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MDS Update – September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017

Lititz, Pa. — In this edition of the MDS Update we ask prayers for those impacted by Hurricane Maria. 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 sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico who now face the daunting task of clean up after Hurricane Maria. MDS will be working with the MDS Puerto Rico Unit and MDS Region 1 to respond as soon as possible.

We ask that you continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and also the MDS volunteers serving in the area of Bloomington and Aransas Pass, Tex.

An assessment team is continuing to work in Florida for responding to Hurricane Irma. Volunteers from Lancaster County Unit are now in Florida assisting with clean up.

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

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

Urgent Project Crew Opportunities:

San Marcos, TX
• Framing crew for 1-2 weeks end of September or beginning of October to jumpstart the San Marcos RV program.
Greenbrier, W.Va.
• October 8-14: up to 13 people
• October 22-28: up to 2 people
Lake County, Calif.
• Oct 22-28: up to 15 people
• October 29-Nov 4: up to 10 people

Pine Ridge, S.D.
• October 8-14: up to 11 people
• October 15-21: up to 6 people
• October 22-28: up to 14 people
• October 29-Nov 4: up to 12 people

Princeville, N.C.
• Sept 24-30: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Oct 1-7: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)
• Oct 8-14: up to 15 people (bring a cook with you)

Urgent Project Leadership Opportunities:
Lake County, California
• Two Crew Leaders – October 17-November 18
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
• Crew Leader – October 7-November 18

Current Needs

Current Project Crew Opportunities:

Pine Ridge, SD
• November 5-11: up to 12 people
• November 12-18: up to 15 people
• 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
• November 5-11: up to 3 people
• November 19-25: up to 15 people
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 14 people
• December 3-9: up to 13 people
• December 10-16: up to 12 people
Lafayette, LA.
• November 12-18: up to 7 people
• November 19-25: up to 4 people
• December 10-16: up to 2 people
Greenbrier, WV
• November 5-11: up to 5 people
• November 19-25: up to 13 people (bring an assistant cook with you)
• November 26-Dec 2: up to 12 people
West Virginia Bridges
• November 19-25: up to 2 people (each person must be able to lift 50-100lbs)

Current Project Leadership Opportunities

Project Leadership Opportunities:
We are now scheduling leadership for the fall of 2017 from October 1 to December 16th 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 Bridge Project in West Virginia. Here is where leadership opportunities are available this fall:

West Virginia Bridges
• Office Manager – November 30-December 16
• Crew Leader – December 2-December 16
Greenbrier, West Virginia
• Head Cook – October 21-November 18
• Crew Leader – November 11-December 16
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
• Crew Leaders – October 7-November 18
Lake County, California
• Head Cook & Assistant Cook – November 19-December 16 (due to accommodations, needs to be a couple or 2 singles willing to share a room)
• Two Crew Leaders – October 17-November 18
• Crew Leader – November 18-December 16

Current RV Opportunities

RV Opportunities:
Volunteers in the RV project serve for a minimum of 4 weeks, stay in their own self-contained RV, cook their own meals, work 6 hours a day and 4 days a week. Four week blocks are:
San Marcos, Texas
• October 7-November 2 (room for 1 more RV; couple or individual)
• October 7-November 9 (room for 2 more RVs; couples or individuals)

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

We have been humbled by the outpouring of financial support for the MDS recovery efforts in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The trust donors put in MDS to respond is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the thousands of volunteers who have served. Whether you donate, volunteer or promote MDS participation in your church, thank you!

To see the work of MDS volunteers have begun in response to Hurricane Harvey, click here

To read a recent reflection by Victoria County project coordinator Carl Dube, click here

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Director’s Blueprint

I write this from an early morning flight on my way to Texas where Hurricane Harvey made a devastating impact. At the same time I have my eyes scanning east toward Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico. In the routine safety procedure, the flight attendant announces to everyone to stop what they are doing and “give their neighbor a big smile and say ‘Howdy”. It was amazing. Despite our sleep deprived fog, I sensed a common bond with the people all around me. While many of us want to reach out to Florida and Texas and show our love and care, I realize what these hurricanes have given back to us as a people – that we seek God’s goodness to all of humanity. May we declare God’s glory among the nations, God’s marvelous works among all the peoples (Ps 96:3)

Kevin King,
Executive Director

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