December 20, 2023

Hello Jesse,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5


“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 1:25


Serving in pastoral leadership for many years has reinforced for me how important it is to ask God for wisdom. 


Occasionally, what may seem the wise course of action, turns out to be something different than what God has in mind. This is why, when I am asked to pray before a meeting, I ask for God’s wisdom in the discerning and decisions we make.


Last spring, we were rounding up equipment for our response in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The Ontario Unit had an older 15-passenger van, and they were asked if they would be willing to let that van be used for the spring and summer. The important question was whether the van was safe and reliable enough that it should be sent that distance and used for that long.  


An estimate of repairs and maintenance for it to be reliable reached several thousand dollars. I know unit members debated whether this investment was worth it. 


Vans and pickups are in high demand, and they are often not available for rent or purchase. In the end, the unit decided to repair it. The van received heavy use on project and was tremendously helpful for the length of the project. When it was time to send it back to Ontario, we hooked up a trailer, and Keith (a volunteer driver) began the journey back to Ontario. An hour later, Keith called.  


The transmission was finished—and so was the van—at the same time our project was finished. We arranged for a tow truck driver to take it to a wrecker. He said he would tow it for the salvage value of the van. That seemed reasonable. The next day the tow truck driver showed up and gave us a cheque for the salvage value. He donated the towing fee.


Is it possible that God gives us the wisdom to know when to repair a vehicle and when to let it go? If you don’t know the answer to that yet, then you should know the rest of this story. In spring, the Ontario Unit was asked by the Ontario government to apply for an emergency preparedness grant. We wrote a request for costs for training and several items of equipment. Our grant was approved in its entirety.


One of the capital items we applied for was a brand new 15-passenger  van. We are currently shopping for that Christmas present.


“Magi from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ ”


During this Christmas season, may you, too, receive God’s Great Wisdom.

Executive Director

Mennonite Disaster Service Canada

Cooking and painting with MDS

It was a week before the project closed at the end of September at the Red Lake First Nation in northern Minnesota, and Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers were in a hurry to get the last few houses finished before closing for the winter.

MDS was in the community in response to a tornado and hailstorm in 2021 that damaged many houses in the community.

Click here to read more.

Two years later: the miracle of Mayfield

Retired U.S. Army General Joe Orr can run just about any operation with precision. This includes his role of co-coordinator at Homes and Hope for Kentucky, a nonprofit assisting with long-term tornado recovery in Mayfield and the surrounding Graves County.

With volunteer labor from Acknowledging Christ Through Service (ACTS), an Indiana-based Amish community that works through MDS, Orr has been involved in the repair or rebuild of well over 100 homes in the Mayfield area.

Click here to read more

Join us in Fresno for

MDS Annual Celebration

Join us for the Annual Celebration, February 23 & 24 in Fresno, California. Be inspired by stories about volunteers making a difference across the U.S. and Canada.

Registration is now open.

Click here to read more.


Volunteers lift spirits—and walls—in Moss Point, Mississippi

Claude and Loria Adams and their adult son survived a June 19, 2023 tornado in downtown Moss Point, Mississippi, by huddling in their bathroom.

When the storm passed, only two walls were left standing in the entire house—and they were the bathroom walls!

The Adams have been living with relatives since that day.

Click here to read more

MDS has volunteer opportunities for you this fall!

See the full list of volunteer opportunities when you click here.

  Contact [email protected] or 

call 1-800-241-8111 with any questions or to schedule a week. 

Click here to volunteer

MDS Office in U.S.

583 Airport Road,

Lititz, PA 17543 USA

T: (717) 735-3536

T (toll free): 1-800-241-8111

F: (717) 735-0809

[email protected]

Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  Twitter  
MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

T: (204) 261-1274
F: (204) 261-1279