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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 homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith and wholeness.
MDS HELPS THE MOST VULNERABLE
MDS is the organized response of our churches to the needs of "neighbors" in time of disaster. We endeavor, in the spirit of Christian love, to follow Christ's example by giving time, talents, and energies to help relieve suffering caused by disasters.
We understand the ministries of listening, cleanup, repair, reconstruction to be examples of "the cup of cold water" given to those in need.
MDS focuses on helping the most vulnerable: the elderly, the handicapped, single parents, the unemployed, the uninsured and the underinsured. Our focus is on helping those who are not covered by traditional means of recovery.
THE MDS NETWORK
The MDS network is divided into five regions of response. There are four regions in the United States and one region in Canada. Each region is managed by regional officers and a regional director.
Each MDS region is divided into units. Units often follow the geographic boundaries of provinces and states.
MDS’s Administrative offices are located in Lititz, Pennsylvania. and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
MDS activities are governed by a board of directors in conjunction with a board of delegates.
The board of directors meets several times per year while the Board of Delegates is an advisory group designed to meet one time per year to carry advice and guidance from the many constituencies to the MDS Board of Directors, and alternatively, to carry the messages and decisions back to their constituency groups. The Board of Delegates serves as an advisory group to the board of directors.
To see our most recent videos, click on the link below:
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD CHAIR, Al Yoder
Mennonite Disaster Service connects disaster related needs with ready and willing volunteers from across North America. Locally organized grassroots efforts focus on emergency clean up and repairs and the National Offices focus on housing rebuilds and repairs. A challenge and success is bringing the diversity of Canadian and American Anabaptist churches and individuals together towards a shared vision of restoring, rebuilding, and giving hope to individuals in disaster crisis. This diverse board of American and Canadian men and women works to foster, organize, and staff an agency that has 50 plus years of demonstrated commitment to serve those around us impacted by disaster. I am humbled and honored to work with a board that clearly demonstrates the hands and feet of Jesus. The current board is challenging, funding, and assisting the regions and local units to build capacity towards a greater compassionate response towards those in need.
By the grace of God, we seek to live and proclaim the good news of reconciliation in Jesus Christ. As part of the one body of Christ at all times and places, we hold the following to be central to our belief and practice:
1. God is known to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Creator who seeks to restore fallen humanity by calling a people to be faithful in fellowship, worship, service and witness.
2. Jesus is the Son of God. Through his life and teachings, his cross and resurrection, he showed us how to be faithful disciples, redeemed the world, and offers eternal life.
3. As a church, we are a community of those whom God´s Spirit calls to turn from sin, acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, receive baptism upon confession of faith, and follow Christ in life.
4. As a faith community, we accept the Bible as our authority for faith and life, interpreting it together under Holy Spirit guidance, in the light of Jesus Christ to discern God´s will for our obedience.
5. The Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies, seek justice, and share our possessions with those in need.
6. We gather regularly to worship, to celebrate the Lord´s Supper, and to hear the Word of God in a spirit of mutual accountability.
7. As a world-wide community of faith and life we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language. We seek to live in the world without conforming to the powers of evil, witnessing to God´s grace by serving others, caring for creation, and inviting all people to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
In these convictions we draw inspiration from Anabaptist forebears of the 16th century, who modeled radical discipleship to Jesus Christ. We seek to walk in his name by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we confidently await Christ´s return and the final fulfillment of God´s kingdom.
Adopted by Mennonite World Conference
Pasadena, California (USA)
March 15, 2006
Adopted by MDS Board of Directors and Delegates Feb 10, 2011
MDS volunteers are known for repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by disasters. But it takes more than construction skills to serve with MDS. During the time that you serve as a volunteer, you will learn that MDS also restores lives.
Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.
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