May 18, 2022

Dear {First Name},

I love stories. Jesus told stories. Stories shape our imagination of what is possible, as well as shaping the faith and cultural practices we inhabit today. My dad had an eighth-grade education, but he was quite the storyteller – and a man of God.


Many years ago, he told of an experience that rocked the world of our small community of faith in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  As a potato farmer, he would work the fields by day and haul the potatoes to the markets at night. One market was in Baltimore.

The story goes that he fell asleep at the wheel of the ten-ton truck of potatoes and drove all the way through the 1.4 mile Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore until he awoke coming out of the tunnel. Startled, he saw a vision of an angel sitting in the passenger seat.  Heavily shaken, he continued on, unloaded the truck, returned home, and got a few minutes of sleep before milking the cows.  

Later that day, driving the tractor from one farm to the next he stopped at a small country store for coffee. He was approached by Rev. Giles, the local Presbyterian minister who happened to be there, too.  Rev. Giles badgered my dad over how he was and if he was doing okay. Exasperated, finally Dad told him what happened the night before. The reverend responded by saying how he couldn’t sleep and was prompted by a dream to get up and pray for “brother David King.” So that Presbyterian minister got on his knees and prayed for safety at that moment.


My dad was invited to share that testimony in many Mennonite churches, and it opened my eyes (and others) as a young boy growing up in a tight-knit community that “there is a wideness in God’s mercy.”

Here in MDS we have a treasure trove of stories about acts of mercy across boundaries. In any given year when around 7,000 volunteers serve for a week or more, it’s a chance to generate an incredible number of stories.

Won’t you share your story? I feel certain there are angels among us as we continue God’s work. I'd love to hear about them.

Executive Director
Mennonite Disaster Service

Writings on the wall


When MDS was first looking for a site to set up a base camp, the Jennings Church of Christ seemed to be a good option.

After suffering water damage in the gymnasium, the lower portion of the gym wall was removed. That's when the church had a plan for preserving the memory of MDS’s stint in Jennings. 

Pastor Roy Platt encouraged volunteers to write a remembrance on the sheet-rock dormitory walls. In fact, he said, “It’s a sin NOT to write on the walls.”

Click here to read more.

During 16 years at MDS, Jerry Grosh perfected the art of listening

“Jerry does have a keen sense of understanding people and listening, of seeing through the issues and discerning,” said Kevin King, MDS executive director.

After visiting more than 100 MDS projects over the years, Grosh can tell stories that, woven together, form a unique history of the organization. As Steve Wiest, an MDS operations coordinator, said: “What I appreciate about Jerry are the stories, the lessons that come from history. I think he carries the history of MDS in his head.”

Click here to read more.


Reframing the Psalms as Haiku


Roger Friesen was on his way from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Minot, North Dakota in 2013 to serve with MDS when a snowstorm hit.

“I was caught in a line of traffic and couldn’t move,” he said. “As I sat in my truck, watching the snowflakes fall on my windshield, and started composing haiku poetry to capture these moments.”

After five hours, he was able to turn around and head home. But the idea of doing more haiku stayed with him - and resulted in a re-telling of the Psalms as a fundraiser for MDS.

Click here to read more.

Mennonite Disaster Service recruits, organizes, and empowers volunteers to repair and rebuild the homes of those impacted by disasters in the United States and Canada. We have opportunities for you to volunteer with MDS at various projects this spring!
Click here to volunteer
Thank you for your support!

MDS has volunteer opportunities for Fall 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
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MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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