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Grand Forks, BC – Weekly Report – May 6-10, 2019

May 15, 2019

Long term volunteers began arriving the week of April 29 to set up base camp at the River Valley Community Church. Temporary walls were built; bunks set up; vehicles and trailers prepared; and kitchen and office supplies unpacked and set up for the summer.

Our long-term volunteers came from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. On Sunday the arrival of 7 weekly volunteers boosted our number to eighteen. On Wednesday Peter and Susan Thiessen, Project Coordinators, and Kelsey Friesen from the MDS Canada office, returned to their homes to continue assisting us from a distance.

We started on Monday, May 6, with three projects. A new build for Jesse and Courtnay will replace the home which was destroyed by water in the flood of 2018. The couple is living in a 10’ by 12’ “cabin”. They burst into tears when the excavation was staked out for the footings. By the end of the week the basement forms were completed and ready for the concrete pouring on Monday of next week.

Kirk and Wendy’s home, with a large add-on to the house, had been gutted and was ready for us to begin. By the end of the week the insulation of the crawl space, as well as the walls, was completed and most of the drywall boarding. In the coming week we look forward to seeing the boarding finished and a lot of the drywall taping and mudding.

Radek and Geordie’s is an older home with damage to floors and walls. All the old wiring was pulled and most of the new wiring done. The next week will see a continuation of the work already done on the framing and repairs to the floor.

Pastor Gabe and Rachel joined us for supper and reported on their involvement prior to and during the flood, as the “Leader of the Sandbag” supply. Gabe assisted with the recovery and removal of debris for home owners. Rachel is leading the case workers with the Long Term Disaster Recovery Team.

The volunteers enjoyed many daily visits from the clients and family members, who continually brought goodies and expressed their appreciation of the work being done. The local churches are joining together and organizing a weekly supper for the volunteers.

We have had many opportunities to meet people in town and share why we are here. In one such exchange, Peter had a great exchange with the cement truck driver as to what MDS volunteers are doing here. He interwove the Jesus example into our service story.

Thankful for the blessings already experienced, 

Jan, Heather, Eli, Zach, Garry, Glenis, Judy and Larry