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Short-term work for long-term change: an early history of SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture.

Abstract: The Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition has long regarded service to others as a natural extension of Christian faith. This commitment has taken many forms, including the development of several programs that provide short-term service opportunities for young people. In recent years, however, critics have expressed strong reservations about the integrity and efficacy of short-term service work. This article explores these concerns by tracing the early history of three Mennonite-affiliated service organizations--SWAP, DOOR, and Group Venture. Because all of these programs were created primarily for educational purposes, were responding to clearly articulated needs in local communities, and did not divert resources from longer-term initiatives, the essay concludes that they have been largely successful in achieving their goals without doing harm to host communities.

 Short-term mission is an enterprise in which the rich, the white, the
 young and old can come, drain local resources and build a church in
 the process, never taking the time to teach a craft or empower young
 Mexican-Americans to pursue their education. ... The demonic cycle of
 white dominance continues to perpetuate itself as short-term mission
 develops white leaders and instills in white youth and adults the
 myth of white superiority. ... If the Mennonite church wants to
 continue to believe the lie that it is doing "good work," then the
 Mennonite church is only interested in continuing the development of
 gringo society. (1)

These sharp words, published in the July 3, 2001, issue of The Mennonite, expressed the frustrations of several leaders of the Unidad Cristiana de Iglesias Menonitas, a largely Hispanic district of the South Texas Mennonite churches. In an open letter entitled "Stories of Protest about Short-Term Mission," the local church leaders called on the Mennonite Church to reexamine the "debilitated state of the church's missional focus," and they defended their concerns with several troubling stories about their experience with Mennonite short-term mission workers who came to South Texas. (2)

In a later interview, Felipe Hinojosa, one of the authors of the letter, highlighted additional frustrations that the local South Texas community faced with short-term mission programs. After graduating from college in 1999, Hinojosa had helped to host volunteer groups, and he frequently felt little respect from incoming groups. Moreover, these local hosts diverted their energy to meet the needs of incoming groups--as a result of working with volunteer groups Hinojosa and others often fell behind in their own work and even spent money out of their own pocket. For Hinojosa, the final insult was a Mennonite group that came intent on helping a local pastor repair his roof. The pastor, who was leaving on a trip, asked that they not work on his house while he was gone. Nevertheless, the group began renovating his house after he had left. The project was more complicated than they had thought, and they left well before they had finished the project. To make matters worse, they did not send any money to finish the job. (3) In Hinojosa's perspective, the short-term mission project had turned his South Texas community into the "whore of the Mennonite Church." (4)

Since the mid-twentieth century Mennonite youth and school groups have participated in numerous short-term service programs. Many of these were initially based on locally organized, ad hoc initiatives and personal contacts with local communities and service organizations. In the early 1980s, however, Mennonite service agencies recognized the need for a more systematic approach toward short-term service programs, and by the mid-1980s three programs emerged that provided weeklong summer service opportunities to Christian high school students. In 1985 Mennonite Central Committee--the joint relief and service agency associated with most North American Mennonite churches--created Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) in Southeastern Kentucky and set up Denver Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) in Colorado the following year. Also in 1985, Mennonite Board of Mission--an agency of the (Old) Mennonite Church--started Group Venture, which operated in several cities throughout the United States, particularly in the West and Midwest. SWAP and DOOR, both of which remain in operation, have each provided service opportunities for over 10,000 Mennonite participants. (5) Group Venture no longer exists, but over 13,000 Mennonites participated in its program before it was merged into DOOR in 2004. (6) Other Mennonite short-term service programs began in the mid-1990s as interest in such projects for youth groups blossomed, touching the lives of dozens of host communities and thousands of Christian young people.

But were these Mennonite service programs really as bad as Mennonites in South Texas asserted? Did they exploit and harm local communities? Were they part of a "demonic cycle of white racism?" And did they damage the Mennonite Church's effort to promote service work that genuinely empowered local communities? Looking at these programs' early histories offers insight into these questions. Certainly, these programs were not perfect. Created for educational purposes in response to declining interest in Mennonite service programs, short-term service projects often failed to meet an ideal standard for Mennonite mission and service. Ultimately, however, these programs did effectively educate young people and promote a healthy long-term service ethic among Mennonite young people without harming host communities or detracting from the long-term initiatives of Mennonite service agencies.


The precise form of short-term service or mission projects can vary widely, but generally the model includes weekend trips, weeklong trips, college spring or summer break trips, or six-month to two-year terms. While definitions about what exactly constitutes short-term missions vary, it is worth noting that a large majority of short-term experiences last less than two months. (7) During the past thirty years, these types of short-term activities have experienced extraordinary growth. In the 1980s, the number of individuals participating in short-term mission programs increased from 25,000 to 120,000, an increase of nearly 400 percent. At the same time the number of organizations in the United States promoting short-term service grew from 50 to 400. (8) Since the 1980s the short-term mission model has continued to grow at an astounding rate. Roger Peterson, CEO of Short-Term Evangelical Missions, claims that at least 1.6 million people participated in short-term mission in 2006. Of this number one-third stayed in the United States, while two-thirds traveled internationally. (9) Other estimates claim that as many as four million people in the U.S. participate annually in short-term missions with investments in programs running to an annual total of nearly $4 billion. (10) While explanations for this dramatic growth abound, most observers suggest that the growth is linked to a hunger for intercultural exposure within the reality of a shrinking world. (11)

Proponents of short-term service cite several benefits. First, leaders in the field argue that short-term mission experiences help youth become more interested in service as career missionaries. (12) Further, many suggest that short-term service experiences have led to increased financial giving to service and mission agencies by participants. (13) Additionally, in an increasingly globalized world, many assert that mission experiences, even if brief, provide opportunities to build intercultural bridges and decrease ethnocentrism. (14) Finally, advocates contend that these programs help young people identify more strongly with a faith community. Several studies show that those who do service as youth (children/teenagers) are much more likely to do service when they reach adulthood. Other studies suggest that "devout" teens are twice as likely (50 percent) as nondevout teens (25 percent) to do noncompulsory voluntary service. Furthermore, a national study by the Search Institute found that those who do service are more likely to be bonded to their church, less likely to drop out of school and less likely to consume drugs and alcohol.

Because of all the benefits associated with doing service work, many argue that churches and mission agencies should use short-term service experiences as a means of sparking interest among young people in service and promoting long-term financial support for service and missions. (15) Yet, even though the developmental benefits for Christian youth who go on short-term service trips are seemingly clear, another body of literature warns of the potential pitfalls. Many researchers caution that short-term missions divert the time and resources of local service workers, forcing them to spend these resources hosting unskilled groups who have little knowledge of the area. (16) Furthermore, many worry that the negative attitudes or outright laziness of short-term workers can actually harm local communities. Richard Slimbach, a professor of sociology at Azusa Pacific University, maintains that many youth who do short-term service or mission projects often go with ethnocentric views and act in insensitive ways toward host communities. (17) Similarly, Jo Ann Van Engen, who co-directs Calvin College's Honduras program and works for the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras, says that groups going on short-term missions tend to be inflexible; work in their own way without input from local host; and, consequently, harm the local community's service efforts in the process. (18) Andrew Atkins, director of Emmanuel International, echoes Van Engen, arguing that short-term groups often try to take over projects rather than assist local efforts, and, in the process, detract from local long-term service efforts by creating a culture of dependency. (19) Finally, many claim that participants in short-term service tend to come with tourist attitudes and can easily exploit the experience of their hosts. Jim Dekker, co-director of the Center for Youth Ministry Studies at North Park Theological Seminary, warns that participants on short-term service trips can act like "tourists in a zoo," going primarily to see people who are exotic and different. In so doing, they feed off of the experiences of local individuals without leaving anything of any enduring value behind. (20)

Beyond the harm that short-term service projects can cause to host communities, many critics argue that in the absence of a strong educational framework before, during and after participation, short-term service trips also fail to create positive long-term changes in participants. At the most benign level, several studies show that without strong follow-up educational components, short-term service programs do little to create lasting change in the lives of participants. (21) More troubling are claims that short-term service programs reinforce harmful ideas about service. Many worry that short-term service projects reinforce a paternalistic view of service, suggesting that service is merely about the strong caring for the weak or the wealthy giving to the poor. Instead of leaving such an experience with new appreciation for the value of mutual, interdependent relationships in service, participants can leave with reinforced racist or classist ideas that create subtle forms of dependency. (22) Others worry that because service experiences are so brief, participants are not able to recognize systemic causes of poverty. Participants can easily confuse justice with compassion and return home more grateful for what they have without thinking about what systemic changes need to take place to actually alleviate poverty. In other words, short-term service experiences can encourage participants to substitute volunteerism for needed changes in social policy. (23)

Finally, many researchers are critical of these trips because the service accomplished is rarely, if ever, as beneficial as other long-term forms of service. Since service trips can often be expensive, critics argue that well-wishers should send that money directly to host communities, who can accomplish more work more efficiently than the short-term groups achieve. (24) Similarly, these critics argue that the youth that go on these trips rarely have the linguistic ability, cultural knowledge or technical skills necessary to do productive work. (25)

In light of all these issues, the South Texan reservations about allocating large amounts of money, labor and time for programs that do not facilitate truly valuable forms of service and that primarily benefit the youth who participate should be taken very seriously. (26) Clearly, these programs can damage hosting communities, educate youth in harmful ways and misallocate limited resources.


