Welcoming New Conference Related Ministries

by Sharon K. Williams, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life

What does Indonesia, India, Honduras, and Allentown have in common? See if you can figure it out!

At our upcoming Conference Assembly (November 1–2), Franconia Conference will welcome four exciting and unique organizations as Conference Related Ministries (CRMs).

Taproot Gap Year is a ministry with post high school young adults who are seeking a different way of living and exploring the world. Students can take a semester or a full year to live in Indonesia with homestay families, learn a new language, go to class, serve in internships, explore new places, and learn tools that help develop one’s faith and identity.

Taproot focuses on guiding students on their journey to understand who they want to be in this world, so what they do is fully professional, hands-on, and rooted in love and their calling. Taproot is a ministry of Philadelphia Praise Center, led by Pastor Aldo Siahaan, Lindy Backues, and staff of young adults who are passionate about supporting the witness of Christian young people in the world.

Peace Proclamation Ministries International (PPMI) is an evangelistic and church planting ministry with those living in India and in the USA. PPMI’s vision is to minister to and serve the unreached with God’s Word, which can lead into a personal encounter and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. PPMI focuses on training pastors, pastors’ wives, and youth through annual conferences, retreats, and gospel meetings. PPMI also supports the ministry of congregations through eye clinics and borewells, and practical ministry tools such as megaphones, bicycles, and sewing machines.

PPMI is led by Paulus and Sumatha Thalathoti (Plains congregation) and a very enthusiastic board of directors.

Healthy Niños Honduras focuses on helping children and their families beat the ravishes of malnutrition and poverty. The child survival programs include a residential nutrition center, deworming, water filtration systems, medical and construction brigades, and preventive health education. Currently, Healthy Niños works in the San Francisco de Yojoa, Cortes, area of Honduras. 

Healthy Niños is one of the outgrowth ministries of the MAMA Project. Herman Sagastume serves as the executive director, with board members representing several Franconia Conference congregations.

Ripple Community Inc (RCI)  is guided by its vision of Allentown as a community where everyone has a role to play, a diverse network of social support, and a connection to the place they call home. Its programs serve over 150 Allentown residents. RCI’s Community Building Center is the only day center in Allentown that is open to the public. RCI Village is the first permanent, community-supported, affordable housing program in Allentown. RCI uses restorative practices to foster a safe, healthy, and supportive community among its participants.

RCI emerged from the work of Ripple Church, which ministers with people who are on the margins of society in Allentown to restore critical relationships, build community, and address material and relational needs. RCI was founded in 2015 to take the work of Ripple Church into the broader community. Sherri Brokopp Binder serves as executive director, along with staff and board members from Ripple Church and the Allentown community.

These four organizations are manifestations of the growth of God’s kingdom in our midst! Each ministry, in its own way, is sharing the gospel of Christ in an appointed area, as well as building relational bridges with our conference community. Join us at our Conference Assembly (worship on Friday, November 1, 7 p.m., and business sessions on Saturday, November 2, 9 a.m., Souderton Mennonite Church) to celebrate this movement of God among us!