I love the growth parables of Jesus. The sower, on uneven terrain, indiscriminately throws out seed and it multiplies in dramatic fashion — 30, 60, 100 times (Mat. 13:1-9). The tiny mustard seed, after sprouting and taking root, becomes a shrub big and strong enough for nesting birds (Mat.13:31). These are stories of surprise, small beginnings with big endings, unlikely successes and astronomical gains.

MCC’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP) is a growth story too. In many places I’ve travelled in my work with MCC, I’ve met church, business and societal leaders who say their year with IVEP strongly influenced their development. 

IVEP has had more than 3,500 participants since the beginning of the program in 1950. Add in MCC’s other young adult exchange programs — Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN) and Serving and Learning Together (SALT), and the changes in the lives of people and communities both here and around the world are substantial — mustard plants in full bloom, seeds planted and multiplied 30, 60 and 100 times.

Don Peters
MCC Canada Executive Director