From a June 27 news release by Deborah Froese, MC Canada PrayerNet Coordinator
Torrential rains in June triggered unprecedented flooding in Alberta and sparked a deep desire across the country to offer assistance. Mennonite Church Canada is there, through the hands and feet of our congregations and our partner organization, Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), the lead Mennonite organization for emergency and long-term response.
Relief efforts are beginning in terms of cleanup," says Janet Plenert, MDS Region V (Canada) manager. "MDS envisions being there for a marathon. It's intense, it's dramatic and we are in it for the long haul."
Plenert is collaborating with Jim Dyck, chair of the Alberta region unit and a member of Springridge Mennonite Church, a Mennonite Church Canada congregation. "I'm terribly grateful for Jim, who is our lead person on the ground," she says. Plenert will tour the flood region for evaluation purposes with Alberta MDS leaders.
The process begins in the Calgary area with clean-up and sanitization, but over time the response will look at more long-term efforts such as rebuilding, and it will be diffused more broadly in geographical scope. "We're visiting communities beyond the lens of the media," Plenert says. "MDS is very focused on helping the marginalized, those that fall between the cracks of other helps."
Although Calgary is garnering the most media attention, regions all across southern and central Alberta have been affected by flooding, including many small townships and First Nations communities. As floodwaters recede in Alberta, swollen rivers take the excess east and north across the prairies.
Please pray for those whose families, homes and livelihoods that have been or will be impacted by this disaster. Remember our Mennonite churches in Calgary and Southern Alberta, especially non-English speaking congregations who may have greater challenges in accessing services - Calgary Chinese Mennonite Church, Calgary Vietnamese Mennonite, Calgary Chin Christian Church, and Word of Life, a Spanish-speaking church family. Pray that God's grace and shalom will be clearly revealed through helping hands, open arms and a prevailing spirit of hospitality and care. May adequate resources be found to meet immediate needs, and hope rise to address the complexity of more long term concerns. Pray also for the leaders and volunteers involved in the relief effort.
For up-to-date information, see the MDS website http://www.mds.mennonite.net/ homepage and regional page http://mds.mennonite.net/regions-units/region-v/
Thank you for your prayers.