January 17, 2024

Hello Jesse,

Last week I had the privilege of traveling from one coast to the other, investigating possible MDS responses in Canada. When I do this work, I experience a full range of emotions. In the Shushwap area of British Columbia, Peter, Roman and I had the privilege of sitting with several potential clients. When we drove past the fire-scarred landscape, I knew this is a fitting visual illustration of the inner wounds we will likely encounter amongst those trying to rebuild their lives and homes.

In British Columbia, we visited with several homeowners who need help recovering. What was hardest was discerning there were some we probably won’t be able to help. There were some who aren’t yet quite ready to build due to circumstances out of their control. The image of one older gentleman’s head falling when we had to tell him “not yet, maybe later,” is still burned in my memory. It was hard news to hear.  

But then we were able to say to two homeowners: “We’d like to build you a home.” It is a privilege to be amongst the first MDSers to bring them the good news of hope. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring news” (Isaiah 52:7).

Two days later I was in southeastern Nova Scotia where a fire also devastated the communities of Barrington and Shelburne.  Together with partners from Canadian Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and United Way, we met with six different households to let them know who we were and what we do. From that group of homeowners I observed those who are still in shock. We talked with one family who had come apart amidst the added stress of losing their home. We talked with some who were are still so deep in their grief, they are struggling to make any decisions. While it is still too early to say for sure, it is quite likely that we’ll be able to help some homeowners in Nova Scotia as well.

The need for MDS volunteers in Canada will be great this coming building season. In the next while, we will start looking in earnest for volunteers. Be on the lookout for our invitations! 

In the meantime, would you say a prayer for disaster survivors? Pray for the mercy and grace of the Great Healer to come upon these and others communities and people. Pray for discernment as we seek to identify whom we may be able to help. Pray for volunteers who would be ready to do as Peter encourages, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace” (I Peter 4:10). 

And if we pray, I believe God will hear us.

Executive Director

Mennonite Disaster Service Canada

One trip, many hands, warmed hearts

One volunteer, two organizations, many needs met. That’s the short version of Jeff Koller’s story about a trip he took from North Newton, Kansas, to Texas.

In November, Mennonite Central Committee (Central States region) put out the call for a volunteer to haul 750 health kits to Brownsville, Texas, to help meet the needs of migrants.

Click here to read more

Crisfield is getting a New Year's boost

The small town of Crisfield, Maryland, is getting a boost in the form of 106 home elevations that will put residents—who have borne the brunt of repetitive flooding—out of harm’s way.

That sense of security has already started for homeowner Annette Morgan, whose home was elevated eight feet above ground. “I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I’ll be able to sleep at night despite the high tide warnings on my phone.”

Click here to read more

New MDS Videos

Watch Mayfield, KY home dedication

Watch Hardee Co, Florida RV program

Join us in Fresno for the

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 closes February 8, 2024.

Click here to read more.

MDS has volunteer opportunities for you!

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]

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MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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