Update Newsletter

October 2019 Volume 42 Number 11
Mission Festival Preview
“Breaking Bondages”
Sunday, October 27th
Prayer Stations Begin (open through Nov. 10th)
Sunday, November 3rd
Sunday School: Jamie Farr
Morning and Evening Services: Jamie Farr
Tuesday, November 5th
10 am: Coffee Break at Swiss Village Social Corner, Cory and Allison Sprunger
Wednesday, November 6th
5:45 pm: Ethnic Carry-In
7:00 pm: Evening Service, Gladys Maina
Sunday, November 10th
Sunday School: Chet Miller-Eshelman
Morning and Evening Services: Brinton Rutherford
Mission Festival Speakers:
Cory and Allison Sprunger are the owners of Sprunger & Sprunger, a network of 3 law firms in Berne, Bluffton, and Portland consisting of 8 attorneys and 7 non-attorney staff. Rose Sprunger is a certified Life Coach, Registered Nurse, and Adjunct Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. Mitch Sprunger is the financial coach for Genesis and holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and is a National Director for Philips Healthcare. The Sprungers collectively had the idea of Genesis when they encountered clients in their private practices who needed assistance but lacked the financial means to pay for it and were genuinely in need of help. Upon brainstorming and discussions with Pastor Jeff, the idea emerged that we could create a non-profit organization that would provide a client who demonstrated financial need and had already made the commitment to change their lives, the emergency legal services to deal with the emergent legal crisis.

The client contracts with Genesis Legal & Life Aid Clinic and pays 20% of the costs of the estimated legal services, financial coaching, life coaching, and counseling. The purpose of the 20% contribution from the client is to ensure they have some "skin in the game" and understand the great financial impact and resources the organization expends on their behalf. The service provider would then donate half of the remaining cost. The client would be required to complete 6 financial coaching sessions, 6 life coaching sessions, and 6 counseling sessions in order to receive the legal services. The idea is that we are helping the client through the emergency legal scenario they are in, but we are also hoping to address the client in a more holistic approach through the life coaching, financial coaching, and counseling to work on and address the underlying things that gave rise to the legal emergency in the first place.
Brinton Rutherford grew up in Lancaster County but not in a Mennonite community. His primary contact with Anabaptism occurred during his theological training in California at Fuller Theological Seminary in the 1990s. As a convinced Mennonite, his journey travels along Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and now Anabaptist/Mennonite paths. His work includes five years at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, adjunct teaching at Messiah College and Eastern Mennonite Seminary, as well as working for 12 years as a resource staff person for Lancaster Mennonite Conference on missional Anabaptist identity and missional Anabaptist leadership.


Gladys Maina was born and raised in Kenya, East Africa. She made a choice to turn away from church after contact with a corrupted religious leader, becoming bitter and ending up a tormentor of Christians. Her mom, siblings and the believers in her high school would not stop praying for her and showing her the love of Jesus. God's grace broke through after 7 years of rebellion. The transforming work of God set her free, full of joy to share the gospel around the country. She met and later married Simon. They moved to the States and continued preaching the love of Jesus during their Bible school and college days. Since 1995, they minister at Morning Star Ministries in Muncie, Indiana, reaching out through preaching, feeding and clothing all in need. They continually witness God in action as He sets people free from addictions, disease and strongholds. They are blessed with 3 children by birth, 2 by adoption, 4 by marriage and 4 grandchildren. To God be all the glory.

Jamie Farr serves with Wycliffe USA as vice president for Planning, Staffing and Development. He leads a national team comprised of three different areas: Workforce Planning and Recruitment, Staffing, and Development~Orientation~Training. Jamie’s teams are responsible for engaging with our global partners to determine the workforce needs in the future for each area of the world. Collaboratively they identify the needs, the likely future scenarios, and prayerfully consider how to invite the global church to participate together. The various teams recruit, invite, assess, place, and develop sufficient numbers of Godly people for Bible Translation roles. Jamie grew up as the son of Bible translators in Papua New Guinea. Jamie and Anita have four adopted children. Anita grew up as a farm girl in Lititz, PA, where she worshipped at Lititz Mennonite Church. Both Jamie and his wife, Anita, have a breadth of experience in education, training, and leadership in various contexts. Their mission statement as a family is to accelerate the return of Christ. Jamie’s experience as a missionary kid and a global nomad help bring a different exposure to those considering global service. Jamie’s background in various cultures, cross-cultural experiences, and diverse leadership opportunities have taught him a dependence on God in all seasons. Jamie has a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton and has served on various boards.

