Mennonite Health Journal

Articles on the intersection of faith and health








Mennonite Health Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4 – November 2014

Paul D. Leichty, editor

PDF Version: Mennonite Health Journal, Nov. 2014

This issue of Mennonite Health Journal  has a definite cross-cultural and international flavor as Mennonites look ahead to July 2015 when the Mennonite World Conference Global Assembly will be held in North America for the first time since 1990. Mennonite healthcare workers have a special opportunity to connect at the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) Annual Gathering 2015, July 19-21, 2015, just prior to Assembly Gathered in Harrisburg.

Esther KawiraThe lead article is entitled The Burkitt’s Lymphoma Story Parallels Mennonite Work in East Africa and is written by Esther Kawira, a physician in Shirati, Tanzania. Her story comes on the heels of being honored in her home town by her alma mater, Goshen College, with one of its annual Culture for Service awards.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has made considerable news, especially after a case was reported in the United States. MHJ offers three perspectives on the situation:

  1. Ebola virusMichael Massanari, a retired physician and educator who worked with infectious diseases and epidemiology during his career, gives us an overview of the medical aspects of Ebola.
  2. Beth Good, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Health Coordinator, shares some reflections on how to respond.
  3. Donna Minter, a psychologist from Minneapolis, Minnesota, gives some perspective in addressing the fear factor and psychological trauma, particularly in the large Liberian immigrant community in the Twin Cities.

Additional information on Ebola is being added to a special page on the MHF Topics section of the website.

JWilson-cropped-200WJoyce Wilson, a nurse practitioner from West Virginia offers a powerful testimony to what the 2014 Annual Gathering at Laurelville meant to her in the context of her “cross-cultural” practice of a different kind, with teenagers in rural West Virginia.

Lyubov SlashchevaTurning to a health issue that is truly global, Lyubov Slashcheva sets the stage for an extended discussion during the next year on Climate Change and Global Health. In the process, she issues us all an invitation to make our own contribution as we think about our attendance at the different Mennonite gatherings in 2015.

As the new President of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, Eric Lehman offers his first President’s column as he reflects further on end-of-life issues that have been discussed at a number of Regional Meetings this fall.

In his IMHA President’s Column, Murray Nickel offers a compelling analogy for encouraging international development work based on the torch from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. In the process, he poses a challenge and invitation to all readers of Mennonite Health Journal.

Finally, Paul Leichty, MHF Executive Director and editor of Mennonite Health Journal  offers some comments on Global Connections, particularly in the context of the MHF Annual Gathering 2015 followed by Mennonite World Conference Global Assembly. He ends by introducing us to three confirmed speakers as well as workshop topics that are planned.

In the United States, this is the season of Thanksgiving. Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship, along with its partners in this publication, International Mennonite Health Association and Mennonite Chaplains Association, want to express our thanks for your readership and support. We love hearing from you, particularly by email at

Published by
Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship
PO Box 918
Goshen, IN 46527-0918
Phone: 1-888-406-3643
Credits: Paul D. Leichty, Editor
Eric Lehman, Executive Editor
Photographs not otherwise attributed were supplied either by the author or acquired by Mennonite Health Journal.Additional photographs from the Internet

About the author

Paul D. LeichtyPaul D. Leichty, M.Div. was the first Executive Director of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF), serving from Sept. 2011 through May 2020.  Paul has served as a pastor, church musician, computer support person, disabilities advocate, and administrator/organizer of a number of church-related ministries. In addition to responsibilities at MHF, Paul is Executive Director of Congregational Accessibility Network and was formerly Director of User Services at  He is a member of Agape Fellowship of the Mennonite Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Twila Charles Leichty.