Some of the 22 persons who
joined the Scotts Hill Baptist Church team volunteering in Haiti Aug. 22-28
needed to get home, wash their clothes and repack in time for a two-week trip
to their ongoing mission in Accra, Ghana.
Scotts Hill, a fast-growing
church just north of Wilmington, is directly involved in missions at many
levels. Its mission pastor and administrator Jimmie Suggs organizes the mission
efforts and leads many of the teams.
When he put the word out
that medical personnel were needed for the Haiti team some members that
anticipated going could not make it. Medical members widened the net and
enlisted several colleagues for the team.
They ended up forming the
largest team since Feb. 1, with enough people to accompany Haitian staff to two
medical clinics each day, and to make up three shelter construction teams.
Bud Goolsby, a relentless
servant at 62 who is always looking for something to do even when other team
members are resting, said his mission trips to Ghana, Haiti, Ecuador and
Honduras have provided a “practical view.”
“You’re not just giving and
praying for something you’ve never seen,” he said. “You’ve been there.”
Now, he said during a lunch
in the Miami airport on his way home from Haiti, “I can’t see children anywhere
without seeing the heart of God broken over the need.”
He appreciates meeting
committed people, utilizing their God-given talents in God-ordained work. He
mentioned specifically Scott and Janet Daughtry, the on-site coordinators for
the Haiti relief effort. “You probably have to be out of your mind to go down
there and work as hard as we did,” he said. “But I’d do it again.”
Dana Ferrell who was sharing
the lunch in Miami, encouraged people to go at least once. Recalling a
frustrating two and a half hour experience trying to get out of the
Port-au-Prince airport that morning, with jostling crowds shoving for position
in stifling heat, he said Satan will throw up roadblocks at every turn.
“Even today,” Ferrell said,
“Satan would have liked to see us get frustrated and not want to go back.”
Brandon Lisk, a young father
newly emboldened for missions and encouraged by his wife, Amanda, plans to be
involved in an international trip each year, “just make it a part of my life.”
In addition to the ministry
he provides, it is a good opportunity to “turn off the phone and not have the
responsibilities of work and family,” for an extended period to concentrate on
ministry and spiritual things “away from selfish desires.”
The best part of a trip is
“bonding and fellowship with team members” he said, pointing out that not all
the team members to Haiti knew each other before being united by common task.
A week earlier Chad Hodges,
who was embarking on his first international mission trip, discussed the
expected heat and hardships facing him and the team in Haiti. He was unfazed.
“I want to go somewhere
where I have to suffer to serve Jesus,” he said.
The Daughtrys ameliorated
the “suffering” as much as they could, providing good food and cold drinks on a
conveyor belt that dropped its contents into the dehydrated and hungry stomachs
of team members.
“One thing about teams is
God only sends the good ones,” Scott Daughtry said. “Not many bad folks will
spend $1,000 to travel halfway around the world to help somebody.”
Such work is not without
risk. Scotts Hills’ pastor Phil Ortego is on temporary leave, suffering from an
undefined illness he evidently picked up in April during a mission trip to
Team members were moved when
they delivered 20 cots and 20 blankets to children at the Victorious Kids
Orphanage in Titanyen. Hodges’ wife Amy thought far enough ahead to send a
suitcase packed with flip-flops and toys with him.
Director Oscar Jeanmendes
and his wife Christine first started the orphanage a year ago in their home to
get pregnant teens off the dangerous streets. In July, they moved into a cement
block, tin roofed building constructed in large part with North Carolina
Baptist Haiti relief gifts.
Children were sleeping on
the cement floor, getting damp and sick. There is no electricity, plumbing, or
kitchen. Cooking is over charcoal in an alcove outside and on the morning of a
visit, some wandering goats were helping themselves at the pot of rice.
But today the children sleep
on cots, under roof, wearing flip-flops, in the care of a loving Christian couple
and sing with joy. (See video of children singing as well as other video
footage from Haiti at the Biblical Recorder’s YouTube channel:
Volunteers who see, hear,
feel, taste, smell and touch that moment understand the difference between
supporting missions and being on mission.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Jameson wrote about his experience while in Haiti. Follow his daily blog by reading the first entry.)