Chet Miller-Eshelman: As a child and adolescent, Chet often went along with his father as he witnessed or gave pastoral care. There he gained a heart and interest in all types of people who did not know Jesus. Later, as a teen, he helped his parents with their first urban church plant. After earning a BA in Bible, Chet married his wife, Holly. They served overseas with MCC in Jamaica, then attended seminary at AMBS in Elkhart. Later, Chet was completing the coursework for a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution at George Mason Univ. when he sensed God redirecting him from his preparations for university teaching to the pastorate and outreach. The Miller-Eshleman’s and their three children were first active at Capital Christian Fellowship (a revitalization of Cottage City Mennonite) in the Washington D.C. area where Chet served as co-pastor along with his father. These were fruitful years. The church grew reaching many for Christ from many cultures and backgrounds. In 2003, the family left for a four-year term with MCC in Colombia, a beautiful but violent, war-torn country, where they first learned Spanish. Chet helped develop and grow a church-based conflict resolution center, led trainings for pastors, teachers and administrators, and served alongside pastors and boards, helping with church growth and leadership development in many challenging settings. The Miller-Eshleman’s moved to Dover, Ohio, in 2007, with a clear call from Christ and nearby Mennonite churches to church plant. By God's grace, Chet and Holly founded LifeBridge Community Church in their home. Through witness, evangelism, and connecting through sports and creative “entry points,” like soccer in the park, the church grew, making an impact on their community and changing many lives. Now God’s calling again—this time to church planting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mission Festival Donation Transition
FMC has members who are currently reaching out to individuals recently released from the Adams County Detention Center. Since Adams County does not have the programs often needed when individuals are released from incarceration, the Mission Festival Budget has included the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission as it can assist those individuals who might need specialized care and counsel coming from the detention center.
The food shower, formerly directed to the Lima Rescue Mission, will now be directed to the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. †


Notes of Appreciation
Dear First Mennonite Church Family,
I just wanted to thank everyone who held me up in prayer, visited me at the hospital, and sent cards through my recent illness the past six weeks.
I’m feeling much better and can feel the power of prayer. I’m still doing IV therapy and therapy at Swiss Village. God is good.
Sincerely, Nancy Mock

Dear First Mennonite Church,
We wanted to thank you again for the gift you gave at Mission Festival several years ago enabling us to serve on staff at North Dakota SIL this summer. David was teaching the course, Media Technology for Linguistic Research. One of his students, a young man from Indonesia, knew 9 different languages and has already contributed to several Bible translation projects in his home country. I was one of the lead teachers for the baby/toddler childcare class. Nine of the elven children in our classes had parents either preparing for or involved in Bible translation and mission work around the world. With this being the final summer of classes after 67 years on campus at the University of North Dakota, the SIL community spent time reflecting on and celebrating what these years have meant. Our director estimated that students from the North Dakota SIL program have worked in approximately 1000 of the world's 7000 known languages. We feel grateful for having had the opportunity to be a small piece of serving in this way. May God continue to multiply the work of this program to bring His good news to those who have not yet heard.
With gratitude Gretta (Yoder) Owen & Family †


Sunshine Hour
A Sunshine Hour Hymn Sing will take place on October 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. You are invited to join in the singing, to listen on the scanner, or to watch at Swiss Village! Got a favorite you'd like to sing/hear? Call Orlyn or Lois Lehman at 589-3776 for it to be considered to be added to the list. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord! †


Home Going
Brooks “Bud” Marble, age 77, of Berne, Indiana, passed from this life to the next on Friday, September 13, 2019, after a fall that caused a traumatic brain injury, which led to his unexpected death.
Bud was born October 18, 1941, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Violet and Brooks S. Marble. He was united in marriage to Anita Nussbaum on July 14,
1962, at First Mennonite Church in Berne. An expert craftsman in the tool and die business, Bud began his career at L.H. Carbide in Fort Wayne, and then, later started a business with his brother-in-law, Gary Nussbaum, known as Swiss Craft Precision Grinding in Berne. From there, he went on to start Hoosier Quality Grinding in Berne. After retirement, Bud volunteered as a bus driver with the Berne Nursery School program for many years. Bud served as trustee and usher at First Mennonite Church in Berne, where Bud and Anita were longtime members together.
Bud is survived by his wife of 57 years, Anita Marble of Berne; daughter, Tracy (Charles) Marble Buller of Goshen, Indiana; and a son, Jeff (Dena) Marble of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bud was a grandpa to five grandchildren, Jonathon and Noah Marble, and Sylas, Andre’ and Joelle Buller. Bud is also survived by his three sisters: Roseanne (Richard) Dudgeon, Sharon (Roger) LeFever and Janice (Marvin) Schaadt.

