“I have never felt so lost, then God put you guys in my path to assure me that things were going to be ok. MDS made a believer out of me…you gave us hope when we had none.”
“When MDS showed up to repair my home my burdens were suddenly removed…I felt I could imagine a future again.”
“This is the first time I smiled since the hurricane.”
These are testimonies from some of the people MDS helped in the name of Jesus.
Our mission statement for MDS (Mennonite Disaster Service) is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States. While the main focus is on clean up, repair and rebuilding houses, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.
Our vision statement for MDS is to inspire and equip every Anabaptist congregation to respond in Christian love with volunteers to those affected by disaster.
When people who have experienced disaster can see the hands and feet of Jesus at work. We see people recommitting their lives to God, accepting Jesus as their personal Savior and going back to church. Their hope is restored as people give of their time to come and serve. Of course, the volunteers are also changed.
On Feb 5th, I traveled to Goshen IN for the MDS Board meetings. The Board of Directors met on Thursday preceded by MDS Canada meeting on Wednesday. On Friday, the Board of Delegates met in the morning and the regions met in the afternoon. The all Unit meeting started on Friday night and ended on Saturday night. The theme of the meeting was “Seeing Jesus Among Us”.
For 2019, 5569 volunteers from churches across Canada and the US gave of their time, skills and compassion to build 68 new homes, complete 313 repairs, finish 352 clean ups, and build 5 new bridges for households who experienced a disaster. The volunteer labor is valued at over 9.8 million dollars. MDS volunteers served more than 48,035 days helping nearly 762 households recover from disasters.
In 2019, it took 67 project directors, 62 office managers, 13 construction supervisors, 112 cooks and 11 crew leaders to get the work done.
We had 17 projects in the US and Canada: West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, California, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario Canada.
Almost exactly one year ago we had a group from our church travel to Texas to serve with MDS. It was a great blessing to the residents and to us. We will be taking another trip soon. Be watching for more details.