J Ron Byler

Dan Jantzi and Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi of Lowville, N.Y., are MCC’s area directors for Southeast Asia.

Name: Dan Jantzi and Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi

Hometown: Lowville, N.Y. (Lowville Mennonite Church)

Assignment: As area directors for MCC’s programs in Southeast Asia, we work with MCC representatives and programs in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. We help interpret and communicate the complex realities of MCC programs and partners in Southeast Asia for MCC staff in Canada and the U.S., and help those in Southeast Asia better understand MCC.

“We love hearing people’s stories and asking questions to learn more about their context and their work.” -Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi

Serving with MCC: Since 1989 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria.

Typical day: On office days, we spend hours communicating with people in other parts of the world via email and Skype. On our frequent travels, we meet with MCC personnel and partners across Southeast Asia. We’ve lived in Indonesia for the past 12 years and stayed there until our youngest son finished high school this May. Now we’re relocating to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we will work in the MCC Asia regional office.

Joys: Sitting on the floor in a bamboo stilt house in the pouring rain and hearing neighbour women eagerly interrupting each other to tell the stories of how they have worked for change in their community. We also enjoy working with MCC representatives to imagine and plan effective programs.

Challenge: Dealing with time differences of up to 12 hours between our office and MCC offices in other parts of the world. Also, beginning this year, all three of our children will be on the other side of the world — in Idaho and Virginia. Now we know how our parents must have felt!