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MDS – Update October 19, 2017

October 19, 2017

Lititz, Pa. — In this edition of the MDS Update we ask prayers for our Mennonite brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico as they face daily challenges standing in line for basic resources. 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 pray for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. Resources needed to begin response efforts are not yet able to be transported to individuals and communities in need. Also pray for Mennonite churches and their pastors. Pray the pastors have strength and energy to provide hope and spiritual support to their congregation members as they face daily challenges such as long lines for gas, money and food.

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

Remember in prayer all the continuing projects MDS has ongoing that were started before this current hurricane season.

Thank you for your continued prayer for the work of MDS and those we serve.

MDS Job Alert

We have one open employment opportunity in Region 2. The position available is Regional Operations Coordinator for Region 2. See the full job description at MDS employment. Resumes may be sent to jobs@mds.mennonite.net or MDS, Attn: Human Resources, 583 Airport Rd, Lititz, PA 17543. Review of resumes begins immediately. 

Urgent Needs: These are our most urgent needs. Other ongoing needs are listed in the “Current Needs” section below.

Urgent Project Crew Opportunities:

Lake County, Calif.– 2015 Wildfires
• Oct 22-28: up to 13 people
• October 29-Nov 4: up to 7 people
• Nov 12-18: up to 7 people

 Pine Ridge, S.D.– 2015 Windstorms
• October 22-28: up to 6 people
• October 29-Nov 4: up to 10 people
• Nov 5-11: up to 10 people
• Nov 12-18: up to 14 people 

Princeville, N.C.-Hurricane Matthew
• Oct 22-28: up to 6 people (bring a cook with you)
• Nov 5-11: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Nov 12-18: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)

Victoria County, TX- Hurricane Harvey
• Oct 29-Nov 4: up to 7 people (various repair jobs)

Fort Meyers, FL- Hurricane Irma
• Oct 29- Nov 4: up to 7 people
• Nov 5-11: up to 7 people

Urgent Project Leadership Opportunities:
Greenbrier County, WV – 2016 Flooding
• Head Cook, October 28 – November 18
Pine Ridge, SD – 2015 Wind Storms
• Crew Leader, November 4 – December 16

Current Needs

Current Project Crew Opportunities:

Pine Ridge, SD – 2015 Wind Storms
• November 19-25: up to 15 people
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 15 people
• December 3-9: up to 15 people
• December 10-16: up to 15 people

Lake County, CA – 2015 Wildfires
• November 19-25: up to 11 people
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 11 people
• December 3-9: up to 9 people
• December 10-16: up to 9 people

Lafayette, LA. – 2016 Flooding
• November 19-25: up to 4 people
• December 3-9: up to 14 people
• December 10-16: up to 1 person

Greenbrier, WV– 2016 Flooding
• November 19-25: up to 2 people
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 9 people

West Virginia Bridges – 2016 Flooding
• November 19-25: up to 2 people (each person must be able to lift 50-100lbs)
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 6 people (each person must be able to lift 50-100lbs) 

Victoria County, TX- Hurricane Harvey
• Nov 26-Dec 2: up to 7 people
• Dec 3-9: up to 7 people
• Dec 10-16: up to 5 people

Current Project Leadership Opportunities

Greenbrier County, WV
• Head Cook, October 28 – November 18

West Virginia Bridges
• Office Manager, November 29 – December 16
• Crew Leader, December 2 – 16
• Head Cook December 2 – 16

Pine Ridge, SD
• Crew Leader, November 4 – December 16

Lake County, CA
• Head Cook & Assistant Cook (due to accommodations, needs to be a couple or singles willing to share a room)

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:

We plan to work in Puerto Rico, but the specific nature of our work there has not yet been determined. We are investigating needs in Florida, but are not yet sure if we will have rebuilding work there.

RV Project Opportunities

RV Participants serve for 4 weeks or more at a time with 4-6 couples or individuals per projects. See our RV Program page for more information. This winter we will have RV Projects in the following locations:

Volunteer Opportunity Contact Persons
Urgent or Current Crew Opportunities:
Call or Email Darin Bontrager: 800-241-8111/ dbontrager@mds.mennonite.net

Urgent or Current Project Leadership & RV Opportunities:
U.S. residents – Josh Carson at 800-241-8111 or email jcarson@mds.mennonite.net

Canadian residents – Evelyn Peters-Rojas at 866-261-1274 or email
epetersrojas@mds.mennonite.net

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Your Gifts at Work

MDS projects in South Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana and California are starting up again this month. Clean up crews and assessment teams are responding to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. As volunteers venture out to these places, we are continually reminded by homeowners receiving MDS assistance how impressed they are that someone would come and help them. David Boggs of West Virginia recently had his access bridge rebuilt as a part of the West Virginia Bridges project. “It’s just been a miracle that you all have an organization like you do,” he said. “The volunteers that have come and helped us is unreal. You don’t hear of people helping one another in this day and time. Thank you!”

We are grateful for the volunteers and financial gifts that not only bring disaster survivors home again, but also lets them know that they are not alone and someone cares about them.

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Director’s Blueprint

The number of named storms — 10 hurricanes and five tropical storms, for a total of 15 — has already made the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season one of the busiest on record, and there is still more than a month and a half to go before it officially ends. This year the Atlantic has experienced 18.75 major hurricane days: the total number of days logged by Category 3, 4 and 5 storms. While there is significant variation from year to year, this is nearly five times the full-season average of 3.9 days. (source: NYTimes Oct 11, 2017). Add to this are the fires burning in the west at an historical pace.  Although one can become weary in this heightened disaster season – there is a verse in Galatians that keeps me going. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”(Gal.6:9)  To which I say, “Amen!”

Kevin King

Executive Director

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