Last week we had the pleasure of going through our first country program review with our Area Directors.
Arthur and Phyllis Mann are multi-term MCCers who live in Chiang Mai and supervise programs in Southeast Asia. Their wealth of experience in MCC, in international living and in transitions and living abroad with kids is so valuable to us at each visit.
During the program review, we completed a long checklist discussing big picture and details about the program. We talked about everything from where God is at work in the country, MCC office culture, staff benefits and safeguarding policies and training. We reviewed audits, counted cash boxes and compared partner financial reports to disbursements. We talked about the long term strategic plan of the region and ways to collaborate with neighboring countries.
One take-away I had from our many conversations about work was how so many of our partner organizations are already in-line with the overarching strategic vision for MCC. We have strong partnerships with local NGOs working with marginalized people, working for peace and working for climate change. Connections with the Anabaptist church here are different from other parts of the world because Christians make up such a small percentage of the population, but the local Mennonite church is home to many IVEP and YAMEN alumni and we feel privileged to connect with them regularly through our Global Service Learning programs. Another take-away I had was how much MCC has professionalized. While I have certainly been learning this over the last months, my finance staff impressed me again with their ability to quickly find any report and supporting documents, and Charles and I were easily able to access most HR and Program files.
In addition to many work conversations, we were able to host Arthur and Phyllis in our home during the week and they spent their evenings reading to our girls (they came prepared with a new book each evening!), celebrating Charlotte’s birthday with us, and baking treats for the office staff. We are blessed to be part of a “family style” work environment!