The answer to the question of whether or not SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture contributed positively to the Mennonite Church's service work requires an understanding of why Mennonites created these programs in the first place. Since they started at least nominally as service programs, and participants always did some form of service work, it may seem obvious that the church created these programs primarily to provide valuable services to impoverished communities. Yet, a closer look at the early history of these programs suggests that these programs were never intended primarily to do service work. Instead, Mennonite leaders started these programs as a conscious effort to help Mennonite youth develop a distinctly Mennonite service ethic. From their outset in the mid-1980s the programs were more concerned with promoting a long-term service ethic in Mennonite youth than with providing actual assistance in local development efforts.

From its beginnings in the sixteenth century, the Mennonite Church has always placed a strong emphasis on Christian discipleship, insisting that an individual's Christian faith must be expressed in service to others. During World War II and in the decades that followed the war, Mennonite leaders created a variety of service programs as an explicit alternative to military conscription and instituted other one- or two-year voluntary programs to promote an ethic of service among Mennonite youth. (27) For many Mennonite young people, however, the end of the military draft in December 1972 eliminated the primary impetus for their participation in voluntary service. As a result, involvement in institutional service programs declined sharply. A 1983 survey administered at the Mennonite Youth Convention held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, yielded sobering results. Only 10 percent of Mennonite youth planned on participating in the Mennonite Church's Voluntary Service program, and only 7 percent intended to become pastors, missionaries or teachers in a Mennonite educational institution later in life. (28) The survey alarmed church leaders, who began to openly worry about the future of their service programs.

On February 29, 1984, a group of 21 representatives from Mennonite Board of Missions, Mennonite church schools, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the (Old) Mennonite Church met in Elkhart, Indiana, to discuss how to get youth more involved in service. The group hoped to rekindle parents' interest in service and to expand existing service programs. They also discussed the possibility of creating new short-term options for Mennonite youth. (29) At the same time Mennonite Central Committee was feeling pressure to create short-term service programs. Mark Keller, representing M.C.C. Central States, noted that pastors and youth leaders frequently expressed concern that youth be challenged to do service in the church. Keller thought that M.C.C. had the capacity to help but was not yet adequately connecting young people with service opportunities. (30) Furthermore, he noted that Mennonite congregations were taking the issue into their own hands and organizing informal short-term service trips without institutional support. (31) Based on further conversations, Keller identified three factors that motivated individuals to pursue M.C.C. service: contact with M.C.C. alumni; church leaders who participated in or encouraged service; and concrete opportunities for youth to get involved in service. (32) Keller went on to suggest that the primary need that M.C.C. could address was providing hands-on service experiences for Mennonite youth. (33)

At the same time Mennonite leaders also noted that competition from non-Mennonite short-term mission programs was threatening their distinctive approach to service. Rick Stiffney, vice president of Mennonite Board of Missions, worried that other programs like Youth with a Mission were recruiting Mennonites into an evangelical approach to mission that focused primarily on conversion while often neglecting a discipleship emphasis on personal relationships or issues of social justice. (34) Other church leaders also highlighted this theme, noting that Presbyterian and Methodist programs and parachurch organizations like Teen Mission and Youth With a Mission all pushed the Mennonite Church to develop their own programs that had a distinctly Anabaptist perspective on service and mission. (35)

Faced with mounting pressure from congregations within the Mennonite Church and growing competition from programs outside the church, Mennonite service agencies responded. In the summer of 1984, H.A. Penner, director of the M.C.C. U.S. program, drafted a statement on "Preparation for Christian Ministries," which he sent to Voluntary Service directors of other mission boards. In it, Penner outlined a pilot program that encouraged " ... engaging young people (high schoolers) in weekend service experiences and summer [weeklong] workcamps across the country where they [could] have real, hands-on experiences in Christian service and justice ministries ..." (36) Hoping to collaborate with other Mennonite agencies, Penner invited M.C.C, Mennonite conferences, and mission organizations like Mennonite Board of Missions and the General Conference's Commission on Home Ministries to work together to create new short-term service programs for youth. (37) On November 15 a group of seven people representing four different Mennonite or Brethren in Christ mission boards met at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart to discuss a pilot program for "preparation for Christian ministries." The conversation focused on how to attract youth and the programmatic elements that would be essential for developing healthy attitudes toward service. The seven talked about the educational value of a cross-cultural experience, the need to attract the attention of young people with attractive or challenging locations, the benefits of sending youth in groups, and the need for a study curriculum alongside the practical experience. Rick Stiffney expressed the Mission Board's desire to create several two- to three-week-long "service learning" visits, and M.C.C. representatives talked about developing a group workcamp experience in Appalachia linking with the existing M.C.C. Appalachia unit. The group concluded that M.C.C. should develop a pilot program in Appalachia and that other boards should develop similar programs. (38) Significantly, from the beginning the discussions assumed that the education of Mennonite youth would be an essential component of the service experience.

By 1985, just two years after the troubling results of the Bethlehem Youth Convention survey, M.C.C. had implemented its pilot program in Appalachia. In the summer of 1984, David Wiens, an M.C.C. Appalachia voluntary service worker in Harlan, Kentucky, began researching possible models for short-term programs. (39) On September 10, Jerry Gingerich, an M.C.C. staff member who was working with housing projects in Neon, Kentucky, suggested that Wiens take over the leadership of any new pilot program in Appalachia. (40) Throughout the fall of 1984, Wiens spent much of his time developing the pilot program. (41) By October 9 he had settled on the name, "Sharing with Appalachian People," and by November he had completed the basic design of the SWAP program. (42) In early 1985 M.C.C. sent out a news bulletin describing the new short-term service program, geared toward weeklong summer trips that provided opportunities for youth to participate in "Christian service." (43) Churches quickly responded with interest. In the summer of 1985 the SWAP program hosted ten groups and 170 participants, focusing especially on the housing needs of low-income families in and around Harlan, Kentucky. (44)

Pleased with SWAP's success, Penner decided to develop a similar program that could expose Mennonite young people to urban realities. (45) In addition, M.C.C. constituency congregations in the Midwest had expressed interest in a program that was closer to home. After inquiring into a variety of possible Midwestern urban settings, M.C.C. settled on Denver as the location for a short-term service program. On November 18, 1985, Mervin Dick, director of Mennonite Urban Ministries, offered to provide office space and structural support, and shortly thereafter two M.C.C. Atlanta volunteers, Gwen and Les Gustafson-Zook, agreed to direct the program. (46) Borrowing heavily from the existing material developed for the SWAP program, now adapted for an urban setting, the Gustafson-Zooks announced that the new program--Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)--would be ready for operation in the summer of 1986. (47)

At the same time that M.C.C. was developing these two short-term service programs, Mennonite Board of Missions, an arm of the (Old) Mennonite Church, and the Commission on Home Ministries, of the General Conference Mennonite Church, joined together to form a short-term service program called Mennonite Service Venture. By August of 1985, Jane Miller of Mennonite Board of Missions and Paula Diller Lehman of the Commission on Home Ministries had drafted the structure and goals of the program. Mennonite Service Venture consisted of two distinct programs. Miller operated a group service program, eventually called Group Venture, that provided service encounters in urban areas ranging from a weekend to several weeks. The sites were concentrated in the western and southeastern United States, with additional sites in Indiana, Michigan and Canada. Similar to SWAP and DOOR, Mennonite Service Venture began as an attempt to help youth "work at discipleship issues," specifically by providing service opportunities that involved "giving one's time, energy, and financial resources to persons in need." (48) On the General Conference side Diller Lehman headed a program called Youth Venture--essentially a continuation of a longstanding work camp program--that provided service opportunities to individual Mennonite youth. Group Venture, the (Old) Mennonite Church program, hosted volunteer groups. Instead of having personnel at one distinct site like SWAP and DOOR, Group Venture operated in many different locations throughout North America by cooperating with local long-term service personnel--generally Mennonite Voluntary Service workers--who hosted visiting groups. (49)

