Joshua’s Mission – The work of MDS in Texas
About the book: Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A budding romance? A call from God? A possible healing of his relationship with his brother? Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.
Thank you for allowing me to visit your blog today. I’m very excited about the release of Joshua’s Mission (2-1-16), which is book 2 in my Plain & Simple Miracles series. Much of this story was inspired by the work that Mennonite Disaster Services has done in Texas, and I wanted to share some of that with you today.
Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS). According to their website, MDS “is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters in Canada and the United States.” MDS volunteers include people from all faith backgrounds, including Mennonite, Amish and Brethren in Christ. Other mainstream groups partner with MDS to minister to people.
- How I first learned of MDS. My husband and I enrolled in a class to become part of an Emergency Response Team. While in that training, the instructor mentioned MDS several times. I cornered him afterwards and peppered him with questions. Amish in Texas? Oh yeah. They’ve helped families recover from tornadoes, floods, plant explosions, and wildfires to name a few.
- MDS in Bastrop, Texas. A massive wildfire struck Bastrop State Park on September 4, 2011. It burned until October 10th. The most destructive wildfire in Texas history—the Bastrop fire destroyed 1,691 homes, killed two people, and caused $325 million of insured property damage. Since that time, Bastrop has endured floods and a tornado. Through each of those disasters, MDS has worked to minister to the people in the area. They continue to work there today.
- Volunteers. MDS accepts volunteers from many faiths and backgrounds. You can sign up for their newsletter so that you will know of needs in your area. My husband recently traveled to work with them in Bastrop which is only 100 miles from where we live. He was very impressed with their organization, the kindness of those volunteering, and the work they were doing.
Many aspects of Amish life have been portrayed in both books and television; however, few realize that the Amish participate in mission work both here in the U.S. and abroad. My goal in writing Joshua’s Mission was to highlight that work, to raise awareness for this organization, and to describe what a difference volunteers make for those dealing with tragedy.
You can learn more about MDS and contribute to their ministry at mds.mennonite.net. I do hope you’ll pick up a copy of Joshua’s Mission and learn more about this wonderful organization.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Are you aware of any MDS work in your area? Do you know of other religious organizations who do ministry work? If so, give them a shout-out now. We’d love to hear about them.
***Thank you, Vannetta, for sharing with us about Mennonite Disaster Services.***
Vannetta Chapman has kindly offered to give away a copy of Joshua’s Mission to one commenter on this blog post.
(Open to US addresses only due to shipping costs)
To enter: Simply comment on this post with your name and email in a non spam format. We’d love to hear your answers to Vannetta’s questions about religious organizations who do ministry work or if you have heard of MDS before.
Giveaway begins on 1/26/2016 and ends on 2/2/2016 midnight CST. Winner will be emailed and announced on the blog on 2/3/2016.
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