Janet Kae Bixler, 76, a lifelong resident of Berne, Indiana, passed away on Friday, October 4, 2019, at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
She was born on June 18, 1943, in Berne, Indiana to the late Forrest Danner and the late Helen (Sprunger) Beer. She was united in marriage to Fred Bixler on January 14, 1962, at First Mennonite Church in Berne. Janet was a member of First Mennonite Church and enjoyed using her quilting talents for the Women’s Ministry Group. She was a lifelong homemaker and also assisted in the office as needed for Berne Hi-Way Hatchery. She also worked briefly for Home Dairy in Berne.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Fred Bixler of Berne, Indiana; son, Bob (Lisa) Bixler of Geneva, Indiana; son, Dr. Scott (Joni) Bixler of Berne, Indiana; daughter, Aimee (Dr. Jay) Hwang of Chicago, Illinois; and seven grandchildren, Kylee Bixler, Braden Bixler, Emily Hwang, Brooklyn Bixler, Gracyn Bixler, Ella Hwang, and Kapri Bixler.

Rev. Jerry Flueckiger, 81, of Berne, Indiana, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at Swiss Village in Berne, Indiana.
He was born on April 26, 1938, in Decatur, Indiana to the late John Flueckiger and the late Ella (Gerber) Scare. Jerry was united in marriage to Bonnie Cook on August 27, 1960, and she survives. Jerry was a faithful member of First Mennonite Church in Berne, serving the Lord in many capacities as Youth Minister, Christian Educator, Interim Pastor, and the Care and Visitation Pastor. He also was a Sunday school teacher, served on the church board, and sang in the church choir and Men’s Chorus. Jerry was also a past director of the Swiss Heritage Society and volunteered at Adams Memorial Hospital.
Jerry served the Lord as a pastor for over 55 years in St. Peter UCC in Van Wert, St. Paul UCC in Van Wert County, Toledo, Rockford, Ohio, St. John UCC in Vera Cruz, St. Luke UCC in Decatur, Cross UCC, and First Mennonite Churches in Berne.
He was also a teacher for Van Wert, South Adams, and Bluffton – Harrison schools. Jerry also coached sports at South Adams and Bluffton – Harrison schools. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Bonnie Flueckiger of Berne, Indiana; son Mark (Kim) Flueckiger of Huntington, Indiana; son, David (Debbie) Flueckiger of Fort Wayne, Indiana; brother, Charles (Connie) Lane of Bryant, Indiana; brother, Elmer Scare of rural Geneva, Indiana; brother, Phil (Teresa) Scare of Waterloo, South Carolina; sister, Elmyra Wolfe of Decatur, Indiana; six grandchildren, Erica Kirchner, Kelcey Zaugg, Joy Miller, Calvin Flueckiger, Tyler Flueckiger, and Taylor Flueckiger; and nine great-grandchildren, Kaidon Flueckiger, Braxten Kirchner, Bohden Kirchner, Logan Kirchner, Degan Kirchner, Kacyn Zaugg, Kreighten Zaugg, Kashden Zaugg, and Kixley Zaugg.
Jerry is preceded in death by a daughter, Beth Maag; brother, David Scare; step-father, Karl Scare; and sister-in-law, Kathryn Esibell Scare. †

Michiana Relief Sale Recap
The 2019 Michiana Relief Sale is now history but the money raised will continue to support disaster relief in North America throughout the year. The total came to $445,000. Thank you all for your part in helping us send 7 quilts, 350 craft items, 115 baked goods both from here and Emmaus Rd., and $1,511 through the Quarter Towers & checks for My Coins Count. Note: Please return Quarter Towers so we can reuse them next year! †

MCC Meat Canner Coming Soon!
The calendar has turned to October. The leaves are changing, the harvest is going on around us, and we are preparing our homes for the winter. What else is preparation going on for? The 2020 MCC Meat Canner!  We are back on the schedule! God has answered the prayers of many as a full staff was found, and the Mobile Canner has started the schedule. The canner unit will be arriving in Berne at the end of January, with the canning to be January 24th and 25th!
What can you do? Please be in prayer for the Mobile Canning Unit and the young men who staff it, those making the preparation for the Berne stop, and that we will have people to volunteer the two days the canner is in Berne. (We will also need housing for the 4 young men during their stay.) And, last but not least, consider a monetary donation to help cover the cost of the stop. Mark your calendars for January 24th and 25th, 2020. We hope you will be able to come be a part of helping those in need. As the Bible states in Matthew 25:35, “for I was hungry and you gave me food,” let us be the hands of Jesus. †