January 19, 2022

Lately I am dwelling on the Gospel account in Luke 5:1-11. It’s about Jesus and Peter—and fishing. Peter was fishing all night and came up empty. Then Jesus tells him to go out to the deep water and let down the nets again.  Nothing much changes in what they’re doing this time around… except that Jesus spoke to them and they do what he says. The word that Jesus spoke makes a difference. The results? It took extra hands and an extra boat to garner the huge catch.

I am amazed by the response of Jesus who says to Peter, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus offers us a sense of calm, comfort and encouragement. 
These same words— “do not be afraid”—appear about 120 times throughout the Bible as a command and a promise.

These days I need to hear those words a lot – as a promise and a command as we lean into uncertainty. Many of the decisions we make—both as individuals and as leaders within our organizations, churches, and communities—are not easy and don’t have easy options. Sometimes we have to choose between multiple bad options. With that comes complex emotions.

Last week I walked the cold, muddy streets of Mayfield, KY where the devastating tornado touched down in mid-December, wreaking havoc for many homeowners. They shared their own stories of fear having huddled in their homes, afraid for their lives and the lives of their children amid the violent storm. 

There, against the backdrop of the noise of the chainsaws and heavy equipment, and as the MDS volunteers were cleaning up the debris, I felt a calm assurance. Hope was being restored. Kevin, do not be afraid.
Executive Director
Mennonite Disaster Service
MDS needs volunteers in
Okanogan, Washington and California
Wildfire survivors in Okanogan, Washington and Paradise, California—some of them living in sheds, some in cars—need homes. Can Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers finish the homes they’ve started? 

Some of these survivors have been waiting for more than three years. 

MDS Canada partners with
Mennonite Central Committee
“When the full scope of the flooding became known, it was apparent we needed more resources to help our B.C. Unit to respond,” said Ross Penner, who directs operations for MDS Canada. Through the agreement, MCC B.C. has agreed to loan Shelley Dueck, its Church Relations and Events Manager, to MDS Canada to serve as Operations Coordinator for the flood response in the Fraser Valley.

MDS is hiring

MDS currently has several opportunities to join our team in the U.S. and in Canada. We have opportunities within our volunteer team, our communications team, field operations and support of our units and regions.

One of our positions is the Communications Administrative Assistant which includes oversight of communications projects, working with churches, conferences and partners and media relations.

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!
Thank you for your support!
MDS has volunteer opportunities for 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