​Wiebke Broers, Jessica Buckwalter, Lucas Tarcson, Elena Entz Wiebe, and Christian Hayes in front of a house they helped paint in Bloomington, Texas. Photo by Susan Nisly

By Christian Hayes
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Upon driving the last few minutes to reach Bloomington, Texas, nobody really knew what to expect of our calling to help out with Mennonite Disaster Service [MDS]; none of us had been to Bloomington before and weren't too aware of the damage there. As we entered the town, however, we noticed debris and several abandoned houses, thus beginning our introduction to the difficulties that occur from such a serious natural disaster. 

All the Service Adventure units helped at several different sites doing a variety of different tasks, like mudding, setting up drywall, building deck railings, painting, and so much more. Spending time throughout most of the several sites, I could see just how much of a visible difference we were making, and the gratitude expressed by the owners of the homes was immense. It was evident just from looking at them that the level of appreciation they had for what we were doing was beyond words. That we, people from all over the United States, would go to the aid of the victims of disaster of which we have no previous connection to, helping to raise such an oppressive burden from them and spread the message of a hope that reunites and rebuilds.

One of the owners stopped by and joined the group for dinner, telling the group their story and how the hurricane changed their lives, leaving them with all but nothing. It was a very moving recollection of all that had gone on there, from details as descriptive as the massive mosquitos that emerged, or the sewage that ravaged what was left of their house. By the end of the week, we began to feel attached to what great things were being accomplished there in such a state of despair, and many of the people that helped out expressed interest in helping MDS another time in the future. It was an event that changed our lives and it gave us insight into the real difference each and every one of us can make in the lives of those around us, a lesson whose worth cannot be measured, and I can't wait to hear of the adventures made by those that serve with MDS again in the future.




​Christian Hayes is a Service Adventure participant in Colorado Springs, Colorado.





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