March 16, 2022

Wesley Emmelot and his wife, Maureen Parsley, lost almost everything when the Tulameen River overflowed its banks in the town of Princeton, B.C. in mid-November 2021—including his banjo. 
“It didn’t look salvageable,” he said of how it was waterlogged and stained. “I didn’t have any hope it could be played again.” 
Mike Davis, a volunteer from Trail, B.C., disagreed. He knew someone back home who could repair instruments. He brought the banjo to Dallas Fletcher, who restored it to playing condition. 
For Dallas, it was also a way he could do something for MDS—a bad back and arthritis prevents him from volunteering to serve at a project. 
When Mike presented the restored banjo to Wesley, he was surprised to get it back in playing condition. 
“I’m very thankful for what Dallas and Mike did,” he said, adding that if there is an event to celebrate the completion of MDS’s work in Princeton, “I can play my banjo.” In the meantime, he is looking forward to playing it again at his church, New Hope Christian Fellowship, once pandemic restrictions are lifted. 
What Mike and Dallas did for Wesley is an illustration of the care volunteers show when helping people recover from disaster. More volunteers are needed for flood response in Princeton and in B.C.’s Fraser Valley; we especially need skilled volunteers in Princeton in April. We also expect to be rebuilding houses lost to wildfires in the B.C. interior this summer. Go to for more information on how you can volunteer! 
Recovery work in Princeton and the Fraser Valley is being done jointly by MDS Canada and Mennonite Central Committee B.C. 
Director of Canadian Operations
Mennonite Disaster Service
Fraser Valley Church and MDS Canada
 partner for disaster recovery in B.C.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it can also take a community to help someone recover from disaster. That’s what’s happening in B.C.’s Fraser Valley as the South Abbotsford Church, MDS Canada and MCC B.C. team up to help Trina Enns recover from last year’s devastating flood.

“The stars and God—that’s all we got”
 “We lost everything,” said Abraham Parfait. “My wife even lost all her baby pictures.” 

Then he contracted COVID-19, spending more than a week in the hospital. 
When he finally felt well enough to clean up his damaged home, a cold snap brought subfreezing temperatures. 

“We spent some time living in a tent with the kids,” said Parfait. “I mean, bad after bad after bad. Every step we took, it was like getting pushed back again. If there wasn’t bad luck—there was no luck.” Then MDS showed up.

Chinatown Peace Church young adults serve in Princeton, B.C.
For six young adults from Chinatown Peace Church, a Mennonite Church Canada congregation in Vancouver, B.C., the February 20-25 university reading week turned into a work week as they volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) in Princeton, B.C.

MDS Canada is in the repair phase in Princeton, following last year's devastating flood.

We need:

April 3-9: Drywall hangers, finish carpenters
April 10-14: Drywall finishers
May 1-7: Cabinet installers
May 8-14: Finish carpenters

If you would like to volunteer, contact

Due to new B.C. guidelines, vaccination will not be required to serve as of April 8.
Thank you for your support!
MDS has volunteer opportunities for Winter and Spring 2022.
Your continued support helps with recruiting volunteers, moving equipment, setting up accommodations, replenishing supplies, and many other things needed to get going.
MDS Binational Office
583 Airport Road,
Lititz, PA 17543 USA

T: (717) 735-3536
T (toll free): 1-800-241-8111
F: (717) 735-0809
MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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