notes from the field
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Cooking for a crowd at MDS Annual Celebration
Clendenin, West Virginia
Ohio youth breathe new spirit into MDS Family Project
bridge, many of them from Disaster Aid Ohio, said Wendy Beaver, MDS case manager. “When I saw that little camper they were living in—I was pretty much all in,” she said. After working to build the home in the small town of Clendenin, West Virginia, MDS volunteers surrounded Lisa with expressions of love and blessings on the front porch during a dedication on April 29. MDS volunteers also constructed a new driveway bridge so that the Englands can easily access their home across the Jordan Creek. Through tears, Lisa said, simply: “I appreciate y’all. You’ve done a wonderful job.”
After living for nearly a year in a small trailer with no running water or electricity, Lisa and Gary England opened the door to a new home. They need a safe place to rest. Lisa has just started dialysis, and Gary recently had heart surgery. Their daughter has been hospitalized with congestive heart failure.
They drove 27 hours straight to clear downed trees, spruce up living quarters, refurbish a volleyball court, and more at Camp Palisades, tucked in the beautiful Targhee National Forest in Idaho. In the process, young people from the United Dayspring Mennonite Church in Berlin, Ohio kicked off the MDS Family Program in a big way. Fifteen-year-old Fred Schrock said volunteering made him feel anything is possible. “We probably could have gotten this whole camp fixed,” he said. Alongside the hard physical work, the young people said the week was also spiritual. “The way it strengthened my faith was seeing how people come closer when they work together—and also being out here in nature, seeing the mountains, seeing how big everything is,” said Abigail Schrock, 22.
Their home was damaged by flooding in 2016, then all but destroyed in 2020 floods. The
Englands moved into a trailer, which burned on Thanksgiving Day 2020, with Lisa barely escaping. After that, the Englands lived in their car before taking refuge in a tiny trailer on their property, which gave them a roof over their heads—but not much else.
Hundreds of MDS volunteers have worked on the home and the
14 behind the hammer
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