September 21, 2022

Hello Jesse,

While taking the day off before meetings in Montana, I did a solo hike into the Glacier mountains. Finally, after many switchbacks I arrived at Strawberry Lake, a beautiful glacial body of water. Shrouded in the morning mist, suddenly the clouds lifted and the sun broke through—a glorious surprising moment. I was filled with awe and wonder. 

It reminds me of the story in Luke 5 where Jesus is teaching in a crowded house in the city of Galilee. Then, all of a sudden, I imagine dust starts falling from the ceiling and parts of the roof are lifted off by four men carrying a paralytic to gain access to Jesus.  After some back and forth with his critics, Jesus heals the man, who gets up and walks away.  

For me the point of the story is: when life knocks us down, or maybe an incident paralyzes us, we need someone to hold us up, or in this case, break the ceiling, giving us access to Jesus. The roof  was lifted so someone could have access to Jesus. As faith communities, we need to keep doing more of that. 

Bob Smietana, in his book “Reorganized Religion; The Reshaping of the American Church and Why it Matters,” writes that we are called to practice surrogate faith for a world that has lost it.   I see a beautiful parallel when a carload of volunteers from Kalispell, Montana, or a van load from Wichita, Kansas, and a busload from Holmes County, Ohio respond, rebuild and restore someone shrouded by fear and loss – and just maybe – restoring them to faith.

Executive Director
Mennonite Disaster Service

They feel someone cares

Knott County, Kentucky is a unique place of beauty. But it has suffered great losses this summer.

The flood of July 2022 was much larger than any previous one in living memory. Also, the water rose very quickly and during the night. This dramatically reduced the possibility of escape. People awoke to furniture floating around and blocking doorways.

Click here to read more.

Groundbreaking for new warehouse

in California

A new warehouse in Kingsburg, California, will help MDS streamline its flow of equipment and tools for volunteers.

A groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 14 kicked off construction of the 7,200-foot warehouse, which will be complete by spring of 2023. 

Click here to read more

Thank you note from 2007

We recently received this lovely unsolicited email:

This is Thurman and Dawn (last name removed) from Potrero, California. It has been close to 11 years since The Harris Fire of 2007. We have somewhat lost contact with most of you who helped in building our lives and our home back to normal. I just wanted to say we truly are thankful for your blessings and your service. I love you all and my sincere gratitude. 



Click here to read more inspirational volunteer stories

MDS has volunteer opportunities for this fall and winter.  You can see the full list of volunteer opportunities when you click here.

For the months of October - December 2022, MDS is offering financial travel assistance for anyone who serves for a week or more in McAllen, Texas or Jennings, Louisiana.  Contact Deanna Frey ( or call 1-800-241-8111 with any questions or to schedule a week. 

Click here to volunteer
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
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  Twitter  
MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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