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MDS Update – November 2, 2017

November 2, 2017

Lititz, Pa. — In this edition of the MDS Update we ask for prayers for our operations team as they continue to work on our response to Puerto Rico. We also give you the latest weekly and leadership opportunities and we hear from the executive director in the Director’s Blueprint. All this and more in this edition of the MDS Update.

Prayer Concerns

Please remember in prayer the MDS operations team as they continue to work on the MDS response to Puerto Rico.

MDS is partnering with Atlantic Coast Conference churches to fund food parcels to be sent to Puerto Rico. Pray that funding for 2000 parcels is raised. For an update on the MDS response in Puerto Rico click here. Please share this information with your congregation.

Continue to remember those in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the volunteer teams responding in the area of Bloomington and Aransas Pass. Also keep in prayer the volunteers in Florida doing clean-up work after Hurricane Irma.

Many MDS projects from before the current hurricane season have restarted. Please remember the volunteers and leadership serving at these project sites.

Urgent Project Crew Opportunities:
Greenbrier, WV- 2016 Flooding
Nov 5-11: up to 4 people
• Nov 26-Dec 2: up to 9 people

Lafayette, LA- 2016 Flooding
Nov 19-25: up to 3 people
  Dec 3-9: up to 13 people

Lake County, CA – 2015 Wildfires
• Nov 12-18: up to 3 people
• Nov 26- Dec 2: up to 10 people
• Dec 3-9: up to 9 people
• December 10-16: up to 7 people

Princeville, NC – Hurricane Matthew
• Nov 5-11: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Nov 19-25: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Nov 26-Dec 2: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Dec 10-16: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)

Victoria County, TX- Hurricane Harvey
Nov 5-11: up to 4 people (various repair jobs)
• Nov 26-Dec 2: up to 7 people (various repair jobs)
Dec 10-16: up to 4 people (various repair jobs)

WV Bridges – 2016 Flooding
Nov 26- Dec 2: up to 6 people (must be able to lift 50-100lbs)

Fort Meyers, FL- Hurricane Irma
Nov 5-11: up to 1 person
Nov 19-25: up to 7 people
• Nov 26-Dec 30 up to 7 people

Urgent Project Leadership Opportunities:
All fall 2017 leadership positions have been filled. We are now accepting inquiries and applications for spring 2018.

Current Needs

Current Project Leadership Opportunities
All fall 2017 leadership positions have been filled.

We are now scheduling Leadership for the winter of 2018 from January 3 – March 31 for all Leadership positions, including Project Directors, Construction Supervisors, Office Managers, Head Cooks, Assistant Cooks, and Crew Leaders. We will also need Heavy Equipment Operators for our West Virginia Bridges project. Here is where we are working this winter:

If you have interest in volunteering for work in Puerto Rico and Florida, please click the apply button at the bottom of this section.

RV Project Opportunities:

RV participants serve for 4 weeks or more at a time with 4-6 couples or individuals per projects. This winter we will have RV Projects in the following locations from January 7 – March 31:

To inquire about RV opportunities click the apply button at the end of this section

Volunteer Opportunity Contact Persons
Urgent or Current Crew Opportunities:
Call or Email Darin Bontrager: 800-241-8111/

Urgent or Current Project Leadership & RV Opportunities:
U.S. residents – Josh Carson at 800-241-8111 or email
Canadian residents – Evelyn Peters-Rojas at 866-261-1274 or email

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Your Gifts at Work
A story about the impact of MDS volunteers comes from Phil Helmuth, the MDS Hurricane Irma Response Coordinator.

“A homeowner in Florida had 3 very large banyan trees in his back yard that came down in the storm and due to health issues needed assistance to cut them up. We worked most of two days on the property. But, on the morning of the second day, the homeowner met the volunteers with tears in his eyes to say, “I didn’t know there were people like you in this world. Where can I find a church that reflects the same values you’ve shown to me?” At noon he prepared a barbeque for the volunteers to express his appreciation.”

Thanks be to God for the volunteers and donors that make this possible!

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Director’s Blueprint

Here is a story that sticks with me over the years of the impact our volunteers make on disaster survivors.  Johnny and his wife owned a small house and garage. His work was repairing the upholstery of the U-Haul vans. Years ago he lost everything in the southern California fires including his tools.  Since then he had a heart attack.  I met him on his burnt property with volunteers sorting through the rubble. His word to me was “Before MDS came I could only work one hour, then I ran out of steam, with you here – I now can work all day!”

Thank you, dear reader, for your contributions, prayers and volunteering that breathe life into grief, trauma and despair.

Kevin King,
Executive Director

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