Like a Mustard Seed: Mennonites in Paraguay

Like a Mustard Seed: Mennonites in Paraguay

by Edgar Stoesz


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Edgar Stoesz tells the inspiring story of the Russian, Canadian, and Mexican Mennonites who, beginning in 1927, immigrated to Paraguay and made a new homeland out of the jungle wilderness. This is a fascinating story that deserves a prominent place in the annuals of Mennonite history.

“Edgar Stoesz’s book offers an important overview of the many dimensions to the Mennonite experience in Paraguay. This book is a compendium of rich descriptions from the perspective of a first-person observer, with interesting anecdotes and case studies of church life, economic development, health care, women’s contributions, and relations with indigenous peoples.” —Marlene Epp, Conrad Grebel University College<\p>

“This book is a “must read” for anyone planning to attend the 2009 Mennonite World Conference in Paraguay—or for anyone at home who wants to know what they are missing.”—John D. Roth, Goshen College, author of Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be<\p>

“Edgar Stoesz is a fascinating story teller. He uses facts, stories, incidents, and anecdotes to make history come alive with thoroughness, sensitivity, and care.”—Erwin Boschmann, author of Paraguay: A Tour Guide<\p>

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780836194203
Publisher: MennoMedia
Publication date: 08/28/2008
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Alfred Neufeld 9

Preface 15

Use of Terms 19

Part 1 How They Gathered

1 Mennonites Search for Paraguay 25

2 Menno Colony 35

3 Fernheim Colony 47

4 Friesland Colony 59

5 Neuland and Volendam Colonies 69

6 Sommerfeld and Bergthal Colonies 81

7 Mexican Colonies 93

8 Swiss Mennonite and Amish Colonies 103

9 The Indigenous People 109

Part 2 How They Prospered

10 Church: A Spiritual Foundation 121

11 Cooperatives: The Economic Engine 133

12 Roads: Making A Way Out of Isolation 141

13 Credit: Leveraging Hard Work 149

14 Scientific Agriculture: From Wasteland to Breadbasket 157

15 Women: They Made it Possible 169

16 Health: A Human Prerequisite 181

17 Education: Preparing the Next Generation 191

18 Asuncion: A Role Born of Necessity 207

Part 3 How They Are Giving Back

19 Mission: The Fruit of the Church 211

20 Indigenous Missions: Neighbors Become Friends and Heirs with Christ 221

21 Leprosy Mission: How Mennonites Say 'Thank You' 235

22 Nachbarschaftshilfe: Help Your Neighbor 245

23 Political Engagement: Serving in the Public Domain 251

24 Chaplaincy: Mission in the Marketplace 263

25 Voluntary Service: It Is in Giving 269

26 Partnerships: The Value of Collaboration 277

Afterword 287

Maps 299

Sources 303

Photo Credits 309

The Author 311

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