Visit to showcase Mindanao peacebuilding
by VMC Staff
Harrisonburg has the rare opportunity to host MCC Canada Witness workers, Dann and Joji Pantoja, from October 2 to Oct 6.
There will be a special event at Grace Mennonite Church, 7:00 pm, on Wednesday, October 3, to hear them share about their work with Peacebuilders Community in the conflicted region of Mindanao, Philippines.
As a young man raised in a church planting family, it was the radical communism sweeping through the Philippiines that fired Dann’s imagination; later, it was a purge within those ranks that led to Dann’s emigration from the Philippines to Canada.
After 9/11, God led Dann to eschew violence and embrace a theology of peace. A gifted communicator and effective organizer, Dann has returned to the Philippines, founding Peacebuilders Community in conflict-ridden Mindanao.
When asked what fuels his excitement and positive outlook in life despite the negative stuff happening around him, he responds, “It’s the positive influence of Jesus, a first century Palestinian carpenter who was executed by the imperial power of his time. He said: ‘Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.’ He defied death—the ultimate negative factor in our cosmos.”
Dann’s wife Joji left a successful career in the investment and financial industry to join Dann in ministry in Mindanao, realizing that sustainable economic development is crucial to her people’s search for just-peace. She says, “I can’t imagine having a summary of my life printed on my tombstone as: ‘Spent her life managing rich people’s money.’ I want to be remembered as: “A person who walked with the people as they find dignity through sustainable economic development.”
Dann and Joji will also be sharing in the following venues:
Eastern Mennonite Seminary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 2
EMU Chapel, Wednesday, Oct. 3
EMHS Chapel, Thursday, Oct. 4
For more information, please contact Carol Tobin at [email protected]