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A Cloud of Witnesses – MDS Update

January 26, 2017

Lititz, PA — In this week’s MDS update we ask you to pray for all the individuals, families, and communities impacted by the devastating tornadoes that occurred last weekend. We give you the latest volunteer opportunities and we hear about an MDS commemoration ceremony as well as the latest work in Lafayette. All this and more in the latest edition of the MDS update.

 

Prayer Concerns

A large storm hit parts of the southern United States last weekend producing several deadly tornadoes and causing immense damage in eight states across the region. Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Albany, Georgia were hit particularly hard. The January storm caused one of the largest winter outbreaks of tornadoes on record in the U.S.

Please pray for all the individuals, families and communities impacted by this devastating disaster. We want to especially pray for the families who lost loved ones as a result of the tornadoes. At least 20 people were killed in the region because of the storm.

 

Summer Youth Program

The MDS Summer Youth Program (SYP) is now accepting applications. The SYP is a weeklong summer service experience designed for youth and their sponsors to put hands and feet to the gospel by serving others. SYP work is focused on clean up, disaster mitigation, and repairing homes. The 2017 SYP locations are Detroit, MI, Pine Ridge, SD and southern Ontario, Canada. To apply or to get more information visit the SYP page on the MDS website.

 

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Weekly Crew Openings

New Construction in Calaveras County, CA

  • March 26: April 1: up to 4 people

New Construction in Lake County, CA

  • Feb 12-18: up to 3 people
  • March 5-11: up to 6 people

Repairs in Andrews, SC

  • Jan 29- Feb 4: up to 9 people
  • Feb 5-11: up to 4 people

Apply Now for the positions listed above.

Other possibilities this winter are with regional projects which are scheduled by local volunteers. Feel free to pursue the projects listed below with their organizers.

  • Cleveland, MS – Contact Larry Miller (662) 361-0383, larrym45@gmail.com.
  • Princeville, NC – Contact Jay Rohrer (804) 310-9142, jayrohrer@verizon.net.
  • Saipan, NMI – Contact John Eshleman (909) 630-3660, region4@mds.mennonite.net.
    This response is extended through July 29, 2017. Volunteers must commit to three weeks or more, FEMA provides invitational travel to volunteers, lodging and food is provided at the project site.

Leadership Openings (February-March 2017)

We are in great need of crew leaders for March in all of the MDS responses. Please consider contacting us to serve in this very important role.

Andrews, SC

Crew Leader – February 4-March 4

Crew Leaders – March 4-April 1

Calaveras County, CA
Office Manager – February 19-March 4

Crew Leaders – March 12-April 8

Crew Leaders – April 1-April 29

Lake County, CA
Crew Leaders – March 4-April 1

Greenbrier County, WV
Crew Leaders – March 4-April 1

Lafayette, LA

Head Cook – March 3-April 1

Crew Leader – March 3-April 1

Due to housing constraints it would be best to have a couple for the head cook/crew leader roles.

MDS project leaders available to serve for one of the above listings please contact:
U.S. residents – Steph Shenk at 800-241-8111 or email sshenk@mds.mennonite.net.
Canadian residents – Evelyn Peters-Rojas at 866-261-1274 or email epetersrojas@mds.mennonite.net.

Volunteer placement for the spring season will begin after January 30. Please use this form to indicate your availability to volunteer in April-June or to inquire about the winter openings.

 

Help Those Affected by Recent Tornadoes

 MDS staff are currently in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, investigating needs after recent winter tornadoes there. Donations are being accepted for possible work in Mississippi and Georgia where tornadoes damaged hundreds of homes and killed more than a dozen people. Designate your gift to 2017 Winter Tornadoes.

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Director’s Blueprint

A Cloud of Witnesses

I write this from our project in Lafayette, LA where MDS is responding to the floods of 2016 throughout south central Louisiana. Our work is comprised of repairing interior walls that were damaged. At one of the homes I spoke with Colleen Baronet and her husband, Christopher, and their two young children. MDS is applying a new subfloor and wallboard to home. Tears welled up in her eyes as she exclaimed, “Someday, I will repay your efforts. I would love to be a case manager and help my community in the future!”

Last Saturday I attended a closing ceremony of our flood relief work in Detroit. Among the many words of thanks from the homeowners we served many stated that they are praying for MDS and our volunteers as we enter into new communities. It is great to know and hear how we are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses”! Hebrews 12:1

Kevin King,

Executive Director

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