The Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN) program is a joint program between Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee.  It places emphasis on expanding the fellowship between churches in the Anabaptist tradition and developing young leaders around the globe. Participants spend one year in a cross-cultural assignment starting in August and ending the following July. 

Link to YAMEN page on Mennonite Central Committee website

Click here for stories about YAMEN



Graphic design and cooking pave the way to emotional resiliency

What do cooking and graphic design have in common? For Adi Nugroho, it’s never been about mastering either of these skills. Technical skills are simply the backdrop for developing emotional tools and creating a space for connection, even across cultures. When Adi’s host mom, Angela Opimi, was asked...
Read more

Unexpected placement equips for future service

Stephanie Setiawan from Sidoarjo, Indonesia, had no plan to go to Latin America. She applied for Mennonite Central Committee’s International Volunteer Exchange Program in 2013/2014, but the slot for her synod was already taken. The coordinators offered her a YAMEN placement in Colombia instead. As...
Read more
Smiling people on the waterfront

Praising God together across barriers

“I can see one family with a lot of members, worshipping the same Father,” says Natacha Kyendrebeogo from Burkina Faso. She is one of four young people serving through YAMEN on the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Assembly team in Indonesia. YAMEN (Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network) is a...
Read more

“God’s time was perfect”

“When I first signed up for the program, I never thought a pandemic would happen,” says Elda Antonio Garcia, a YAMENer from Mexico. “Now that I am living in the midst of it, instead of seeing it as a challenge, I see it as a blessing…. It is incredible how people open their hearts to help others.”...
Read more
physician in clinic

Called to care, equipped to serve

How YAMEN put this doctor on the path she’d always hoped for Dr. Ela Castro always knew she wanted to spend her life serving those in need. By all outward appearances, this is what she was doing. She’d studied for years to earn her medical degree. She was working at a health-care clinic. She was...
Read more
 Olicky, Enosh, Jeu Song

Locked down but uplifted

“The love from Indonesia”: for YAMENers Enosh Rupamajhi, Jeu Song and Olicky Muchindu, the warmth of relationship – from their hosts and each other – is a hallmark of their year. YAMEN offers young adults from around the world an opportunity to leave what they know for a year to serve, grow and...
Read more
Minear Mak, YAMEN participant Cambodia, Cocora Valley, Colombia.

Spaghetti and chopsticks: Mutual transformation in YAMEN

This story was written in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic became a worldwide threat. As of April 2020, Minear Mak is still serving in her YAMEN assignment, remaining in close contact with MCC and MWC administrators as health and government guidelines continue to change. Some YAMEN...
Read more

More curious, more daring

“During this year I have learned to be more curious and adventurous. When I return to my country, I hope to be a better servant for Christ and in my church, and also to be more daring when assuming responsibilities,” says Gerhard Peters, a 2018–2019 YAMEN participant. The young man from a Mennonite...
Read more

“Every second, God is here, helping me”

“A chapter of my story was written while with YAMEN,” says Diana Martínez. The young church leader from Colombia served as an educational assistant at Casa Hogar Belén, a children’s home in Managua, Nicaragua, 2017–2018 through YAMEN. YAMEN (Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network) is a joint...
Read more
Khammoun Xayalath (Lao) Laotian cucumber salad host in Indonesia

A recipe to cure homesickness

Laos and Indonesia are both in South East Asia, so some kinds of food are similar. But sometimes, as Laotian teaching English on YAMEN in Indonesia, I miss Lao food. When I make food from home, it helps me to not feel as homesick. Cooking Lao food to share with others helps me to share God’s love...
Read more

YAMEN ambassador of peace amid violence

Damaris Guaza Sandoval says her year of service in La Ceiba, Honduras, was about equipping young people to be God’s ambassadors of peace where violence is common. The 26-year-old from Cali, Colombia, worked as a social worker with Proyecto Paz y Justicia (PPyJ; Peace and Justice Project), a...
Read more

How it works: Emergency food distribution

In many parts of the area near Kibwezi, Kenya, I see corn that has dried up. Driving around, it’s hard to find any corn that people will be able to harvest this season. In February 2018, MCC’s partner Utooni Development Organization (UDO), which I volunteer with, started a food relief project in...
Read more
Woman breaks bread

A transformative year: YAMEN participants meet God and people

Bogotá, Colombia – “The gospel connects us all no matter where we are,” says Laurey Segura. She lived out this realization as a teacher and youth worker with the help of Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN), a joint Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite World Conference (...
Read more

Spanish speaking YAMENers face unique challenges in Latin American placements

Serving in an area of the world relatively close to your home country where the dominant language is the same as your own might seem relatively easy. But Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN) participants who hail from Latin American countries and are serving in other countries in the...
Read more

Healing wounds through art: A YAMEN experience

Bogotá, Colombia – For Keila Viana, seeing how art can heal wounds deepened her understanding of God and his love during her international service in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. “I believe that during this time God worked a lot in my life,” says Viana, a 22-year-old young adult from the Iglesia...
Read more

YAMEN service builds faith

Bogotá, Colombia – Taking a risk and trusting in God are sure ways to grow in faith. For Marisela Dyck and Xavier Chen, serving with the Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network (YAMEN) program in 2015-2016 was a year of lessons in relying on God. “During my service I learned that looking for...
Read more

Church participation enriches cross cultural experience

Winnipeg, Manitoba – Opportunities to fill leadership responsibilities in a local church enrich Yoweri Murungi’s one-year cross cultural service assignment in Lusaka, Zambia. His many new experiences include leading praise and worship services, Bible study classes and youth ministries at the...
Read more

YAMEN! experience feeds passion for helping children

Joint release by Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee Bogotá, Colombia - Within days of her arrival in Bogotá on 21 August 2013 for her YAMEN! term, Rut Arsari already knew it would be difficult for her to leave. The wonderful people she would meet and the close relationships...
Read more

Young adults learn to love God and others through cross-cultural service

Uganda — Among the many memories that Shammah Nakawesi of Uganda brings home from her one-year service assignment in Indonesia is her new understanding of loving God and others. “Even in the uncertainties of life, loving God and loving others is all that matters,” says Nakawesi, who served as an...
Read more

Offering our blessings to the world

Sindy Novoa Caro lives in Bogotá, Colombia, where she belongs to the Casa de Oración church, a Mennonite Brethren congregation. In 2010–2011, Sindy served with YAMEN in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, as a teacher´s assistant in a school for children living near the garbage dump. Since her return to...
Read more

No longer foolish and small

Sukodono, Indonesia--In 2008 I went to Cairo, Egypt, under YAMEN! to work at the Anaphora Retreat Centre of the Coptic Orthodox church. I used my limited English language as a basis for learning Arabic. After a month and a half, however, just as I was getting the feel of Egypt, a friend drove me to...
Read more