October 20, 2021

We recently heard the good news of cross-border travel opening up between Canada and the U.S. for those who are fully vaccinated. We are hopeful that as these first steps will one day lead to even less restrictions for the many Canadians who love to serve on projects south of the border, particularly during the winter months.  
While we are happy to hear about the border reopening, some questions remain. We are currently gathering all the information we can on what will be required to travel south and return home, and how we will manage the current testing requirements, both in terms of costs and logistics to meet air or land crossings.  
Canadian Volunteers should soon receive an email from MDS Canada outlining current requirements and asking them to respond to a brief survey in order to understand their thoughts on volunteering in the U.S. this coming fall and winter. Please watch for that email. 
On another front, the MDS 2021 Hay West project continues to move ahead. The Ontario Unit is working to collect donations of hay to send to the Saskatchewan Unit, which is taking applications from farmers who have experienced hay shortages because of drought. You can support it by donating on our website to help defray the cost of transporting the hay. You can read more about that story here.

I’d also like to encourage all of you to get the word about our Spirit of MDS Fund out to your local churches. We are excited to continue to encourage the local churches to make a positive impact in their community through the work of volunteers, and during times of crisis and need. Applications are available online. 
Thanks for your continued support of MDS. We would not exist without your all! 
Ross Penner
Director of Canadian Operations
MDS Canada launches new round of Spirit of MDS Fund grants
After a successful first two rounds of funding, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada is once again offering its Spirit of MDS Fund to Canadian congregations.
Created in response to the pandemic, the Fund provided a total of 81 grants worth $206,900 CDN/$161,500 U.S. in 2020-21 to help congregations and other organizations respond to needs in their communities due to COVID-19.

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.
Servant attitude, servant hearts in Saskatchewan
“Amazing!” That’s how Westbank Bible Camp Director Jeff Penner describes the service of the MDS volunteers. “They showed up with a servant attitude and posture, always asking what they could do for us, how they could serve us,” he said. “It was phenomenal. They had such servant hearts.”

Doves, service by MDS volunteers “a sign of hope from God”
When Bonnie Lapointe saw the damage caused by the severe windstorm that struck her Ontario home on September 7, she cried. “I had never seen anything like that,” she said of all the felled trees that littered her small acreage near Kingsbridge along the shores of Lake Huron. “Some of those trees were over 200 years old.”

Thank you for your support!
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