At the reunion gathering, Amber Scott (left) helped Barbie Byler (right) make Onion Blossoms with fresh onions picked from Barbie’s garden.

“I’ve never cried and these guys made me cry,” he said. “The young men and women that came—they just changed my life, my children’s lives.” Ezra Byler said that repairing the Scott’s home was one of the most meaningful volunteer experiences he’s ever had. Byler expressed his gratitude to MDS for the opportunity to volunteer. “We didn’t go down there to try to impress anybody,” he said. “It’s a way to help.” “The young men and women that came—they just changed my life, my children’s lives.” — JOE SCOTT

And it’s a way to get youth involved, he added. “It’s the most rewarding work for youth anywhere from 16-22 years old,” he said. “The youth really connected with the Scott family just by interacting.” Because of that, he and fellow MDS volunteer Ben Zook decided to raise donations to fund a trip for the Scotts to come to Pennsylvania. “We wanted them to come,” said Zook at the reunion dinner. “And lo and behold—here they are!” Amber Scott remarked about the ongoing joy of being around MDS volunteers. “God sang through their hearts every day,” she said. That joy is an offset to the memory of going through the very dark times brought by Hurricane Ian and her husband’s diagnosis and treatment. “The overwhelming amount of things that lie ahead of you—you crumble under it,” she said. “What MDS has done for us—you created space to breathe.” The family is now moving forward again, she said. “It was just a mangled mess of hopelessness,” she said. “You pray for the relief—and all of a sudden, a gift of angels swarm around you. No words can ever describe the amount of affection we

The Scott family visiting Lancaster County, Pa.

have for you.” — Susan Kim

behind the hammer 13

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