Objects and artifacts from around the world featured in Good Library’s Brought Home exhibit

Exhibit: Brought Home: Objects and Stories from Mission and Service Workers
Location: Goshen College’s Good Library Gallery
Opening reception: Sunday, Sept. 18 from 3 to 5 p.m.
On display: Sept. 12 through Nov. 13, call (574) 535-7418 for gallery hours
Cost: Free and open to the public

GOSHEN, Ind. – An iron sculpture made out of gun parts from the end of the war in Mozambique and a vase made out of brass shells from World War I are just two of the objects featured in the new exhibit in Goshen College’s Library Gallery. “Brought Home: Objects and Stories from Mission and Service Workers” will feature objects brought home by Mennonites working on mission, relief and service projects around the world. The exhibit will be up from Sept. 12 through Nov. 13, with a reception on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The exhibit features objects that reflect the work done by Mennonites in mission, relief and service projects, from the earliest missions in India and the earliest relief work in Ukraine, to the present time. Most have been borrowed from local community members. The display features trench art, fine art, ethnographic art, garments, textiles, tools, and commemoratives. Church programs represented include American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Mennonite Mission Network (MMN), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Pax, Civilian Public Service (CPS), Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and other projects in the United States, India, Africa, Europe, South America and elsewhere.

The Brought Home exhibit presents not souvenirs bought for their beauty or oddity, but objects that embody in some way and to some degree the actual work and meaning of their owners’ service and mission work. Sometimes, the objects were used in work assignments, and often they were gifts of appreciation to their owners from people who benefited from their work.

Examples of objects in the exhibit include:

  • A large framed embroidered needlework picture of The Last Supper presented by President Ahmadinejad of Iran to the Mennonite Central Committee in New York City in 2007, in appreciation for MCC’s help with earthquake reconstruction and the MCC ecumenical exchange program.
  • A small homemade cloth doll found abandoned in the straw-lined floor of a boxcar used to transport 1,000 Ukrainian Mennonite refugees from Berlin to Bremerhaven, where they boarded the ship Volendam to be re-settled in Paraguay in 1947.
  • A welded iron sculpture of a guitar player, made of parts of guns that were turned in at the end of 30 years of revolutionary and civil war in Mozambique, in 1992, for the “Swords to Plowshares” project of the Christian Council of Mozambique.
  • The mounted skin of a tiger shot in 1955 by Glen Nafziger of Archbold, Ohio, while he worked at a leprosy hospital near Balodagahn in India. Nafziger climbed a tree in the jungle during the night and waited for the tiger, which had been killing cattle in the village.
  • Framed citations signed and presented in person by Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, president of Haiti, to Arlin and Naomi Hunsberger of Goshen in 1964 for leading an MCC reconstruction team following the devastation of Hurricane Flora.

Faye Pottinger is the curator for the exhibit, which is sponsored by the Mennonite-Amish Museum Committee of Goshen College. Ervin Beck completed the research for the exhibit.

The Good Library Gallery is located in the north end of the basement of the Good Library. When classes are in session, the gallery hours are: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays; 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 3-11 p.m. on Sundays. Hours vary during academic breaks, summer and holidays. For gallery hours, call (574) 535-7418.

– By Alysha Landis

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.

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Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

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