April 12, 2023
A framework of faith: business owner reflects on why he supports MDS
Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Christian Aid Ministries, Longhorn Truss. For Chris Troyer, they’re all connected within his framework of faith-driven service and business.
As co-owners of Longhorn Truss—based in Lott, Texas—Troyer and his wife, Elsie, have provided wood roof and floor trusses for commercial and residential clients for 20 years.
Troyer’s memories of MDS go back even further. “In my early 20s—that’s 40 years ago now—I remember volunteering with MDS when a tornado struck Springfield, Missouri,” he said.
That sense of service has stayed with him. By 2009, with Longhorn Truss well-established, he was volunteering with Christian Aid Ministries—often an MDS partner—and now serves as the Texas coordinator for that organization’s rapid response team.
He also furnishes trusses for both Christian Aid Ministries and MDS, selling them at-cost so that volunteers can build even more homes for disaster survivors.
Longhorn Truss has supplied trusses for about 50 MDS-built houses, and about 60 houses built by Disaster Aid Ohio, an Amish group affiliated with MDS. Most recently, the company supplied trusses for an administrative building and three dormitories for La Posada Providencia, a ministry in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas that offers hospitality to asylum seekers.
“I have had a really good relationship with MDS—a relationship I started because of my faith,”
— Chris Troyer
“I have had a really good relationship with MDS—a relationship I started because of my faith,” said Troyer. “I’m a follower of Christ.”
From volunteering to providing trusses for homes, Troyer does his best to try to discern what Christ wants him to do. “In this way, we show our love and faith,” he said. “Faith without works is dead—that’s what the Scripture says.”
He plans to keep responding to people’s needs in whatever ways he can.
“I sincerely enjoy serving, and I have a desire to serve,” he said. “When I was a young man, I did not have the opportunity to do that in the culture I grew up in.”
Now, he believes the Lord has given him the opportunity. “I have built my business up, and I value the connection with people,” he said. “Serving others, running a business—there are not a lot of things that are separate in our lives. One thing feeds off another.”