As I look around at our Conference churches today, we are all at different stages of growth or rebuilding and are experiencing a variety of weather.
mennonite disaster service
(Originally Published on MDS Website – August 30, 2017) By Mark Beach Lititz, Pa. – A Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) assessment team arrived Wednesday in southeast Texas to explore early response […]
While the rains may have stopped, South Carolina still faces a host of concerns …
On November 8, following Superstorm Sandy, I was privileged to participate with one of the early Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) teams to Staten Island. There amidst the front end loaders lifting wet debris from the streets into dump trucks, we encountered a busy community of local people and volunteers like us attempting to be helpful. One thing became immediately clear. MDS and Mennonites did not have a corner on compassion and care.
A new normal is emerging in Staten Island’s Midland Beach neighborhood where Mennonite Disaster Service has set up alongside the ministries of Oasis Christian Center, to clean up and rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The one-story-high mounds of debris are gone. Traffic signals are working and electricity is back. Most houses have been inspected and are marked with red, green or yellow placards signaling the level of work required for habitation, or condemnation.
Two weeks ago Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Northeast Corridor, landing near Atlantic City, NJ with high winds and high tides that pushed water into New York City neighborhoods, reshaped New Jersey’s barrier islands, and caused widespread wind damage and power outages across eastern Pennsylvania. In the days after the storm, the scope of damage continues to emerge. The needs in the midst of clean-up and recovery change day-to-day. But undoubtedly, the recovery is going to take awhile.
On Saturday, November 3, conference staffers Steve Kriss and Emily Ralph joined Mennonite Disaster Service in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens to assess the damage left by Hurricane Sandy and identify needs in preparation for sending teams to aid in the cleanup. After returning home, Steve compiled this list of recollections, appreciation, and observations.