MCC Photo/Trish Elgersma

The crowd gathers as the auction begins!




The auction began.  Among the crowd stood two Syrian men whose families had recently been assisted by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and sponsored by Mennonite churches to resettle in Canada.  To their surprise, a loaf of bread sold for $200!


A sapling oak tree was next to auction.  The price climbed and climbed.  Enthusiasm filled the room. As the two Syrian men watched the bidding price rise, they began laughing and hugging each other.  Now they were beginning to understand some of the unique ways MCC gathers funds so people like they have been able to receive vital support during difficult times.  This small tree sold for $2500.  And so did the next one.


This was one of many wonderful moments from this year’s MCC Relief Sale held in Coaldale, Alberta,  June 10 & 11.


Three more trees sold, each bringing in between $2200-$2500.  All these trees were grown from acorns that fell from the giant old oak tree in the Chortitza area of Ukraine, that is famous in Mennonite historical memory.


Twenty bags of organically grown flour sold, bringing in a total of over $4500.


Rowis, a participant from Egypt in the International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP), ran for an hour and 45 minutes on a treadmill, while calling out to passersby, “You donate!  I’ll run for you!”  The donation basket was full after his run was complete.  See more.


As part of My Coins Count efforts, young children pulled a small wagon with a yellow, cardboard school bus mounted on top.  As they journeyed through the venue with lights flashing on the bus, people dropped coins into the wagon to support Edupaz, an education project in Colombia.  My Coins Count raised over $23,000.


Some favourite Mennonite dishes were enjoyed by long lines of hungry people, with all food prepared and served by volunteers.


Many beautiful quilts were auctioned off, in all shapes, sizes and colours.


The effort and energy that goes into a relief sale is huge.  The dividends are huge too.  MCC supporters gather from across the province of Alberta to eat together, laugh together, and bid against each other. In the end, they support a cause that reaches beyond their own families, countries, and faith groups as Christ’s followers working for God’s kingdom.


Over $218,000 was raised to support MCC’s ongoing international ministries.


What wonderful moments to remember and to guide us! 

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