September 2, 2023

Hello Jesse,

“You brought hope and love to the community.” That’s what Amanda McDougall-Merrill, Mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said at the closing celebration for our work in Cape Breton last month.

After Hurricane Fiona, people in the region “felt alone and hopeless,” she said. “You did more than build walls and fix houses. You brought love here. There are no words that have the capacity to show how grateful we are.”

For me, hearing the Mayor’s words filled me with gratitude, too. Gratitude for the 458 people from across Canada who volunteered to serve in Cape Breton. Gratitude for the many people who generously donated to make their service possible. Gratitude for the organizations and businesses that offered support in various ways. Gratitude for our great partnership with the United Way of Cape Breton. And gratitude to God for giving MDS an opportunity to serve in that part of the country.

I was also grateful to hear how our work brought hope the community. It reminds me that MDS isn’t only in the home repair business. We are in the hope business—bringing hope to people who have lost all hope of ever having a safe and comfortable house again. Restoring their hope is a goal of MDS. 

(You can read more about the closing celebration at the link below.)

Looking ahead, we are considering where to focus our energy and resources next year. There were so many wildfires in Canada this year! At this point, we have not determined where we will serve. Pray for us as we decide where God wants us to go in 2024.

Executive Director

Mennonite Disaster Service Canada

P.S. While our service in Canada has ended for the year, MDS still needs volunteers in the U.S. If you can serve this fall or winter, go to our website for more information or to sign up.

"You brought hope and love

to the community"

For Amanda McDougall-Merrill, Mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, volunteers with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada did more than repair homes damaged by Hurricane Fiona in Cape Breton.

“You brought hope and love to the community,” she told about 90 people gathered August 24 at the Sydney River United Protestant Church for a closing celebration of MDS’s involvement in the region.

Click here to read more.

"A way to do something meaningful

 in summer"

Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) projects depend on many things to be successful—tools, materials, expert advice and direction from Project Directors and Crew Leaders. And good food—and lots of it.

That’s where cooks like Hannah Cober, 27, of Kitchener, Ont. and Connie Goertzen, 70, of Winkler, Man. came in in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in August.

The two served for a month at the project, which was based in the Sydney River United Protestant Church.

Click here to read more.

Summer students reflect on

service with MDS

“As I continued to serve and work and do new and different jobs, my body grew to love and enjoy the work I was doing,” said Jared Sumner, a student at Columbia Bible College (CBC) in Abbotsford, B.C.

“I feel that with all the skills I acquired through my time serving with MDS I have been set up with skills that will serve me for the rest of my life.”

Click here to read more

MDS has volunteer opportunities for you!

See the full list of volunteer opportunities when you click here.

  Contact [email protected] 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 in U.S.

583 Airport Road,

Lititz, PA 17543 USA

T: (717) 735-3536

T (toll free): 1-800-241-8111

F: (717) 735-0809

[email protected]

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MDS Canada Office
200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3P 2J1

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