“I cannot believe it. I say, ‘Lord, thank you.’” – LINDA BYRD, PICTURED WITH CRISFIELD MAYOR DARLENE TAYLOR (LEFT)

“It has been really easy to partner with MDS,” said King. “I think the schools are always looking for ways of serving people—and MDS does that! You are spreading the love of Jesus, but you’re doing it through actions. I think this is something that will be a blessing to students who see this because it creates this empathy for others.” King said this is the first time his construction class has partnered with MDS. “I have another construction class next year and I’m hoping we can continue this,” he said. “I’m so glad this came to fruition.” And homeowner Kay Welch is grateful that mentors and teachers are passing along not just skills but a heart for service. “I love the volunteers, the Mennonites, and everybody has just been wonderful,” she said. “I’ve never had a new house, and I’m so excited.” Lancaster Mennonite student O’Sean Quintana, 17, said he’s never built a house before—and he’s happy to do so for someone who really needs one. “Never in my life—never have I built a house,” he said. “I’ve helped people move—but building a house is just crazy!” Quintana said he learned it’s important to stay focused when he’s building a wall segment. “As I kept practicing and working on it, it just made more sense,” he said. “It’s a little stressful, but at the same time, we still make it fun.” And he’s certain the skills he’s learning will carry over into a job. “I’m just trying to make something of myself in my family, because I have to carry a lot of responsibility,” he said. Hershey urged other older adults to serve as mentors and encourage young people to serve with MDS. “To the young adults who say: ‘I don’t know what I want to do after high school’ or, after two years of college, ‘I really don’t know for sure what I want to major in,’ maybe we older adults could encourage them to take a year or so and consider serving through MDS,” he said. “Because, along with serving our fellow human beings, it is a great opportunity to grow as a person as well as learn skills in the building trade and in leadership.” — Susan Kim

“This will be a blessing to students who see this because it creates this empathy for others,” says Ryan King, Lancaster Mennonite High School Teacher, pictured with students who helped build Kay Welch’s house.

Watch a video of their experience:


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