Bennettsville, SC – Weekly Report – July 25-30, 2021

August 27, 2021

This week we had a group of volunteers (12 youth and 5 sponsors) from Bowmansville Mennonite Church.  This was our 3rd SVP group of the summer.

After nearly 2 ½ weeks and nearly 700 volunteer hours Ms. Lloyds repaired house was completed.  She was very grateful that she now has a safe place to live.  Also, the Dickson, Miles, Bodic, and Wilson jobs were completed this week.  Because the Bennettsville project is closing it was God’s timing that all jobs were signed up were completed Friday before the 3 crews returned.

Wednesday evening Ms. Brown and her family joined us for dinner after which Ms. Brown shared here experience with Hurricane Florence.  Many times, she thanked MDS for the work they did on her home.

Thursday evening for dinner a local family from the community provided the meal.  It was delicious.  This family has a real heart for this area of South Carolina and wanted to show the volunteers their appreciation for the work done.

Chad Weaver came from Snyder County PA to serve as a crew leader for one week.  Chad agreed to come to Bennettsville a week earlier after it was uncertain Dave King would be able to continue due to illness in his family.  We are grateful that Dave was able to return and serve the final two week.  Midweek Josh Carson (Volunteer Coordinator for Leadership), his wife Lindsey along with their 7 month old daughter arrived and spent a day and several meals with us.  Linda Stutzman, Roland’s wife, arrived Tuesday

On Thursday morning we received the news Edna Bowers’ father had passed away.  Edna is the wife of Randy the pastor of Main Street UMC.  Main Street UMC is where we are staying.  Because Randy and Edna had to leave to drive across South Carolina we were unable to share goodbyes with them.  They were excellent hosts and will miss the many conversations we had with them.

All in all, MDS completed 44 jobs in the Bennettsville SC area.  27 were completed in the Winter of 2020 when MDS was based at Camp Pinehill.  There is still much more repair work to be done but as it is with many disasters the funding has begun to dry up.  Many thanks to all the short-term volunteers who served in this neck of the woods.  Also, thanks to UMCOR, particularly Tim Whitten and Steve Nolan for being great partners in this effort.  On a personal note, having served on this project twice, it is interesting how a piece of land called Marlboro and Chesterfield counties in South Carolina now becomes part of my life experience because of a disaster called Hurricane Florence.  Yet there are stories shared, experiences gained, work accomplished, and friendships made to once again realize that the Bennettsville project is a story where Jesus is the hero.

I can’t finish without giving the final quote as Don Mintmeir (Project Director) would want me to do.

“Bob’s your uncle”

Submitted by Roland Stutzman on behalf of the Bennettsville team