Local event to support disaster relief efforts
MIFFLINTOWN –The summer of 2017 will be remembered for hurricane disasters with Hurricane Harvey flooding Texas, Hurricane Irma ravaging southern Florida and Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico.
Many relief agencies are requesting funds in order to properly respond to the needs created by these disasters. Two of these are Mennonite Disaster Service, which responds nationally, and Mennonite Central Committee, which responds internationally.
Mennonite Central Committee is responding to Hurricane Irma devastation in Haiti and Cuba, and also responding to the devastating earthquakes in Mexico.
Mennonite Disaster Service is overwhelmed with response in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
Kevin King, director of MDS, released the following report from Puerto Rico on Oct. 8:
“Good Sunday morning. Kevin King here in Puerto Rico. I awoke this morning to one bar on my phone, so thought I would quick get this text to you and the church before it diminishes.
“Apparently, one more tower has been put online. Our delegation has been traveling around the island since Tuesday. We visited the interior of the island as much as we could. Three out of the nine Mennonite churches (there are 18 in all) that we were able to make contact were destroyed or heavily damaged, including the pastors’ homes.
“We were able to deliver some MCC cans of meat, provide an MDS cash grant and flashlights and batteries to each.
“There were tearful hugs and prayers. The pastors are exhausted trying to be strong for their congregants. Most roads now are passable except some high in mountains in the interior of island.
“No electric except some parts of San Juan — the capital. I estimate 95 percent no electric and no water. We are still in lifesaving mode, and the rebuilding will happen much later.
“The Mennonite school in Summit Hills (outskirts of San Juan) is OK. School is back in session. No water, no electric, so students bring their own supplies.
“Mennonite hospitals on the island are doing OK with generators, and the Army delivering fuel.
“Betania Mennonite School in Aibonito is heavily damaged and looking to start in several weeks in a makeshift way. No electric, no water.
“Please continue to pray for churches here on island. As one Mennonite pastor told me, ‘We meet briefly on Sunday mornings to sing and encourage each other and tell our stories, but I can’t bring myself to pass the offering plate anymore.’ And thanks to all who are giving to MDS — for your prayers and support to our great staff.”
A local event has been created to raise support for MDS and MCC. A meal and painting party has been scheduled for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, at Lost Creek Mennonite Church, 2682 Long Road, Mifflintown (Oakland Mills).
The cost is $35 for a meal of soups and sandwiches, and a painting party led by Painting Parties by Judy. The painting will depict a canvas of stacked pumpkins, with the wording, “Count your Blessings” on the pumpkins. All art supplies are included for step by step painting instructions; no art skills are needed.
Seating is limited. Call Linda Geissinger at (717) 535-5886 to reserve a canvas and prepay, or for more information.
All proceeds from this event will directly benefit MDS and MCC Hurricane Disaster Relief.