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Leaving MDS “with a grateful heart”

May 18, 2021

Evelyn Peters-Rojas retired in April after 15 years with MDS Canada, mostly in the area of volunteer coordination. We asked her a few questions about her time with MDS.

What has working with MDS meant to you?

It has meant doing something I love and believe in. As Christians we are called to serve, and I have enjoyed my small role in making it possible for people to serve through MDS. 

What do you appreciate about MDS?

I like how MDS accepts volunteers with lots of construction skills or none at all. I like how those with construction skills are willing to teach the others. I also like how volunteers are encouraged to “put down the hammer” when a client wants to talk, to care for them by listening, sharing, and connecting.

What did you value most about working with volunteers?

Relationships are important to me. As volunteer coordinator I have enjoyed getting to know volunteers by listening, caring, and striving to put them into roles that suit their experience and gifts. Many volunteers have become friends that I treasure. I have rejoiced with them at marriages (some couples meeting through MDS!), at births of children and grandchildren. Their commitment to service has impacted me and has shown me the incredible value of loving others through serving. This has strengthened my faith.

How has your work with MDS impacted your life?

MDS is the church at work in the world. Volunteers from various Anabaptist and non-Anabaptist churches come together to serve, not worrying about the theological or church background of the other person. They come to rebuild homes and in so doing, usually without words, model God’s love to those they meet. This mutual goal of bringing love has moved me repeatedly.

After MDS, what?

I leave MDS with a grateful heart as I leave paid employment and enter retirement. Thank you to all the volunteers and colleagues who have shared their lives with me over the past 15 years! You have been a great encouragement to me.