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Ponce, PR – Weekly Report – June 3-7, 2019

June 17, 2019

MDS was busy during the week of June 1 – 8 in Ponce.  There were a variety of people working. The one-week volunteers were all from Ohio: Bruce Kindy, Levi and Gloria Miller, and Barb, Nathan and Katie Yoder. Jonathan and Rebecca Murch, who were in Puerto Rico to visit, came to help on Tuesday.  Local volunteers came almost every day, and on Friday, a group of students from Eastern Mennonite University, along with their sponsors, Jenni Holsinger and Adam Yoder also pitched in.  

Tony, the project leader, led everyone in working on a house where the main goal was to complete the roof and get electrical connections installed.  By the end of the week, a tin roof was up on the main part of the house, and much of the supporting work was completed for the other parts of the roof.  Thanks to electrical expert Bruce, the majority of the electrical work was completed as well.

Throughout the week the volunteers enjoyed delicious lunches prepared by Carmen, Tony’s wife.  In the evenings, the Ohio volunteers had the opportunity to see some of the local sites in Ponce, go to the beach, and eat Chiro’s delicious pinchos with the EMU group.  A highlight of the week was the talent show on Friday night at Iglesia Menonita Faro de Salvación. It was inspiring to see so many young people share their gifts, and the message given by Norleene challenged us all to consider how to share the gifts we have been given.  

A highlight of the week for the Ohio volunteers was getting a chance to meet and work with those from  La Iglesia Menonita Faro de Salvación who are giving so much of their time and energy to help see these MDS projects to completion.  From the worship service on Sunday where the volunteers were welcomed and blessed, to the weekend meals at Chiro and Lery’s house, to the advice on navigating the streets of Ponce (especially helpful to those coming from a very flat part of Ohio), and the opportunity to practice our Spanish, it was a week as full of receiving as it was of giving.