Left: Maria Lira outside her newly reroofed home in Pharr, Texas

Below left: MDS volunteer Steve Reinford at the Flores / Martinez home.

“Your quality of work is excellent. But it’s your spirit, the way you do your work– it says a lot.” –SUSAN HELLUMS, RIO GRANDE VALLEY LONG TERM DISASTER RECOVERY

Above: Juanita Murillo and daughter Ruth with their photo wall frame of volunteers who worked on their home.

Term Disaster Recovery, said her organization has 38 cases open of people who need new homes or repairs for badly damaged residences. Hellums said she not only appreciates the care with which MDS volunteers do their home-building, she also appreciates the care they show toward those they’re helping. “Your quality of work is excellent,” she said, speaking to volunteers. “But it’s your spirit, the way you do your work— it says a lot.” During the rest of 2022, in addition to continuing work on homes, MDS will be involved in building a 60x90-foot administrative building and three dormitory buildings for La Posada Providencia, a temporary shelter for immigrants who are pursuing asylum claims in the US. Meanwhile, many volunteers who serve in the Rio

Grande Valley share that their eyes are opened about who immigrants really are: they are neighbors in need. MDS volunteer Jay Witmer said he’d been thinking about who dwells in the house of the Lord. “I turned 76, and that’s the average age of the white American male to live,” he said. For many in the colonias, the average life span is shorter—and many have risked their lives to get there. Witmer and other volunteers are working so that Ms. Maura and many others will dwell in homes built by people who are showing God’s love. “At the end of my days, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” Witmer said. “Until then, I’m going to help as many people as I can.” — Susan Kim

Showing God’s love In McAllen, MDS works with partner organizations, including the Rio Texas Disaster Response Ministry of the United Methodist Church, Rio Grande Valley Long Term Disaster Recovery, and La Posada Providencia, a local ministry that offers hospitality to asylum seekers. United Methodist Committee on Disaster Relief Construction Manager Roland Pecina said MDS volunteers provide not only skilled labor, but also a sense of accompaniment for the people in the community. “I grew up five blocks away,” said Pecina as he stood, thoughtfully watching MDS volunteers work on a colonia home. “I think Jesus called us here—that this is our sanctuary and this is our gospel. What better way to show God’s love?” Susan Hellums, head of the Rio Grande Valley Long

Above right: MDS volunteer Jade Seaman muds the Flores / Martinez home.

Below right: Flores / Martinez home in Edinburg, Texas.



behind the hammer

behind the hammer

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