To be sure, all of these programs started primarily as a response to congregational demands for an educational service program rather than as a call from hosts for more service workers; and the emphasis on education over service became clear as the programs matured. From the beginning, program leaders regarded service work as a means to education rather than a programmatic goal in itself. Jane Miller, for example, resisted language that described the Group Venture program in terms of the work that participants did; the program's main purpose, she insisted, was educational, and volunteer groups should expect to take more away from the experience than they gave to the host community. (50) Similarly, Gwen and Les Gustafson-Zook candidly acknowledged that the primary focus of the DOOR program was youth education. (51)

While Group Venture and DOOR saw service work as a means to an educational end, SWAP developed in a quite different direction, focusing primarily on the service aspect of its program. David Wiens envisioned the program as meeting two concrete needs: the need for adequate housing in southeastern Kentucky and the need to provide service opportunities for Mennonite youth. (52) This theme was also evident in the early SWAP public relations material, which listed meeting the needs of local residents alongside the goal of providing an opportunity for youth to serve. (53) More so than Group Venture and DOOR, the SWAP program regarded service work and discipleship education as intertwined and coequal goals.

Indeed, as the program developed, Mennonite leaders in Appalachia increasingly stressed the importance of SWAP's service work. By 1987, a grant proposal stated that SWAP's main goal was to "... improve the housing of the very poor," while a secondary goal was that the youth gain as much as they give, and that they would eventually participate in longer-term service. (54) By 1996, Doug Harms, one of M.C.C. Appalachia's program coordinators, emphatically stated in a memo that the primary goal of the SWAP program was to serve the local community. While he acknowledged that SWAP started to provide short-term service experiences for constituency youth, since 1991, when M.C.C. moved SWAP oversight to M.C.C. Appalachia, local leadership had regarded the primary purpose of the program as providing emergency housing repair. Harms noted that education was still a necessary part of the program, but as a means to healthy service work rather than as an end in itself. Because "wealthy outsiders" did the emergency housing repair work, M.C.C. Appalachia leaders felt that education was necessary to do" ... housing repair work with sensitivity and integrity." (55) Furthermore, Harms stated that the SWAP program no longer reserved spaces exclusively for constituency youth groups (Mennonite or Brethren in Christ) and that groups could now come multiple years in a row if they offered particularly useful construction skills. (56) In other words, construction skills became more important than denominational affiliation in accepting groups.

Thus, SWAP leaders saw education as a necessary part of doing service work with integrity, but the educational benefits were merely byproducts of the larger goal of meeting emergency housing needs in Appalachia. Nonetheless, SWAP never wavered in its focus on providing service opportunities solely for young people. Despite its emphasis on service work, educating youth still remained an integral part of the program. Clearly, all these programs began out of a desire to provide service opportunities for Mennonite youth, and while they all dealt with education and service differently, youth education remained an integral part of each program.


As Mennonite short-term service programs expanded, many within the Mennonite Church began to wonder about the larger direction of the church's service agencies. (57) Individuals within service agencies, for example, increasingly voiced their disapproval of involvement in programs initiated on the basis of constituency demand rather than by a request from the host community. In 1995 James Logan, the director of community ministries for M.C.C., called for a moratorium on short-term service programs. Short-term programs, he argued, did not create mutually vulnerable long-term relationships, did not build intergenerational relationships that supported community members, and did not require youth participants to make significant long-term sacrifices to help others. He went on to note that short-term service programs ran the risk of destabilizing host communities. (58) Four years later advisory board members of the Portland Learning Outreach and Worship short-term service program, along with members of the Portland Mennonite Church, called for a one-year hiatus of their program in response to charges of racism and classism. They reasoned that they could not justify a program that benefited primarily white, middle-class youth while doing little of any real empowering value for the local community. (59) Like other critics of short-term service programs, Mennonite detractors argued that short-term service programs, at their worst, were destructive to host communities; even where they did not do explicit harm, they failed to facilitate service work that empowered others.

At one level these individuals were justified in their appraisal that these programs did not live up to an ideal Mennonite service ethic. In 1961, the Mennonite ethicist and theologian John Howard Yoder published a widely-circulated booklet, As You Go: The Old Mission in a New Day, outlining what authentic service in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition might look like. Yoder claimed that in a developing world in which nearly everyone has access to the Christian faith, missionaries should provide only services that local communities could not provide on their own--amateur missionaries with no specific technical or theological training offered no advantage to local workers. (60) Furthermore, to avoid dependency and paternalism, Yoder stressed the importance of building long-term, equitable relationships with the local community. He suggested that Mennonites practice "migrant evangelism," settling as small communities committed to lovingly embracing and adapting to the host culture. These "migrant" missionaries should be willing to integrate into the local culture and lose their foreign identity within a generation. (61) In this way, Yoder maintained, Mennonite service workers would offer truly valuable work and, through mutual, reciprocal relationships, adjust lovingly, imaginatively and sensitively to the different standards, values and habits of the host culture. (62) Service would not be a culturally or politically imperialistic tool. (63)

Similar sentiments about mutual, empowering, long-term service guided both M.C.C. and M.B.M. understandings of their work. In 1988 Wilbert Shenk, a Mennonite missiologist and vice president of overseas ministries at M.B.M., wrote a pamphlet entitled "God's New Economy." In it Shenk argued for a mission model governed by partnership and interdependence that extended beyond local, state and national boundaries. Receiving and sending communities, he insisted, should interact in mutually vulnerable ways, with both sides committing to offer and receive gifts and skills distinct to each community. (64) Other Mennonite materials advanced this theme. In 1988, for example, the December issue of M.B.M.'s Mission Focus included a series of essays on the future of missions in the Mennonite Church. The articles reflected a shift toward a "catalyst mission approach" that envisioned missionaries as enablers rather than as saviors. Mission workers should focus on developing local autonomy, only offering skills and guidance when the local community genuinely needed outside help. Under this conception of mission missionaries would be profoundly open as learners to be taught by host communities and would commit to partnership with local communities at a decision-making level. (65)

Many of these same themes of local partnership and development surfaced in M.C.C. mission statements. A1991 M.C.C. mission statement, drawing on statements from 1988 and 1976, highlighted the importance of reciprocity. The statement asserted that M.C.C. workers should use their skills to benefit others, but they should also expect "to learn and be changed by the people [they related] to." Similarly, M.C.C. emphasized the importance of local agency and long-term mutual partnerships in "planning and implementing program." (66) M.C.C. and M.B.M. resources from the 1980s also reflected a growing awareness of systemic social injustice and a desire to use skills and resources to bring about social change that addressed abusive power structures. In other words, Mennonite service agencies should use their resources to combat a power imbalance. (67)

Clearly, by the 1980s Mennonite service agencies had developed a long-term service ethic marked by the importance of reciprocity, local partnership and autonomy, and intentional efforts to address structural roots of injustice. (68) And judged by these standards, SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture did not facilitate service work that lived up to the Mennonite service agencies' stated ideals. Youth came with few specific skills and, in general, did "Band-Aid" work, treating the symptoms of poverty rather than helping the local community address the systemic roots. Participants in the Group Venture program did simple physical tasks like painting buildings for local service agencies and doing yard work. (69) Throughout DOOR's first few years of operation participants did carpentry work with Habitat for Humanity, weatherized homes for "low income folks," gardened, painted, worked in a Catholic soup kitchen and cleaned apartments of the elderly. (70) To be fair, Nancy Thiessen, director of the Group Venture program from 1988 to 1997, noted that the host communities generally affirmed the work that the groups did, and, in many cases, the work would not have been done otherwise. (71) Similarly, in an evaluation of the DOOR's first summer, program leaders noted that participants did good quality work and that the local community generally was grateful for what the groups contributed. (72)

Nonetheless, because demand for these programs came from constituency churches who wanted service opportunities for their high school youth, the DOOR and Group Venture programs focused primarily on finding service opportunities appropriate for unskilled youth and not on service projects that genuinely helped the local community to meet its own needs in the long run. Larry Leaman-Miller, director of DOOR in the early 1990s, noted that the demand for the program came from church youth groups and not the local community. He received few phone calls from locals looking for volunteers, and stated that the most tiring part of his job was the "constant asking" of local service agencies to accommodate volunteer groups. (73) Similarly, one local service agency, the Broadway Assistance Center, commented specifically on DOOR's failure to help the local community address their own needs. The agency was very pleased with the work (mainly painting and yard work) and stated that they would recommend DOOR to other agencies, but the agency highlighted a concern that DOOR should enlist the help of more local volunteers. (74)

In contrast to DOOR and Group Venture, SWAP was, in many ways, better positioned to provide services that were valuable in the long run. While the program did indeed focus on secondary work, treating the symptoms of systemic poverty that manifested themselves in inadequate housing, the magnitude of needs in Appalachia required outside resources. Southeastern Kentucky had a severely depressed economy--the result of the coal industry's boom-and-bust cycle that extracted wealth from Appalachia and invested little in the community's long-term health. The unemployment rate ranged between 20 and 40 percent. By the time that SWAP started, thousands of "sub-standard housing arrangements"--that is, not safe, warm or dry--existed in Appalachia. (75) Given this context, even James Logan, one of the most vocal critics of Mennonite short-term programs, acknowledged that SWAP was doing valuable work. Logan compared the services that SWAP provided to disaster relief services--the public health issues associated with inadequate housing were so dire that outside help was required. (76) Still, because SWAP participants were unskilled youth, the impact of their work was limited. (77) Had SWAP adopted a short-term emergency housing relief model that recruited skilled adult professionals the program could have accomplished housing renovation in the local community much more efficiently than it did.

