Bennettsville, SC – Weekly Report – Jan 6-10, 2020

January 22, 2020

On January 1st the first few long-term volunteers arrived at the Pinehill Baptist Retreat Camp to open the brand new MDS project in Bennettsville, South Carolina. On the 2nd the rest of the long-term volunteers arrived. Michele WhiteEagle from Idaho, Roland Stutzman from Alabama, Doug Goertzen from Illinois, Dwight Kauffman from Virginia, Elmer and Mary Friesen from Manitoba, Steven and Kathy Rhodes from Virginia, and Don Mintmier from Pennsylvania joined us for the first week as mentor to the project director.

Fourteen Amish ladies from Pennsylvania arrived Monday morning as first time MDSers. Following breakfast, we had orientation and then got right to work.  The week started with all the volunteers on one job to teach drywall finishing and assess skills. The volunteers proved to be quick learners and had their crew leaders running to keep ahead of them all week.

At the Diane Perkins’ job, a lower portion of drywall along the perimeter of the basement was removed and the cement walls treated. New drywall installed, taped, mudded, sanded, primed and painted. Some trim was installed, a new step built, and cement floor cleaned in preparation for flooring install.

At Viola Bridges’ job, in the kitchen; studs and base plates were replaced, hole through wall was framed and enclosed, insulation and drywall installed, taped, mudded, sanded, primed and painted, upper cabinets were painted as well, subfloor patched and lauan installed in preparation for flooring installation. In the living room, wood floor was patched, drywall sanded and painted, crown trim installed and painted. In the bedroom holes in wall were patched. In the bathroom; waste pipe replaced, and subfloor installed.

At Doletha Davenport’s job the dining room was primed and painted.

In the evenings all the volunteers enjoyed games but especially singing, Steven proves to be a talented and passionate song leader. Camp is a humorous place to be and there was a bit of practical joking going on, we even had Peter Cottontail arrive on Friday evening for dinner.

On Thursday evening, Steve Nolan, our partner serving with United Methodist Conference of South Carolina joined us to share the experience and the aftermath of Hurricane Florence from the prospective of the Long-Term Recovery. In the two counties of Marlboro and Chesterfield over 7300 homes were affected by the storm that dumped rain for an entire week causing massive flooding.

It was a great first week. The hardware store is still talking about our Amish ladies. We are blessed to serve in Bennettsville. Thanks to all for your generous support and dedication to serve.

God Bless,

Michele, Roland, Doug, Elmer, Mary, Dwight, Steven, and Kathy