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  • Writer's pictureJohn Longhurst

Spirit of MDS Fund Invites Applications for 2023-24

Grants worth $137,000 given to 26 churches and organizations by MDS Canada in 2022-23

WINNIPEG, MB – Every year the Gospel Mission Church, an Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference (EMMC) congregation in Winkler, runs an event called Love the Valley.

There are many components to the event such as hot dog lunches and yard work for low-income homeowners. But one big component is the handing out of hampers containing household essentials such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper and paper towels.

In May volunteers from the church gave out 190 hampers—40 more than a year ago and more than they have ever given out before.

The hampers were made possible with support from a grant of $5,000 from the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada Spirit of MDS Fund.

“These hampers are an awesome way to support those people in our community and a great steppingstone in helping to build relationship with the people of our region,” said Associate Pastor Brenton Friesen.

“It was so encouraging to hear the impact and responses these hampers had on the recipients as well as those who volunteered to deliver them,” he added.

This year, the hampers included an invitation for people to attend the church’s monthly community meal; some recipients of the hampers are now regularly attending the church as well, Friesen said.

Support from the Fund “enabled us to serve our community well,” he said.

The grant to Gospel Mission Church was just one of 26 grants worth just over $137,000 given to churches and organizations across Canada by MDS Canada in 2022-23. For 2023-24, the organization is once again inviting Canadian congregations and organizations that need assistance in serving their communities to consider applying for funding.

The Spirit of MDS Fund was created during the pandemic when MDS Canada was unable to do any projects but wanted to assist congregations responding to needs arising from that challenging time in their communities. When the pandemic abated, it was retained as an ongoing program of the organization.

Grants from the Fund can be used for things like construction or renovation projects of homes of people in need; for food or other needed resources for those in crisis; for ministry and service projects that involve volunteers serving the neighbourhood; or other creative ideas that are a fit with MDS Canada’s two Core Values: Faith in Action and Caring Relationships. Grants of up to $5,000 are available.

To apply for a grant, go to


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