Such critiques are valid. But to evaluate these programs only in terms of what they accomplished for host communities ignores their most beneficial components: their educational impact on young people and the larger benefits for long-term Mennonite service work. SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture explicitly sought to develop a service ethic in Christian youth and to call Christian youth informed by Anabaptist-Mennonite values. In the process, they called those same young people to consider a humble, vulnerable posture of service as an integral part of the Christian faith. Insofar as they successfully educated Christian youth in this way, without harming host communities or detracting from the direct development work that Mennonite service agencies did, the programs were valuable.


From the start, all three short-term programs promoted a service ideal that actively combated paternalism and classism. Each intentionally used language and educational materials that emphasized a reciprocal relationship between those "serving" and those "receiving." Each program stressed the fact that every individual, whether a volunteer or a local community member, had specific gifts and strengths to offer. Indeed, this theme was so central to the SWAP program that the ideal of reciprocity was embodied in its very name: "Sharing with Appalachian People." The emphasis on "sharing" was no mere accident. In a letter to Akron Mennonite Church in October of 1984 David Wiens stated that "because of ... the sharing nature of the proposed program, we have tentatively renamed it Sharing with Appalachian People. ..." Wiens also made it clear that this sharing was not just a part of the program, but rather a "central theme." Participants would have "the opportunity of receiving as well as giving"--receiving a view of how people from a different setting approached the issues in their lives, while giving time and labor. (78) Wiens later noted that the sharing component of the SWAP experience was a "major focus" for volunteer groups in 1986, (79) and M.C.C. leaders in Kentucky were indignant when its Information Services division inadvertently replaced the word "sharing" with the word "service" in a press release. (80) Wiens was also careful to call local recipients of volunteer labor "clients," a word that implied a relationship of mutual exchange. (81)

DOOR also encouraged reciprocity. A news release in 1986 stated that DOOR provided "opportunities to trade perspectives with the people of Denver." (82) Similarly, the SWAP/DOOR mission statement that M.C.C. leaders developed in 1988 cited mutuality, listening and the importance of relationship as key components of the programs. (83)

A similar theme of reciprocity was evident in the Group Venture service trips. While the service work that youth groups did was understood to be important, Jane Ramseyer Miller and Nancy Thiessen both emphasized that the educational benefits to groups was even more valuable. Youth groups came offering concrete services while local communities offered education in return. In some cases, communities in the Group Venture program actually requested groups simply because they wished to educate these youth groups about their specific context. Clearly, all of the programs operated with the assumption that both volunteers and local community members had something to offer in their interactions.

In addition to a strong focus on reciprocity instead of paternalism, SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture also provided strong orientation and educational programs that focused on social injustice and challenged common stereotypes about people in poverty. Because of their shared origins, SWAP and DOOR used similar orientation materials. David Wiens initially created the materials borrowing largely from M.C.C. resources and other group service programs in North America. Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook then adapted the materials for the Denver setting. Two out of the three orientation sessions for each program included extensive information on the history and contemporary context of poverty in Appalachia and Denver. Additionally, at least one of the two orientation sessions focused directly on systemic issues that made it difficult for the poor to address the problems they faced in daily life. After discussing overcrowding and property deterioration in the inner city of Denver, for example, DOOR materials identified systemic causes for this deterioration, like bank "redlining." (84) Here the DOOR participants could see that deteriorating housing resulted from larger institutional practices rather than laziness on the part of the tenants. Similarly, the orientation guides highlighted the lack of access to good health care and education in the host communities, access that those from a middle-class background often took for granted. The second orientation session for both programs presented four specific scenarios that impoverished individuals would likely face. Each scenario asked a group participant to consider how it would feel to face those challenges. (85) In so doing, the materials helped participants empathize with impoverished people. Because these educational materials helped participants recognize the social sins that contributed to poverty, the young people were better prepared to meet their hosts with empathy rather than arrogance or superiority. Instead of reinforcing paternalistic models of service that merely addressed the symptoms of systemic problems and reinforced stereotypes of the "stupid" or "lazy" poor, SWAP and DOOR encouraged volunteers to address the larger social issues confronting individuals living in poverty.

Each program also called on participants, in light of what they had learned, to fulfill a Christian's responsibility to love one's neighbor in selfless service. Group Venture directors Nancy Thiessen and Jane Ramseyer Miller both regularly encouraged groups to go home and apply what they had learned within their home community. (86) The first stated goal of the 1988 SWAP/DOOR mission statement was to challenge youth to look on service as a lifestyle, inseparable from the Christian faith. (87) Specifically, SWAP and DOOR wanted groups, in light of the lessons that they were learning about systemic causes of poverty, to reexamine their Christian role in relation to poverty. (88) Through an emphasis on reciprocal relationships, education on systemic oppression, and encouragement to live as a servant conscious of causes of poverty, SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture hoped to inculcate a lifestyle of truly empowering service.

Survey data suggests that youth participants successfully internalized this message. In 1988 SWAP and DOOR sent a survey to all the SWAP/DOOR participants from 1985 to 1987, trying to ascertain the effect these programs had on participants in the programs. Sixty of the sixty-eight participating churches responded, and the results were quite positive. Eighty percent said they were more likely to use time, skills and money in future service work; 75 percent were interested in doing long-term service work; and over 99 percent said they would recommend these programs to others. (89) Youth who participated in Group Venture also expressed a desire to participate in more extended forms of service. Nancy Thiessen, who was also in charge of the ten-month-long Service Adventure program during her time at M.B.M., noted that nearly all Service Adventure applicants cited a Group Venture trip as an important part of their faith journeys and an experience that motivated them to consider Service Adventure. (90)

Comments from program participants further highlight the positive impact of the programs. One DOOR participant noted that before she came she thought, "O.K., I'll do this one week ... and if it works out maybe I'll do service again in the future. But now I see service as being part of my faith, not a choice." (91) One sponsor from First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas, noted that the DOOR experience was a "stimulus for further service involvements for the participants." (92) Another DOOR participant felt that group members had been stretched during their week and were now called to a "deeper involvement in treating others like Jesus." (93) Clearly, most participants in these programs did not leave thinking that they had fulfilled their obligation to serve. Rather, they went home with a greater desire to live out a lifestyle of service.

