October 20, 2021

Last week I traveled to California, Oregon and Washington observing the trail of destruction the wildfires are leaving behind. I took a haunting, iconic picture representing the tremendous loss—a fireplace and chimney left standing after the fires in north-central Washington. Last September, wildfires burned an area more than 10 times the size of Seattle.
I thought, if the hearth of this fireplace could speak it might share the memories of the owner’s family—memories of joy, celebration, warmth and laughter. Now here it stands. Cold and naked. I am told the owner worked 12 years to build the house. And, in a matter of minutes, it was gone. This fireplace and chimney is pointing to the sky saying: “I am here! I need help! Will there be life anew? Who will light my fire? Is there any hope?”


Thanks to MDS and the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group of Pateros, Washington, plans are to start rebuilding this home and many others this fall and winter. With God’s help there will be fire back in the chimney to provide warmth and wholeness once again.

If Menno Simons was alive today, his words would ring for us: “true evangelical faith . . . clothes the naked, feeds the hungry, comforts the sorrowful, shelters the destitute, aids and consoles the sad, does good to those who do it harm . . . binds up what is wounded, heals the sick.”

And Washington is just one of nearly two dozen locations MDS volunteers will be working this winter. Please sign up to volunteer, and if you have already—thanks be to God!
Executive Director
Mennonite Disaster Service
MDS helps small church in Pennsylvania town cope with aftermath of Ida’s remnants
When Hurricane Ida caused the Brandywine River to overflow its banks in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, a small town of about 8,000 on the outskirts of Philadelphia, it flooded many homes and businesses—and the New Beginnings Fellowship Church.

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. Responding with Christian love, our goal is to restore hope as we bring people back home.
MDS in the city: “This is what we do”
When an electrical fire in August all but destroyed LaTanya Wade’s house on the outskirts of Philadelphia, she wasn’t sure where to turn. She had no fire insurance, and the damage meant the house had to be entirely gutted and rebuilt.

MDS Eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey Unit celebrates 65th anniversary
The Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey Unit celebrated its 65th anniversary on Oct. 8 with a look back at its long history and a look forward to its path of hope.

Thank you for your support!
MDS has volunteer opportunities for Fall 2021 and Winter 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