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Love Your Neighbor

February 13, 2017

Waynesboro, VA — Hurricanes slamming the coast bring damaging winds, torrential rains and can displace thousands of people at a time. Long periods of rain or a series of thunderstorms can cause major flooding that sweep homes off foundations and fill others full of mud.  We hear these stories in the news and Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is often one of the first groups to respond with helping hands coming from all over the country.

There are, however, other occasions when people need help, but their story does not make the national or even the local news. They are people in need that often suffer in silence, wondering what to do. MDS steps in in these instances as well.

On October 7th, 2016 a group of seven men from Harrisonburg Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg District) and Waynesboro Mennonite Church (Southern District) met at a small house on Shiloe Ave. in Waynesboro, VA to “love their neighbor”. A retired widow, Patricia Cauls, had major problems with minor rains washing into the crawl space of her house and filling her water heater and furnace with mud.

The original idea was to simply place a new drain system behind her house to divert water around it instead of washing under it. In the end, we ended up repairing the two-foot by two-foot hole in the crawl space wall as well as putting in the drainage system.

It was a long day of work, but with many hands, a mini excavator, a Ventrac and a great meal served by Cauls, the job was completed. With the ground around her house graded and re-seeded with grass, we gathered in a circle and prayed with Cauls. It was as much a blessing for those who did the work as it was for her to have the work done. It was loving your neighbor put into practice.

By Chris Riddle

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