Just before the sun comes up, as fishermen crank up their diesel engines breaking the silence of the still air, a small group of outsiders to Cajun country quietly begins the day.

Two dozen Mennonites from Western Canada and Wisconsin are seated at long tables in a church hall. Some of the men rub grit from their sleepy eyes, as others sit almost motionless, waiting for prayers.

Today, like every day for the past five years, these volunteers from the Mennonite Disaster Service will begin their day as they would at home: Pray. Listen to a devotional. Share a hearty breakfast.

Mennonites are often described as “Amish-like, but with modern conveniences” (think cars, electricity etc.). There are an estimated 1.5 million Christian Anabaptist Mennonites worldwide.  The largest populations are in Canada and the United States.

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