Two years ago, MCC launched Undercurrents, its first podcast telling in-depth stories from our program participants, staff, and partners in Ontario. Undercurrents was designed to allow a fuller, more immersive experience of hearing the incredible narratives coming from our programs right here in Ontario. Undercurrents producer and host Ken Ogasawara was recently featured in the Canadian Mennonite to share the process of creating Undercurrents. Click here to read the full story.
Now that we’ve released Season 2 in its entirety, here are all seven episodes with themes ranging from restorative justice, to living wage, to miracles.
MCC photo/Thunder Air
“It is a conflicting thing in one’s heart and mind when you feel you’ve done something, when you feel you meant well...The important thing really is owning the effects. We must own the whole story.” - Merle Nisly
In this episode, we hear how a former residential school worker reconciles his past. His story challenges all of us beyond our good intentions. It’s powerful listening for all settlers on this land we call Canada.
“When they look at me, they don’t see me as an offender. They see the good in me and they bring that good out of me. I know there’s a good person inside me. I know there’s a lot of good I can do in this world.” - Chuck
In these last two episodes of Season 2, we walk with a father’s anguish and resilient hope as he copes with unimaginable challenges due to a crime his son, Chuck, has committed. We hear from Chuck himself as well as his therapist as we ask ourselves ‘How can we keep our community safe from sexual harm?’ The answer might not be what we expect.
These episodes cover some heavy topics, including pedophilia and suicide. We don’t go into details, but please take care as you listen.
Photo/Pooja Chaudhary on Unsplash
“So I remember I opened the fridge, the fridge was empty [and there was] no money. The girls came, they said, ‘Mom, we’re hungry.’ I was like, ‘Okay, don’t worry. I’m going to make some food for you.’
"I sat there and I started crying and I remember, I looked to the sky [and] said, ‘I always deny you. I always neglect you. I always rejected you, if you exist and you are the God, send food for these two girls.’” - Maysoun
We hear the story of Maysoun and her family whose lives were saved through not one, but multiple miracles. We explore the questions: What are miracles? Have you experienced one? And is it possible to create miracles ourselves?
WALKING WITH PEOPLE IN POVERTY
“So imagine I’m working six days a week. And on the seventh day, there is no rest. You can’t stay [at the shelter] and everywhere you go, because of course, you have your things with you, such as they are, so the moment you sit somewhere, somebody is going to approach you and say, ‘You're loitering. You need to leave.’” - Marjorie
In this episode, we explore the definition of “making a living” – what does that mean? How much is enough? And what happens when you can’t make it? We hear from Marjorie who went from a prosperous career in Jamaica to homelessness in Canada and out the other side. Also, you find out why we love our sponsor and community partner Kindred Credit Union so much.
Canadian Mennonite photo/Janet Bauman
“All of the items that we’re sending are gifts. And when gift-giving, we want to always give our best.” - Jon Lebold, Material Resources Coordinator, Ontario
This episode is about how and why MCC’s relief materials are created as gifts and the incredible story of how one such handmade item changed the life of a young teenager in a refugee camp over forty years ago.
“You can’t just fight against [injustice]; you have to fight for, you have to see the thing that you can make, the thing that you can build together, and you have to love it. Even when it’s grotesque, you have to love it. And then you will be given the strength to build it even when it’s constantly being destroyed.” - Lia Tarachansky
Israeli Jewish filmmaker Lia Tarachansky tells a powerful story of shared humanity and shared home, and then challenges all of us who live on settled land.
Palestinian poet Izzy Hawamda shares his haunting poetry throughout this episode as he grieves the ongoing tragedies of the occupation and shares his hopes for the future.
Thank you to our loyal listeners for going on this journey with us. Many of you have shared an episode or two with your church as a way to open up discussion around a particular issue, for example. Please listen as you have time, and share with friends, family, church, and community.
We are deeply grateful to our friends at Kindred Credit Union who sponsored Undercurrents and who partner with MCC on many initiatives in our community.