This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Caring for workers

I commend Harvey Yoder for “What Would Jesus Earn?” When pastors in our country are paid $80,000 and up, shouldn’t we pay our missionaries and service workers accordingly? I have for many years watched churches send young people to foreign fields through Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Board of Missions and other organizations. Some upon returning have little or no health insurance and inadequate retirement plans. I know of two extreme cases, not within the Mennonite church, where the couples are practically destitute, with one couple living in their daughter’s basement. One couple had been in the mission field for almost 40 years. Neither receives Social Security or health insurance. In another case, a couple who spent 10 years with MCC returned with only a small retirement plan and little health insurance. Agencies like MCC and Everence have to step up with plans to transition these service workers back to domestic life. Congregations should help.

Vern Zehr
Fisher, Ill.

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