Rebecca Riek and Ly Vang complete AMBS Journey Missional Leadership Development Program

From Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary reports - Annette Brill Bergstresser — In 2022, six participants completed the Journey Missional Leadership Development Program of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. Two of those were from MCEC - Rebecca Riek and Ly Vang. The distance-friendly undergraduate-level certificate program develops leaders centered in Jesus Christ for ministries in local churches and communities. It’s designed for pastors, those exploring a call to ministry, church planters and lay leaders. The program consists of online study, biweekly meetings with a mentor, and two in-person gatherings per year.

Rebecca Riek

Rebecca RiekRebecca Riek of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, is involved in the Intercultural Committee of her church, First Mennonite Church in Kitchener.

“We organize events and plan services that are multicultural, e.g., choosing songs in different languages to sing for worship or praying in different languages,” she said. “I also work within my community as a faith leader to participate in praying during funeral services or events such as baptisms.”

Riek is now pursuing a Master of Divinity with a major in Christian Faith Formation through AMBS’s distance-friendly MDiv Connect program. Her mentor in the Journey program was Rebecca Yoder Neufeld (MDiv 1981), also of First Mennonite in Kitchener. Riek is married to Joseph Wuol, and they have six children. She also serves on the MCEC Mission Council.

(Photo Credit: Jason Bryant) 


Ly Vang

Ly VangLy Vang of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, has been involved in leadership for many years in her congregation, First Hmong Mennonite Church in Kitchener. She has served as a Sunday school director, church treasurer, youth director and elder, in addition to helping with the Hmong women’s ministries. She has also served as an MCEC representative to Mennonite Church Canada. Currently she is a mission elder and helps support refugee families sponsored by the church.

Vang described how the Journey program gave her not only strength, but also another perspective on Mennonite history.

“The program helped me to see the history of Anabaptists and their suffering, how they have grown and how from generation to generation they’re still growing,” she reflected. “They have impacted the community. I feel like I had seen the fruit [of the tree], but now I see people as a part of the root, and I see how strong it is and where it is holding the tree. It can bring blooms and beauty and bear fruit for others to eat. Journey helped me to see the root from the beginning to now. I see myself as part of the fruit and the leaves and the beauty of it.”

“The program also helped me to see further who God is and who I am,” she added. “It helped me understand that being a Christian is not just believing the Word but doing the work. Helping, saving and healing the community — not just by words but by actions and the practice of faith.”

Vang’s mentor in the program was Nancy Brubaker (Certificate 1983) of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener. Vang is married to Toua Vang, and they have five children and six grandchildren.

(Photo Credit: Peter Ringenberg)

Congratulations both to Rebecca and Ly! To read the complete article, visit the AMBS website.