MDS Update March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

Lititz, Pa. — In this edition of the MDS Update we learn of a large number of volunteer opportunities available in March and April. We invite you to consider joining the team at MDS for a week of voluntary service or to become an MDS leader at project sites, helping disaster survivors come home.  There are also several job opportunities with MDS which can be found here.

Prayer Concerns
MDS has many urgent volunteer needs. Please pray for those considering service with MDS and for the volunteers as they travel to and from locations, handle tools, repair and build homes and bring hope to disaster survivors.

Please consider being an MDS volunteer.

 Weekly Volunteer Opportunities
(*Urgent needs, apply immediately)

Clendenin, W.V.- 2016 Floods

* March 4-10: up to 6 people

* March 25-31: up to 2 people

Coastal Bend, Tex. Hurricane Harvey

*April 8-14: up to 4 people

April 15-21: up to 6 people

April 22-28: up to 4 people

Fort Myers, Fla. – Hurricane Irma

* March 4-10: up to 2 people

*April 1-7: up to 6 people

*April 8-14: up to 6 people

April 15-21: up to 6 people

April 22-28: up to 6 people

Greenbrier, W.V. -2016 Floods

* March 11-17: up to 3 people (finish work)

Lafayette, La. -2016 Floods

* March 11-17: up to 4 people

* March 18-24: up to 15 people

La Grange, Tex. – Hurricane Harvey

* March 4-10: up to 3 people

*April 1-7: up to 5 people

*April 8-14: up to 3 people

Pine Ridge, S.D. – Windstorms

*April 8-14: up to 14 people

April 15-21: up to 4 people

April 22-28: up to 15 people

Victoria County, Tex. – Hurricane Harvey

*March 11-17: up to 1 person

April 8-14: up to 2 people

April 15-21: up to 7 people

April 22-28: up to 15 people


For more information or to serve please call:

Darin Bontrager at 800-241-8111 or email

Project Leadership Opportunities

(*Urgent needs, apply immediately)

Greenbrier, W.V. – 2016 Floods

*Assistant Cook, March 10-17

Lafayette, La. -2016 Floods

*Head Cook, March 10-17

*Crew Leader, March 10-17

La Grange, Tex. – Hurricane Harvey

*Head Cook, March 31 – April 14

Lake County, Ca. – Wildfires

*Crew Leader, March 17-31

Pine Ridge, S.D. – Windstorms

Crew Leader, April 1-21

Victoria County, Tex. – Hurricane Harvey

*Project Director, March 14 – April 28

1-2 Crew Leaders, March 31 – April 28

Puerto Rico

MDS is in need of Project Directors/Construction Supervisors. These positions will require MDS experience, construction knowledge, can stay for at least a month, is able to work with sensitivity in a cross-cultural environment, and the ability to speak Spanish is a plus. Applicants should be willing to travel throughout the island and work in cooperation with the MDS Puerto Rico Coordinators. Persons will have to have completed the MDS Leadership application process.


For more information or to serve please call:
U.S. residents – Josh Carson at 800-241-8111 or email
Canadian residents – Evelyn Peters-Rojas at 866-261-1274 or email

New Service Opportunity

2018 Family Project, Shekinah Retreat Centre, Waldheim, Sask.

July 29 – Aug 4: 3-4 families

Aug 5-11: 3-4 families

Aug 12-18: 3-4 families

Aug 19-25: 3-4 Families

See website for more details.

Call Kelsey Friesen at 866-261-1274 or email at



Your Gifts at Work

One of the principles guiding MDS work in Puerto Rico is to utilize local labor in combination with MDS volunteers. It is easy to write on paper yet challenging to implement.

When time came to tear down the remains of what was once the well-known community Children’s Church at the Mennonite Church in La Plata, our plans came to fruition.

The morning of the job, cooks showed up to prepare a Puerto Rican lunch for the crew and church members showed up to work together with the MDS volunteers. It was a beautiful scene to behold. There were as many Puerto Rican workers as there were North American MDS volunteers, and even local community people helped too.

We rejoice together because now we hold the hope that a new Children’s Church will be lifted up in the name of Christ and from the hands of us all.


Brad Fair
MDS Development Manager


Director’s Blueprint
What does it take to make the decisions for where and when MDS will become involved? This past week I spent time with some of our frontline volunteers and staff to discuss the ongoing coordination of the MDS, led by our director of field operations. I am grateful for the passion and energy found in this group of regional board chairs (RBC) and regional operations coordinators (ROC).  Whether they are volunteers, as is the case with the RBC’s, or MDS staff as with the ROC’s, as a team they provide the opening for thousands of MDS volunteers who will serve disaster survivors. Join me in thanking these servant leaders and in thanking God for such committed leadership.
Kevin King
MDS Executive Director