Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being Menno

As some of you may have gleaned from my postings, I am a Mennonite.  I love my heritage, the food, love for family, hard work ethic and the food!  Recently my husband and I were interviewed for a short blerb for our local MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) website.  Here's the story:

Folks from all over the globe are fans of MCC BC but the 500thperson to like “Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia” on Facebook lives right in our neighbourhood: Abbotsford resident, Justin Ott.
Justin was born and raised here and attended South Abbotsford MB church during his childhood. He and his wife Monica (who hails from Mission and grew up at Cedar Valley Mennonite Church) have been married for 6 years. They now attend Northview Community Church.
Justin’s family has a multigenerational connection to MCC.
“MCC helped my grandparents come from Paraguay to Canada,” he says. “I think because of that, MCC has always been a big part of our family’s lives.”
His “Oma”, Gratel Matis, came to Canada from Europe via Paraguay with the help of MCC. Mrs. Matis remembers living in Germany, waiting to begin their new life in a new country. They each slept on an MCC blanket and had another to cover themselves with. She also remembers that they were fed by MCC. When they arrived in South America, MCC also took care of them there, helping them get started. A family from Yarrow, BC eventually sponsored her and her husband, Ulrich, and so they came to Canada.
“We are very thankful that MCC helped us,” she says. “MCC was very good to us.”
Justin’s grandmother instilled an appreciation for MCC in her family. Whether they were living in Vancouver or in the Fraser Valley, where she lives now, Mrs. Matis always volunteered with MCC. Justin and Monica do the same, shopping and donating to the MCC thrift shops here and also attending the annual MCC Festival for World Relief.
When they’re not doing that, the Ott’s have a variety of things that keep them busy. They have a gorgeous yellow Lab named Roofus. Justin is an outdoorsman and competes in Olympic-style weightlifting. Monica loves gardening and creates beautiful jewelry pieces from recycled materials. They are expecting their first child in February, which will make his “Oma” a great-grandmother, which she is very excited about.
Social media is also a part of their lives; Monica markets her jewelry on Facebook and has a blog and etsy store as well. Justin sees MCC BC’s Facebook page as a useful tool.
“Facebook is a great way for us to see updates and be informed of upcoming events,” he says.
You can “like” us too: Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia on facebook!


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