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Michael Himlie volunteers at Brethren Disaster Ministries in New Windsor, MD

Thu, Nov 21st, 2013
Posted in Preston Faith & Worship

Michael Himlie of Harmony, Minn., has recently undertaken a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) assignment with Brethren Disaster Ministries in New Windsor, MD.

Brethren Disaster Ministries follows the biblical mandate to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) by responding when disaster strikes. During the aftermath of a disaster, volunteers clean up debris or mud, repair or rebuild homes, and help ease the trauma that is felt by victims. Clean-up and long-term reconstruction opportunities are available for skilled and unskilled, young and old, male and female volunteers. Formerly known as Brethren Disaster Services, the program was originally part of the Brethren Service Commission, which was established in 1941. Today it is a program of the Church of the Brethren.

Michael was in the 2012 graduating class from Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, Minn., and has completed his first year at McPherson College, where he is studying Religion and Philosophy. Michael is a member of Root River Church of the Brethren in Preston, Minn. He has been an active member in the Church of Brethren working at Camp Pine Lake as a counselor, serving on the Northern Plains District Board as a Youth Representative, and served on the National Youth Cabinet. Michael can be reached through the BVS office at 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin IL 60120.

Michael’s assignment to Brethren Disaster Ministries followed an orientation at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland where a group of 24 volunteers came together from all over the United States and Germany. For three weeks, they lived together as a community and studied topics of nonviolence, human rights, poverty, and simple living. They also gained first-hand volunteer experience working with local organizations in New Windsor, Harrisburg, PA, and New Oxford, PA. Orientation builds community spirit among participants through personal sharing, fellowship and increased knowledge of the world.

Michael is taking part in a long standing tradition of ministry through service. BVS, established in 1948, works at advocating justice, peacemaking, serving human needs, and caring for creation. Approximately 84 current BVSers serve in the U.S. and abroad working with various peace and social/economic justice organizations. They focus on many current social needs including care for children, youth and senior citizens; ecological issues; homelessness; refugee assistance; domestic and international peacemaking; and general community services. In exchange for their work, volunteers receive room, board and a small monthly stipend from their project. Brethren Volunteer Service, a program of the Church of the Brethren, is open to any person 18 years or older interested in service through a Christian program.

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