecht examines how both conference leaders as well as local church members have actively participated in this significant conversation.

Here is a recent news release in the MB Herald:

This fact-based book tells the story of the journey of the Mennonite Brethren Church grappling with women coming into ministry in the church. It details the times and places where conversations on the topic were held. The Mennonite Brethren Church worked hard at confronting the concern for finding the rightful place for women to serve. As the book shows, the Denomination was not always successful in expressing itself about the subject. But women are serving in the Mennonite Brethren Church in a variety of ways. As I read, I kept thinking—this is my story! This is where I come from and how I came to serve, even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a pastor. Thank you, Doug, for researching this story and showing how the Bride of Christ can fulfill its mandate to share the love of Jesus Christ.

—Lorraine Dick, pastor and former Board of Faith and Life chair

Interpreting Scripture in 21st Century culture can be challenging. An accurate account of more than fifty years of convictions and practices can be helpful because often we learn from what has already happened. That’s why this book is important.

—Ed Boschman, former executive director, U.S. Mennonite Brethren Church


Heidebrecht’s work is equal parts too-engaging-to-put-down, spellbinding, page-turner storytelling and a majestic historical masterpiece of the Mennonite Brethren Church. Heidebrecht sketches the denomination’s deep love of Scripture and the Spirit as MB’s seek ethical faithfulness intertwined with the siren-voiced temptations of personality and cultural influences. The you-are-there immediacy of this piece makes it must-have reading.

—Lynn Jost, professor, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary

I can still remember the general terrain and some stops on the long journey Mennonite Brethren took about women in ministry leadership, and have never forgotten how joy overwhelmed me in 2006 when we were freed to serve in all capacities. How wonderful now to have a detailed retrospective map of that journey; to have this careful and very interesting record of its challenges, stumbles, discipleship in community, disappointments—yes—and also joy.

—Dora Dueck, writer and former MB Herald editorial staff


When difficult conversations happen over a long period of time and consensus is not reached, it is inevitable that some of us will remember and evaluate the steps along the way quite diversely. The enormous strength of this book by Dr. Heidebrecht (“Doug” to most of us), is that his careful reporting and judicious assessments are the outcome of both direct engagement and very thorough research. Thanks, Doug, for helping us along this seemingly never-ending journey.

—Tim Geddert, professor, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary


Heidebrecht employs meticulous attention to historical detail in this review and reflection on 50+ years of agonizing effort to discern the roles of women in the Mennonite Brethren church of North America. He looks deep into the heart of Mennonite Brethren character. This book tells the tale, step by step, how the “dissolution of consensus” renders a “free church” almost incapable of dealing with the impact of cultural shift. And when leadership inevitably errs in some aspect of theological reflection or politics, or inadequately explains its resolutions or assumptions, all bets are off for finding a path forward in unity. This book is almost a thriller—politics, plagiarism, flawed effort, frustration, and a hopeful ending—as a church tries to pull itself up on its own bootstraps on a controversial issue without an operating shared hermeneutic.

—David Wiebe, former executive director, ICOMB


At a time when questions about the role of women in ministry continue to surface in Mennonite Brethren congregations in Canada and the U.S., this thorough study offers an even-handed and nuanced exploration of the issue. It is an important record and an invaluable resource.

—Christine Longhurst, professor, Canadian Mennonite University


Through meticulous research and deep theological reflection, Doug Heidebrecht helps us connect the origins, lead actors, and scenes in the unfolding drama of a people wrestling with God over the issue of women in ministry leadership.  Like Jacob of old at the River Jabbok, the Mennonite Brethren emerge out of the mud into a new day—deeply wounded, marked, and limping, but blessed.

—Ken Peters, pastor and former BFL chair


Doug Heidebrecht has given us the gift of examining the way Mennonite Brethren have sought to answer the question, “what does the Word say?” in regards to the appropriate roles for women in church leadership. With careful attention to detail, Heidebrecht brings to life the personalities and issues that shaped the conversation over the last half century. In doing so, he pushes us to examine how a community of believers can read and apply Scripture together. It is a fascinating examination of recent history.

—Valerie Rempel, professor, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary


This deeply researched and engaging study of women and leadership in the Mennonite Brethren denomination over nearly 60 years is an important case study of how churches respond to social change both outside and inside the fold. The cyclical decisions, debates, and disagreements over women’s rights or restrictions are simultaneously fascinating and frustrating. The book is a must read for individuals on all sides of this not-finished agenda.

—Marlene Epp, author of Mennonite Women in Canada: A History, and professor at Conrad Grebel University College


Heidebrecht deeply cares for the well-being of the Mennonite Brethren community. He has done yeoman’s service by deftly untangling the intertwined cultural influences, hermeneutical methods, and internal politics involved in the events and documents pertaining to their discussion of women in ministry leadership. This investigation presses the Mennonite Brethren (and others) toward (re)discovering the importance of a Spirit-enabled, communal discernment of “what the Bible says.”

—Bruce L. Guenther, professor, MB Biblical Seminary


Doug Heidebrecht’s meticulous research into the North American Mennonite Brethren journey with the question of women in ministry leadership is instructive and even riveting! This work makes a valuable contribution to the complex history of the roles of women in our family, as well as the understanding of denominational decision making informed by the disciplines of biblical studies and hermeneutical engagement. My hope is that this volume will encourage the many capable sisters in Mennonite Brethren churches around the world to generously employ their gifts and calling in the work of the life-changing gospel of Christ.

—Ingrid Reichard, National Faith & Life director, Canadian Conference of MB Churches