The team, which left Waterloo on Oct. 27 and returned Nov. 3, consisted of 28 members from churches in Cedar Falls, Clarion, Conrad, Fort Dodge, Grand Junction, Grundy Center, Mason City and Waterloo. Steven Hulsebus, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Dodge, was the only Fort Dodge volunteer with the team. Clarion volunteers were Peg and Ted Bunn.
The mission team stayed at the Pearlington, Miss., village site along the ravaged coastline. The PDA villages are completely self-contained communities. Team members participated in cleaning and preparing meals for volunteers and assisted a church that prepares meals for the community. They also worked in the community helping families rebuild their homes and their lives. The volunteers insulated, hung drywall, painted, built decks, steps and wheelchair ramps.
“Each village can hold up to 75 volunteers at a time,” Hulsebus said. “We were one of two volunteer teams in our camp that week. The cost is $20 per person per day, and groups can make reservations through the national call center at (866) 732-6121.”
Another trip is planned to start on Jan. 19, 2008, Hulsebus said, adding that several more people from Fort Dodge have expressed interested in that work trip.
PDA is the disaster response program of the 2.4 million-member Presbyterian Church in the United States. The North Central Iowa Presbytery office is available by calling (319) 233-1747.
Workers in this picture are Rev. Dan Emmert, Grand Junction; Fred Wendt, Nora Springs; Chris Taylor, Detroit, Mich., and Steve Hulsebus, Fort Dodge, kneeling. The men are building a wheelchair ramp.