Hesston program teaches disaster response skills
12 plan summer MDS experiencesBy Phil Richard Hesston College
HESSTON, Kan. — Twelve Disaster Management students at Hesston College will have summer field experiences and internships during June and July.
The Disaster Management program, which is completing its third year, began in 2005 in cooperation with Mennonite Disaster Service.
Program director Russ Gaeddert said seven first-year students and one sophomore will spend eight weeks in Diamond, La., at an MDS site serving survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which hit in late August 2005.
Those eight students in the MDS Culture II class prepared for their summer work by helping to remodel a 2,000-square-foot house with Hope Home Repair of Wichita.
Abby Kline of Shaefferstown, Pa., said she learned basic construction skills and worked for the first time with common tools.
Kline expects to have “a good, fun time as a group of Hesston students” in Diamond this summer.
She knows the project directors, Bill and Esther McCoy, and many of the other MDS crew members. That’s because her youth group at Indiantown Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa., worked for a week in Tennessee in the summer of 2004 and in Bayou La Batre, Ala., in the summer of 2006.
Those experiences attracted Kline to Hesston’s Disaster Management program.
“After my junior year in high school, I felt some type of calling to help others,” she said. “My youth pastor also encouraged me to consider the program.”
Remodeling a house was a new experience for Rudy Graber of Molalla, Ore.
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