NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - They bring shovels and tool belts. They bring cooks and caseworkers. They bring pickup trucks, cell phones, guitars and hymnals. They come at a moment's notice and stay for a week or for months. They are Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), and their story is told in the special exhibition now at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus in North Newton. "When Disaster Strikes" was created in 2000 for the 50th anniversary of MDS and produced by Kauffman Museum. Designed as a traveling exhibit, "When Disaster Strikes" has toured the United States in the three years since its inauguration at the MDS anniversary celebration in Hesston.
Each unit of the exhibit is made up of simple components - a saw horse, table top and graphics panels - that pack into a compact and easy-to-ship crate. The MDS story is told through photographs, scripture texts and personal stories from disaster survivors and MDS volunteers.
Several hands-on activities engage visitors of all ages. Included are a disaster puzzle, based on the devastation of the 1990 Hesston tornado, and a large North American map with toy disaster-related vehicles.
"When Disaster Strikes" opens at Kauffman Museum on Sunday, July 20 and will be on display through Oct. 5, 2003. Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. For more information call Kauffman Museum at (316) 283-1612.