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 www.mds.org 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.