SWAP received similar responses expressing an ongoing commitment to service. In a letter to the SWAP directors in 1986 a pastor who led a service trip to Kentucky noted that the SWAP experience had been "eye opening." The pastor affirmed that they had gained a new outlook on the world and faith. Many youth still talked to the families that they had met, and several were trying to apply the lessons that they had learned within their local community. (94) Many other SWAP participants explicitly stated that the SWAP experience had motivated them to consider longer service terms in the future. One young person noted that the SWAP experience had confirmed his conviction to serve. (95) Another commented that she now felt a "need to live out [her] faith." (96) Others said that the weeklong trip caused them to "want to ... do more," and helped them be "aware of similar people in [their] home area." (97)

Feedback from participants also confirmed that they were internalizing some of the larger educational goals of the programs. Letters to the DOOR program, for example, expressed appreciation for new insights into the systemic roots of poverty, the challenges to negative stereotypes about poor people and the emphasis on reciprocity. One youth sponsor stated that the experience had helped youth "unravel [their] varied feelings and attitudes towards the people [they] helped." (98) Another DOOR participant noted that he realized that the experience was valuable not only because of what he did, but also because of what he learned from the local community. (99) A young person from Elmira Mennonite Church in Elmira, Ontario, stated, "Prior to coming here I was going to make money and not care about others. But now I see someone has to do something. We don't need soup kitchens and shelters. We need to solve those problems." (100)

SWAP also received many responses expressing appreciation for the reciprocity they had experienced in their relationships with local Appalachians. Participants felt "blessed" that a local homeowner would accept them, as strangers, into a home as family. (101) Others stated that "they [the locals] had a lot to share" or that "in helping them they were actually helping us." (102) Another youth leader, commenting on his group's service trip to southeastern Kentucky, expressed gratitude for being able to share their gifts in construction projects. But he went on to note that his group especially appreciated getting to know homeowners, building relationships and sharing stories more than contributing physical labor. (103) A set of quotes from SWAP evening sessions from the summer of 1990 further emphasized reciprocity. One youth advised future participants to "get to know the ones you are working for. That can be the best experience of your trip." (104) Another SWAP participant noted that "sharing" was a service "attitude." (105)

SWAP participants also explicitly noted that the experience helped them to deconstruct stereotypes about people in poverty. One group from Bally Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania sent a letter back to SWAP saying that they better understood the sources of poverty and had a more positive view of impoverished people in their home area. (106) Yet another SWAP volunteer, recognizing the need to treat those she was serving with equity, stated, "people in poverty deserve respect not pity." (107) A whole series of comments compiled in a 1989 report also highlighted this theme: "[I] saw first hand how trapped people were"; "poverty strikes innocent victims"; "poverty and laziness do not go hand in hand"; "the poor are human beings like us"; "[the poor are] less protective of what they have"; "[the poor are] not dummies, but smart and willing to help"; "[the poor] have a lot to share." (108)

In all these cases, participants were able to recognize that people in poverty were capable individuals who could offer real gifts in return for the assistance that they received. Clearly, many SWAP participants came away from the experience with a strengthened resolve to live out a lifestyle of service with a better understanding of poverty and a deeper appreciation for reciprocity in service.

Leaders in all three programs were also conscious of the educational limits of a weeklong program and recognized that, without further processing and education, the lessons participants learned would soon fade from memory. Short-term service "kindled a flame" within youth, but that flame would soon go out unless groups were encouraged to continue processing their experience and to become involved in their home communities. (109) In a self-evaluation of the first summer of operation in 1986, DOOR leaders felt that they were moving toward their goals, but they admitted it was difficult to judge the success of some of the longer-term goals because they viewed their work as "seed-planting." (110) Group Venture leaders also wondered about the long-term results of a single week of service if it was not reinforced with additional educational experiences. (111)

In response, leaders took steps to extend the impact of these programs with additional educational material. In 1988, Renton Amell, one of M.C.C. Appalachia's program coordinators, proposed a follow-up program that would include written resources; encouragement to continue service work within home communities; and ongoing M.C.C. contact three months, and again six months, after the groups completed the program. (112) In this way, Amell hoped that SWAP participants would retain the lessons that they had learned during their weeklong stay in Appalachia.

Like SWAP, DOOR also provided follow-up materials that encouraged youth to continue practicing service as they had experienced it in their week with DOOR. From the very beginning, each group that participated in the DOOR program received a letter shortly after their return encouraging them to keep pondering the difficult questions that the DOOR experience might have raised. Each letter also included three group Bible studies and three group activities to further plumb the lessons they had learned. In addition each group received a study packet called "Transforming Ourselves--Transforming Our World." (113) Group Venture, too, provided materials that helped participants process their short-term experiences after returning home and encouraged them to get involved in service within their home communities and in more long-term programs. (114) In short, no one within these programs viewed the service experience they provided as a singular event in the lives of youth; rather, leaders in each program thought that these experiences should be one part in a long process of education promoting a lifestyle of service.

Responses from participants confirmed hopes that these experiences might translate into longer-term commitments to service. One DOOR participant noted that the DOOR experience had stirred up many questions and was "not the end of [their] spiritual growth, but the beginning." (115) Another noted that the experience caused him to "really consider what it [meant] to be a Christian in this world." (116) Numerous other responses expressing a desire to apply what had been learned on service trips within home communities suggest that many participants would continue to internalize and solidify what they had learned.


Despite the best efforts of program leaders, these educational goals were not always successful. Some groups were simply unwilling to allow the experience to change their assumptions. Members of one SWAP group in 1985, for example, complained about the work, skipped an educational session and were reluctant to work with a very impoverished family. To make matters worse, the group went to the local health clinic to get themselves checked for lice (on the assumption that poor people had lice) and then left a day early. (117) Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook noted that a few groups ignored the orientation material and came intent on evangelizing with no real interest in learning from the people they were serving. (118) Nancy Thiessen also spoke of several experiences in which groups chose a service location based solely on its proximity to a tourist attraction. (119) In another troubling incident, an in-house M.C.C. publication, the Intercom, reported the story of four Voluntary Service workers who served with the SWAP program. The author quoted one VSer who said, "Our first response was to feel sorry for these poor people, then to get angry with their laziness and ingratitude toward our labors." Elsewhere in the article, the author referred to the hosts as "poor cousins" and depicted local individuals as helpless recipients of the volunteers' benevolence. (120) In yet another instance, a Mennonite Brethren pastor who had taken a group on a SWAP assignment complained at the 1988 Southern District Mennonite Brethren Conference that M.C.C. was not doing enough to witness to locals through the program. (121) The SWAP director, J. Epp, had explained that the majority of people in Appalachia had already heard the Gospel and that it was arrogant to think they were not Christian because they practiced it differently. (122) But the pastor was unconvinced.

Yet even if some groups left the experience with condescending or paternalistic views, the short-term service programs nonetheless provided youth with opportunities to learn. And feedback from groups was overwhelmingly positive. In general, participants expressed a desire to continue serving in the future; they gained a healthy understanding of the systemic causes of poverty; and they returned home with a deeper understanding of the importance of reciprocity in service. Moreover, leaders took intentional steps to ensure that the educational process would not end after a one-week service trip.


Even if the evidence seems clear that DOOR, SWAP and Group Venture had an overall positive educational impact on participants, critics of short-term service programs have still argued that these programs are actually harmful to host communities. However, this was not the case for the three programs reviewed here. In the first place, DOOR, SWAP and Group Venture all encouraged local decision-making and ensured that host communities were willing participants in these programs. Group Venture leaders, for example, sent groups only to communities that invited them and granted host communities complete control over how many groups they wanted to invite each year. Obviously, members of local communities put time and energy into hosting groups, but Ramseyer Miller noted that this was a willing sacrifice. They saw educating Mennonite youth as part of their mission. (123) Thiessen also commented that she never sent groups to sites that she had not previously seen and evaluated and she undertook extensive conversations with community members before setting up new locations or determining whether a certain location should continue to host groups. (124)

The DOOR program also consciously encouraged local agency. Les Gustafson-Zook pointed out that local hosts could decide whether or not they wanted volunteers, and community people willingly spoke to groups about the issues that they faced in their lives in Denver. (125) Similarly, over time DOOR adapted its structure to better facilitate a local grassroots vision. Although DOOR had formal attachments to M.C.C. U.S., from its inception the program was associated with the local Mennonite Urban Ministries board, which had a DOOR subcommittee to provide long-term local continuity, leadership and vision. M.C.C. was careful not to take too much control and stymie local vision. (126) As time went on, M.C.C. encouraged even more local ownership; and by 1992 DOOR became an independent nonprofit based in Denver, with close ties to M.C.C. Central States. (127)

Likewise, SWAP leaders promoted community input and consciously resisted local relationships of dependency. By 1986, SWAP operated cooperatively with two local agencies, Christian Outreach for Appalachian People (COAP), based in Harlan, Kentucky, and Housing Oriented Ministries Established for Service (HOMES), based in Neon, Kentucky. (128) Both these agencies used government funds to provide housing for low-income individuals; however, they required some payment from clients, and, consequently, they could not serve many of the lowest income families with housing needs. In these cases, COAP and HOMES referred families to SWAP. (129) In this way, SWAP responded to needs that local agencies could not meet themselves. In some cases SWAP labor counted as a financial "match" that unlocked government funds for COAP and HOMES projects. (130) At other times, SWAP was able to provide labor and materials to finance gaps in these programs.

