top of page
  • Writer's pictureMennonite Church USA

Young Woman Wins Award for Peace Work in Myanmar

Originally posted with the title, "An interview with Sydney Leah Bontrager, 2023 Bring the Peace award recipient" at:

Sydney Leah Bontrager, 2023 Bring the Peace award recipient, describes how God has impacted her through her work raising funds to provide relief to Myanmar villages and a Myanmar orphanage.

Sydney Leah Bontrager graduated from Hesston College in May, with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. She began work in early August on a pediatric unit at Wesley Hospital. Sydney is from Milford, Nebraska, where she attended Bellwood Mennonite Church.

Mennonite Church USA is proud to acknowledge Sydney’s peacebuilding work with the 2023 #BringthePeace Young Peacemaker award, sponsored by MC USA’s Church Peace Tax Fund.

Q: What does “Bring The Peace” mean to you?

Sydney: I think “Bring The Peace” means bringing peace wherever you can, no matter what situation you’re in...

Q: How are you involved in peace and justice work?

Sydney: When I was a student at Hesston College, I met some friends from Myanmar. I really wasn’t even aware Myanmar was a country before. I didn’t really know about it. But through talking with these friends, I found out what their country was going through. They’re going through a civil war, and they’re turning into a communist country. It’s very unsafe. It’s just not a good place to be. One of my professors at Hesston College, Michele Hershberger, was really into raising money for Myanmar and getting food to the villages where a lot of the active conflict is happening. With that connection and through my friends, I realized we could get more money. And I knew my church, Bellwood Mennonite Church, would be willing to do something like that, so I asked them if they would be able to help donate some money for food for these villages.

I was also able to be in contact with a lady in Myanmar who runs an orphanage for kids who live in a dump. Their home is the city dump. During the day, when their parents are at work, the kids come to the orphanage, and she gives them food and teaches them in a Christian environment. We were able to raise money for them, as well — for food and supplies.

I brought these needs to my church, and in one or two weeks, we raised $14,000. That was really surprising, but I was very thankful!...

Click through here to watch the recording or read the interview on MC USA's website:

4 views0 comments
bottom of page