Bogotá, Colombia – Mennonite World Conference has appointed four new staff members: two regional representatives for Africa, a regional representative for Europe and an executive assistant to the general secretary. The staff members will begin their new roles September 1.
In announcing the appointment of these new staff members, MWC general secretary César García said, “Our Anabaptist communities around the world have been blessed with wonderful leaders who choose to serve in and through the church, practicing what we believe: that the church has a central role in God’s plan of reconciliation for our world. It is a blessing for us to have these leaders joining the MWC staff. Thanks to the churches that are sharing these leaders with our global communion.”
The two representatives who will nurture relations with member and associate member churches in Africa are Francisca Ibanda and Rebecca Osiro.
Francisca Ibanda, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is chair of the MWC Africa Caucus and a member of the MWC Executive Committee. As Central Africa Representative, she will be responsible for relationships with churches in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Burundi.
Rebecca Osiro, of Kenya, is a theologian-pastor and the first woman ordained to ministry in the Kenya Mennonite Church. She is a member of the MWC Faith and Life Commission and has represented MWC in the trilateral dialogue between Mennonites, Catholics and Lutherans. As Eastern Africa Representative, will be responsible for relationships with churches in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Tanzania.
The representative who will nurture relations with member and associate member churches in Europe is Henk Stenvers. Stenvers, of the Netherlands, is general secretary / director of Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit (Dutch Mennonite Church) and secretary of the MWC Deacons Commission.
His role as Europe regional representative is combined with his appointment as European Mennonite coordinator, an initiative of the majority of European Mennonite conferences, who also finance the position.
Serving as executive assistant to the general secretary is Sandra Báez. Sandra is senior pastor of the Iglesia Torre Fuerte (Strong Tower Mennonite Brethren Church) in Bogotá, Colombia. She has a master’s degree in peacemaking and conflict studies from Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, California, USA).
MWC news release by Devin Manzullo-Thomas
Rebecca Osiro Henk Stenvers Sandra Báez