In addition to partnering with local agencies, SWAP also received help from many local individuals with specific mechanical or electrical skills that youth groups could not provide, (131) and local churches often helped to complete projects in the offseason when volunteer groups were not a consistent presence. Jen and Denis Travers, SWAP coordinators for the 1990 and 1991 seasons, noted that many families who had received rehabilitation work on their houses in previous years continued to demonstrate a willingness to help in the SWAP program. (132)

Additionally, SWAP conducted evaluations with clients to make sure that they were satisfied with the program. A 1989 evaluation conducted with each family who had received volunteer labor was overwhelmingly positive. (133) In all of these initiatives--cooperating with local agencies, encouraging participation of local community members and actively requesting community feedback--the local community claimed genuine agency in the SWAP program.

The short-term service programs also took conscious steps to limit expectations in terms of relational needs. Thus, while the Group Venture program did send youth into day-care centers and church preschools where young children were often looking for supportive relationships, the encounters were intentionally kept quite short to minimize the disappointment when groups left. (134) Teachers and supervisors in day care centers also encouraged children to think of Group Venture participants as transitory figures in their lives who could not fulfill their long-term needs. (135) The DOOR program in Denver took similar precautions. Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook, for example, chose not to send any volunteers to day-care or homeless centers to avoid the illusion that short-term volunteers could fill relational needs. Instead, they had volunteers do task-oriented jobs, like volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, weatherizing homes or cleaning out elderly individuals' apartments. (136) The SWAP program, by contrast, actually promoted sharing between volunteers and homeowners, but they were always sensitive to the potential for emotional pain for the hosts. In some cases host families reported that "saying goodbye was like losing a member of the family." (137) SWAP leaders strongly encouraged groups to keep in touch with host families so that they would not be "disappointed and disillusioned about how much [volunteers] care." (138)

None of this suggests that these programs were perfect Inevitably, some groups did act in harmful ways toward local communities. Insensitivity, immaturity and ignorance sometimes caused problems. In very rare cases, Nancy Thiessen noted, groups did actual physical damage to facilities in local communities. (139) During one summer, the "adolescent antics" of one SWAP youth group created tensions between the youth and a pastoral family while sharing living space in a local church. (140) In almost every instance, however, the problems resulted more because volunteer groups ignored orientation materials and the directives of program leaders rather than because of problems intrinsic to the program itself. Where problems did occur, program leaders sought to quickly intervene.


Finally, all of the programs were consciously structured to avoid competing with other existing Mennonite service programs or draining resources from the local communities who were being served. Thus, for example, with the exception of the director's and secretary's salaries, Group Venture participants covered all of the program's operational costs. (141) Likewise, M.C.C. leaders structured SWAP and DOOR so that the parent organization would provide minimal financial support. While SWAP was still in developmental stages, H.A. Penner suggested that M.C.C. might fund a staff person but the rest of the program would have to be supported by incoming volunteers. (142) In a 1989 memo to DOOR directors Mike and Becky Hofkamp, Harold Nussbaum noted that SWAP and DOOR received little financial support in the M.C.C. U.S. budget. Nussbaum affirmed SWAP and DOOR as important educational programs and committed on going organizational support from M.C.C., but he emphasized that M.C.C. primarily allocated funds to development work in truly needy communities, not toward developing middle-class youth. Therefore, M.C.C. would offer very little financial support to the DOOR program. (143) The money M.C.C. did allot for DOOR and SWAP was only a security blanket, so that if either of the programs had unusually low participation in a given year they would not have to shut down.

Furthermore, SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture were designed to operate at minimal cost so they would not compete with Mennonite service agencies for constituency funding. Group Venture distributed its sites throughout North America so that all constituent regions would have an opportunity to serve without traveling long distances and incurring large travel expenses. Nancy Thiessen strongly encouraged groups not to fly and suggested that they serve in a location within two hours of their home. (144) In addition to low travel costs, participation costs were also kept in check. In 1991, for example, participants in the DOOR program paid only $90 per week, while SWAP participants paid $150. (145) By keeping operating costs to a minimum, participants were not likely to dip into funds that they would have otherwise donated to service agencies.


A review of the early history of SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture suggests that even though the actual service work may not have reflected the highest ideals of the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, the programs nonetheless provided valuable educational opportunities that encouraged young participants to consider longer-term service assignments in the future. To be sure, these programs did not have sufficient resources to meet all of the needs of their host communities. They often treated the symptoms of poverty without providing the long-term skills or deep relationships that host communities truly needed. Yet Mennonite leaders never assumed that these programs would be the primary vehicles for the Mennonite Church's service work. SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture all grew out of the church's desire to nurture an ethic of service in the face of waning interest among Mennonite youth and the rising popularity of short-term service programs outside the Mennonite Church.

As these programs grew, the responses from participants suggested that the educational portions of these programs were largely effective in meeting goals. Youth who volunteered with SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture expressed a desire to continue to serve, and they began to develop more nuanced ideas about service. They started to recognize the systemic roots of poverty, and they were forced to rethink paternalistic models of service. Many left SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture better able to articulate the importance of humility and reciprocity in service. To be fair, the educational results were not uniform. But failures in education almost always occurred in spite of the programs' efforts, not because of them. In cases when participants refused to change their opinions, program leaders confronted the situation and did their best to help participants from doing harm to the local community. Furthermore, from the beginning program leaders provided follow-up materials to promote continued education when groups returned home, and they took concrete steps to ensure that educational short-term service programs did not compete with the longer-term service work that Mennonite service agencies already carried out. Each program took specific steps to avoid harming host communities both physically and emotionally, and, with the exception of a few isolated cases, participants acted in sensitive ways in host communities.

While some might still lament the fact that the work of these programs did not rise to an Anabaptist-Mennonite ideal of service, short-term service programs are nonetheless a valuable part of the Mennonite Church's youth ministry. The early history of SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture shows that these programs can serve a useful function in the church, provided that their focus is at least as much on learning as on doing. Maintaining this focus is difficult in a society that demands results. And the challenge is further compounded in Mennonite circles by a theology that regards service as an integral part of Christian discipleship. This desire to do good is not problematic in itself, but the full benefit of these programs will likely be wasted if a focus on doing supersedes learning. At their best, short-term service programs challenge Christian young people to think more carefully about their responsibility to the larger world and invite them to consider the possibility of a lifestyle of service to others.

(1.) Unidad Cristiana de Iglesias Menonitas, "Stories of protest about short-term mission," The Mennonite, July 3, 2001, 15.

(2.) Ibid. One woman left in tears after group members had made derisive comments about her home country, Mexico. "Why is Mexico so dirty?" one member reportedly asked. "Everyone in Goshen has new cars. I'm glad the Border Patrol is protecting our U.S. border because all those illegals are taking our jobs," asserted another.

(3.) Felipe Hinojosa, phone interview with author, July 8, 2008.

(4.) Unidad Cristiana de Iglesias Menonitas, "Stories of protest about short-term mission," 15.

(5.) Estimate based on M.C.C. Working Reports (1985-2000), Mennonite Historical Library in Goshen, Ind. [hereafter MHL]; Del Hershberger (Mennonite Missions Network director of Christian service, previously administrator of the Group and Youth Venture programs), phone interview, with author, June 30, 2008, and program Web sites: and http.// Hershberger stated that roughly one-third of the 3,000 yearly DOOR participants are Mennonites.

(6.) Tom Price, "Mission Network Transfers Group Venture to DOOR Network," Mennonite Mission Network News Service.--> (accessed June 26, 2008).

(7.) James Krabill, "The Short-Term Experience: Current Trends/Future Challenges," Mission Insight, no. 2 (1999), 4. Here Krabill notes that in 1995 the Top 10 short-term organizations served 30,016 participants, and of these 30,016 participants, 26,687 (over 85 percent) served for less than two months.

(8.) Krabill, "The Short-Term Experience," 2.

(9.) Howard Culbertson and Charles Gailey, "Volunteerism in Mission," chapter from Discovering Mission posted online, (accessed June 26, 2008), 2.

(10.) Ibid.

(11.) Ibid.

(12.) Dennis Massaro, "Short-term Missions," in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. Scott Moreau (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 2001), 874.

(13.) C. M. Brown, Terry Dischinger, Robert J. Priest and Steve Rasmussen, "Researching the Short-Term Mission Movement," Missiology 34, no. 4 (Oct. 2006), 435.

(14.) Ibid., 442.

(15.) Diana R. Garland, Michael E. Sherr and Terry A. Wolfer, "The Role of Community Service in the Faith Development of Adolescents," The Journal of Youth Ministry 6, no. 1 (Fall 2007), 43-54.

(16.) Jo Ann Van Engen, "The Cost of Short-Term Missions," The Other Side 36 (Jan.-Feb. 2000), 22, and Richard Slimbach, "First, Do No Harm," Evangelical Missions Quarterly 36 (Oct. 2000), 431.

