Youths volunteer with MDS over spring break

April 13, 2022 | News | Volume 26 Issue 8
Amy Rinner Waddell | B.C. Correspondent
Gerald Dyck, left, led a group from Emmanuel Mennonite Church in restoring a house damaged by last November’s floods. Also pictured, from left to right: Rachel Navarro, Emmanuel’s family pastor; Olivia Jesse; Naomi Cheny; and Isaac Boynton. (Photos courtesy of Rachel Navarro)

Several young people from Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C., volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) during spring break to help victims of last year’s massive flood.

Family pastor Rachel Navarro, who had heard about relief projects with MDS in Princeton following the floods last November, learned about the project in nearby Arnold on Sumas Prairie in early March.

“At the time, we were waiting to hear back if we’d be approved for the summer MDS trip program, so I thought this would be a fun way for the students to get a taste of what it’s like!” says Navarro. “I also had a connection with the organizer, Shelley Dueck, who works at [Mennonite Central Committee] in church relations.”

Navarro took three middle- and high-school students to one of three houses MDS is currently restoring in Arnold, just across the street from Arnold Community Church. They spent a full day, March 23, painting interior doors; spackling, sanding and painting trim; and installing doors.

“Our crew leader was a former high school shop teacher named Gerald, who gave us all a super thorough orientation and was with us every step of the way. He even taught me how to use a drill!” reports Navarro.

Do you have a story idea about Mennonites in B.C.? Send it to Amy Rinner Waddell at bc@canadianmennonite.org.

Gerald Dyck, left, led a group from Emmanuel Mennonite Church in restoring a house damaged by last November’s floods. Also pictured, from left to right: Rachel Navarro, Emmanuel’s family pastor; Olivia Jesse; Naomi Cheny; and Isaac Boynton. (Photos courtesy of Rachel Navarro)

Naomi Cheny, left, and Olivia Jesse paint a house damaged by the B.C. flood as part of a church youth group work day in March.

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