Mennonite Volunteers Show Commitment To Pass Christian

"I'm like man!  It's so amazing," exclaimed Roseta Daniels as she looked at the frame of her new house.

Every wall that goes up means Daniels and her two children are closer to having a new home.

"It really touches me to know that we were picked to have a home built," said Daniels. "It really means a lot to my kids and to myself, that we will have somewhere to stay."

Daniels' home on Davis Avenue is one of five new houses in Pass Christian and Gulfport that are being built by The Mennonite Disaster Service .

Kevin King is the director of the group. He said, "The Mennonites have a history themselves of famine and persecution many, many years ago coming out of Russia and Ukraine. So we felt loss. We felt pain. It's part of our genes now to respond and want to reach out and help."

For some members, this is their second time responding to a South Mississippi disaster.

"I was here in the spring of 1970," said Bob Bender. "I worked here through Camille. So I guess I'm back for another round -- 36 years later."

The volunteers know South Mississippi still needs them. So on Tuesday, they cut a ribbon to dedicate a new work site on Church Avenue. The Camp Pass compound provides volunteers with a warm bed and hot meals. But it symbolizes something deeper - their commitment to stay in the Pass for as long as five more years.

King said, "Our desire is someday the folks in Pass Christian, Gulfport, and this part of Mississippi will be on their feet again, and reach out. That's true healing."

Roseta Daniels said, "It's really God's work. God has blessed so many people, and I feel like He has blessed my family."

While the Mennonite Disaster Service offers the free labor for the new homes, the Pass Christian Rotary provides the building supplies. By the way, since Katrina, more than 2,500 volunteers have worked on 555 homes from Texas to Alabama.