(17.) Slimbach, "First, Do No Harm," 429.

(18.) Van Engen, "The Cost of Short-Term Missions," 22.

(19.) Andrew Atkins, "Work Teams? No, 'Taste and See' Teams," Evangelical Missions Quarterly 27, no. 4 (1991), 386.

(20.) Jim Dekker, "What Are We Doing with the Faith Development of Adolescents in Service Projects? A Response to Sherr, Garland, and Wolfer," The journal of Youth Ministry 6, no. 1 (Fall 2007), 61.

(21.) Brown, et al., "Researching the Short-Term Mission Movement," 435-450; Randy Friesen, "The Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Missions," Evangelical Missions Quarterly 41 (Oct. 2005), 450-454.

(22.) Slimbach, "First, Do No Harm," 431; Dekker, "What are We Doing with the Faith Development of Adolescents in Service Projects?," 60; and Krabill, "The Short-Term Experience," 7.

(23.) Van Engen, "The Cost of Short-Term Missions," 21; Dekker, "What are We Doing with the Faith Development of Adolescents in Service Projects?" 9; and Krabill, "The Short-Term Experience," 7.

(24.) Kurt Alan Ver Beek, "The Impact of Short-Term Missions: A Case Study of House Construction in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch," Missiology 34, no. 4 (Oct. 2006), 477, and Van Engen, "The Cost of Short-Term Missions," 20-21.

(25.) Van Engen, "The Cost of Short-Term Missions," 21.

(26.) Atikins, "Work Teams? No, 'Taste and See' Teams," 386-387; Jim Lo, "What Have We Done?" Evangelical Missions Quarterly 36 (Oct. 2008), 438; Andrea Schrock Wenger, "Short-Term Service: Who Benefits?" A Common Place (Sept. 1995), 13. This article is an interview with Steve Penner (at the time, M.C.C. West Coast director) and James Logan (at the time, M.C.C. U.S. community ministries coordinator). Penner highlighted the positive aspects of short-term service programs while Logan highlighted their negative aspects and called for a moratorium on short-term service programs.

(27.) Paul Toews, Mennonites in American Society 1930-1970: Modernity and the Persistence of Religious Community (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1996), 131-138. Here Toews retells the story of the creation of the first Mennonite alternative service program, Civilian Public Service (C.P.S.). After having very negative experiences with the draft during World War I, Mennonites were eager to create an alternative service program that independent of military control would allow them to make a positive contribution to society. After discussions between Mennonites, representatives from other peace churches and the government, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 8675 on Feb. 6, 1941, which allowed Mennonites to start their own autonomous and self-funded alternative service program.--"Voluntary Service," Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.-- service> (accessed Dec. 16, 2008). This article gives a brief history of Mennonite voluntary service programs. Out of various attempts to provide service alternatives for conscripted men, the Mennonite Church created institutional programs that provided service opportunities for young Mennonite men and women.

(28.) "Some considerations regarding the future of voluntary service," H.A. Penner to Wilmer Heisey, April 11, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984, IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 14, "U.S. Program," located in the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. [Hereafter AMC].

(29.) "Youth Involvement in Service Discussed at Consultation," Gospel Herald, April 10, 1984, 262-263.

(30.) "Youth Involvement in M.C.C," Mark Keller, March 29, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 14, "Preparation for Christian Ministries," AMC.

(31.) Ibid.

(32.) Peter Wiens, "From the Outside: A Look at Sharing with Appalachian People," 11, Senior History Seminar Paper, Mennonite Historical Library, Goshen, Ind.

(33.) "Youth Involvement in M.C.C," Keller.

(34.) Rick Stiffney, phone interview with author, July 7, 2008.

(35.) Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook, interview with author, July 23, 2008. Mark Keller in a 1984 "Youth Involvement in M.C.C." memo highlighted similar concerns, noting that youth were going to nonchurch institutions to participate in short-term programs.--"Youth Involvement in M.C.C." And H. A. Penner, director of the M.C.C. U.S. program, also expressed a desire for Mennonites to have their own options to choose from rather than going to non-Mennonite programs.--"Some Considerations Regarding the Future of Voluntary Service," H..A. Penner to Wilmer Heisey, April 11, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 14, "Preparation For Christian Ministries," AMC.

(36.) "Preparation for Christian Ministries: A Proposal," H. A. Penner, July 2. 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 12, "Executive Committee," AMC.

(37.) Ibid.

(38.) "Minutes for the Meeting on Preparation for Christian Ministry," Nov. 15, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 14, "Preparation for Christian Ministries," AMC.

(39.) Ibid.

(40.) "An Outline History of the Early Development of SWAP and DOOR," received upon request to Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives) for files on SWAP, pdf file "SWAP docs to 1997" in possession of author.

(41.) "Quarterly Report--August to November 1984," David Wiens, Nov. 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1984 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 10, "Appalachia MSU Activity Reports," AMC.

(42.) Letter from David Wiens to H.A. Penner, Oct. 9, 1984, and "Model for SWAP Program," David Wiens, Nov. 21, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(43.) "Sharing With Appalachian People Program (SWAP)," public relations material 1985, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(44.) "SWAP Evaluation: Preparation for Christian Ministry Developments," H. A. Penner to Wilmer Heisey, Aug. 29, 1985, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC. For a good narrative record of the early beginnings of SWAP, see also Wiens, "From the Outside."

(45.) E-mail correspondence between author and H. A. Penner in possession of author, June 28, 2008.

(46.) "An Outline of the Early Development of SWAP and DOOR."

(47.) Interview with Gwen and Les Gustafson-Zook.

(48.) "Youth Service Opportunities in the Mennonite and General Conference Mennonite Churches August 1985: Revised Draft," Aug. 26, 1985, M.C.C Corr. Files 1985, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP), AMC."

(49.) Jane Ramseyer Miller, phone interview with author, July 18, 2008.

(50.) Phone interview with Jane Ramseyer Miller.

(51.) Interview with Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook.

(52.) Wiens, "From the Outside," 17.

(53.) "Sharing with Appalachian People Program (SWAP)," 1985, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC, and "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(54.) "Organized Grant and Loan Application: Proposal Summary," 1987, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1987 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 118, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(55.) "SWAP," Doug Harms to Harold Nussbaum cc: Janet Weber, James Logan, and Jim and Karen Wright, April 15, 1996, 2-3; "1994-97 SWAP Correspondence," pdf file received from Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives), in possession of author.

(56.) Ibid., 3-4.

(57.) In the mid-1990s Mennonite short-term service programs proliferated throughout the United States. In 1992 the San Antonio Mennonite Church started the Serving and Learning in San Antonio (SALSA) program. A year later M.C.C. West Coast created Portland Learning Outreach and Worship (PLOW), and in 1994 M.C.C. Great Lakes in conjunction with the Illinois Mennonite Conference created Chicago Opportunities for Peace in Action (COPA).

(58.) Schrock Wenger, "Short-Term Service: Who Benefits?" 13.

(59.) "PLOW Reports," Bob and Barb Buxman (M.C.C.) to Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook (previous directors of PLOW till 1998), Dec, 6, 1999, received from Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives), pdf file "PLOW docs," in possession of author.

(60.) John Howard Yoder, As You Go: The Old Mission in a New Day (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1961), 6-8.

(61.) Ibid., 17-27.

(62.) Ibid., 34-35.

(63.) Ibid., 25.

(64.) Wilbert Shenk, "God's New Economy," Mission Focus (special issue, 1988), 4, 24.

(65.) Jacob A. Loewen, "Strategies for Cross-Cultural Mission: Past, Present and Future," Mission Focus 16, no. 4 (Dec. 2008), 86-87, and Peter M. Hamm, "Response to 'Strategies for Cross-cultural Mission,'" Mission Focus 16, no. 4 (Dec. 2008), 93.

(66.) "M.C.C. Mission Statement," 1991, received from Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives), pdf file "1991 Guiding Principles," in possession of author.

(67.) Ibid., and Jacob A. Loewen, "Strategies for Cross-Cultural Mission," 89.

(68.) The one exception to this service model was disaster relief work. James Logan asserted that a program like Mennonite Disaster Service, which provided emergency housing relief in the wake of natural disasters, was legitimate. Despite the fact that it was short-term, did little to develop local skills and autonomy, and made no explicit attempt to address systems of social injustice, M.D.S. provided essential resources for communities who faced dire situations that posed a threat to their survival. As such Logan felt that M.D.S. was a valuable organization.--James Logan, phone interview with author, July 15, 2008.

(69.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(70.) "H.A. Penner: Semianual Report," Gwen Gustafson-Zook to H.A. Penner, Dec. 13, 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(71.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(72.) "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) Program Plan 1987," Aug. 21, 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(73.) "DOOR Program," Larry Leaman-Miller to DOOR Subcommittee, March 2, 1994, "DOOR docs" pdf file received from Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives), in possession of author.

(74.) "Evaluation of SWAP/DOOR Services," Aug. 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 163, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(75.) Wiens, "From the Outside," 7.

(76.) Phone interview with James Logan.

(77.) Doug Harms, interview with author, Dec. 20, 2008.

(78.) "Sharing with Appalachian People Program (SWAP Program)," David Wiens to Akron Mennonite Church, Oct. 20, 1984, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(79.) "SWAP 1986," David Wiens to H.A. Penner, Feb. 21, 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(80.) "Full Name for SWAP," Harold Nussbaum to Denlinger Brubaker, Nov. 15, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 163, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(81.) "Sharing With Appalachian People Program: 1985 Narrative Report," David Wiens to H.A. Penner, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(82.) "Short-term Group Service Opportunity in Denver, Colorado," 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(83.) "DOOR and SWAP Mission Statement Draft #2," Oct. 24, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(84.) Redlining is a practice by which banks outline an area that they think will decline over the next twenty years. They then choose not to lend to anyone who wants to develop that area. Potential buyers cannot get loans to buy and renovate property, and current owners are left stuck with unsellable property. Therefore, owners have the incentive to make as much money as possible from rent without investing resources to improve dilapidated buildings.

(85.) "SWAP Orientation Sessions #1, 2, 3" 1985, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC, and "DOOR Orientation Sessions #1, 2, 3" 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(86.) Phone interviews with Jane Ramseyer Miller and Nancy Thiessen.

(87.) "DOOR and SWAP Mission Statement Draft #2," Oct. 24, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(88.) "Short-term Group Service Opportunity in Denver, Colorado," 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC, and "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(89.) M.C.C. Workbook 1988, (Akron, Pa.: Mennonite Central Committee, 1989), 162, AMC.

(90.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(91.) "Reflections from the Summer of '88," M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(92.) Ibid.

(93.) Randy Enns (associate pastor, Gospel Mennonite Church) to John Peters (M.C.C), Sept. 5, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm 163, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(94.) "Letter from Peter Fergueson to M.C.C.," Peter Fergueson to M.C.C., Nov. 3, 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(95.) "Feedback on SWAP 1989," Denis Travers to Harold Nussbaum, March 20, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(96.) Ibid.

(97.) Ibid.

(98.) "Reflections from the Summer of '88," M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(99.) Ibid.

(100.) Ibid. Nancy Thiessen and Jane Ramseyer Miller also noted that Group Venture was instrumental for many volunteers in helping them put a human face on poverty.--Phone interviews with Nancy Thiessen and Jane Ramseyer Miller.

(101.) "Reflections/Discussion from Visit of Aug. 20-25, 1991," Janet Weber (USSP) to SWAP Coordinators (Denis/Jen), Sept. 3, 1991, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(102.) "SWAP Summer 1989: Comments from Participating Groups," 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(103.) "Letter from H. James Smith to M.C.C.," H. James Smith to M.C.C, Aug. 25, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(104.) "Wisdom Generated in the Evening Sessions," Sharing with Appalachian People Newsletter "Swappin' News" 5, no. 2, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter 'Swappin' News," AMC.

(105.) Ibid.

(106.) "Post-Involvement Eval and Review: SWAP Program," Bally Mennonite to SWAP, 1987, "Organized Grant and Loan Application: Proposal Summary," 1987, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1987 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 118, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(107.) "Volunteer Poster Talk," Sharing with Appalachian People Newsletter "Swappin' News" 6, no. 2, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter 'Swappin' News,'" AMC.

(108.) "Feedback on SWAP 1989," Denis Travers to Harold Nussbaum, March 20, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(109.) "Greater Involvement of Youth Proposal," Renton Amell to U.S. Service Program (Sue Shirt/Lynette Meck), March 17, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(110.) "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) 1987 Program Plan," Aug. 21, 1986, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(111.) Phone interviews with Nancy Thiessen and Jane Ramseyer Miller.

(112.) "Greater Involvement of Youth Proposal," Renton Amell to U.S. Service Program (Sue Shirt/Lynette Meck), March 17, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(113.) Letter from Gwen Gustafson-Zook to DOOR participants, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1986 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 13, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(114.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008..

(115.) "Reflections from the Summer of '88," M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(116.) Ibid.

(117.) "Narrative Report SWAP Program," David Wiens to H.A. Penner, June 1985, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(118.) Interview with Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook.

(119.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(120.) Robert Proudfoot, "Akron VSers Experience Third World Poverty in the 'First World,'" Intercom (Feb. 1988), 3; M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Appalachia MSU," AMC.

(121.) "Conference Feedback," Ron Braun (M.C.C. Central States) to Wilmer Heisey (M.C.C Executive Office), Oct. 27, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(122.) "SWAP Witnessing," Renton Amell to USSP, Nov. 10, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(123.) Jane Ramseyer Miller, phone interview with author.

(124.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(125.) Les and Gwen Gustafson-Zook, interview with author.

(126.) "DOOR Program," Ron Braun (M.C.C. Central States) to Glicks (M.C.C. Great Lakes), April 6, 1993, "DOOR docs" pdf file received from Frank Peachy (M.C.C. Records/Library/Archives), in possession of author.

(127.) "Meeting on June 26, 1990," Mike and Becky Hofkamp (DOOR Directors) to DOOR Subcommittee, June 20, 1990, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC. Also, Jim Bothmer (DOOR Subcommittee chair) to Harold Nussbaum, March 19, 1990, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC. Also, "Budget Consideration for DOOR/SWAP" Harold Nussbaum to Janet Weber (U.S. Service Program) and Ron Braun (M.C.C. Central States), July 11, 1991, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(128.) "Narrative Report: SWAP Program November 1985," David Wiens to H.A. Penner, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1985 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 11, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(129.) "Low-Cost Housing in Kentucky: Many Approaches, One Goal," Renton Amell, Jan. 22, 1988, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1988 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 133, "Appalachia MSU," AMC.

(130.) "SWAP's Connections," M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 163, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter 'Swappin' News,'" AMC.

(131.) "People and Events," Sharing with Appalachian People Newsletter "Swappin' News" 5, no. 2, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter 'Swappin' News,'" AMC.

(132.) "SWAP is People Helping People," Sharing with Appalachian People Newsletter "Swappin' News" 5, no. 1, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter "Swappin' News," AMC.

(133.) "SWAP Follow-up Materials and 1989 Summer Report," Carol Loeppky to Harold Nussbaum, Oct. 4, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm 163, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC. Jen and Denis Travers also conducted informal interviews with all the homeowners to make sure that homeowners were happy with the work that was done to their homes.--"Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Resource Manual," Denis and Jen Travers, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(134.) Jane Ramseyer Miller, phone interview with author.

(135.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(136.) Interview with Gwen and Les Gustafson-Zook.

(137.) "SWAP Follow-up Materials and 1989 Summer Report," Carol Loeppky (Appalachia program coordinator) to Harold Nussbaum, Oct. 4, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 163, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(138.) "Finally ...," Sharing with Appalachian People Newsletter "Swappin News" 6, no. 1 (May 1991), M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP) Newsletter 'Swappin' News," AMC.

(139.) In one instance, youth damaged microphones by playing with the sound system in a local church and damaged lights by hanging from them.--Phone interview with Nancy Thiessen.

(140.) "Quarterly Report," Dennis and Jen Travers to Nussbaum, July 4, 1990, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1990 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 213, "Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)," AMC.

(141.) Ibid.

(142.) Wiens, "From the Outside."

(143.) "Budget Planning for 1990," Harold Nussbaum to Hofkamps, July 28, 1989, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1989 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 163, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.

(144.) Nancy Thiessen, phone interview with author, July 28, 2008.

(145.) "Budget Consideration for DOOR/SWAP," Harold Nussbaum to Janet Weber (U.S. service program) and Ron Braun (M.C.C. Central States), July 11, 1991, M.C.C. Corr. Files 1991 IX-6-3, Microfilm Reel 230, "Denver Opportunity for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR)," AMC.


* Matt Harms is a recent graduate of Goshen (Ind.) College, where he majored in history. He is currently serving with Mennonite Central Committee as a program assistant at the Center for Peacebuilding in Sanski Most, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Author:Harms, Matt
Publication:Mennonite Quarterly Review
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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