St. Paul Methodist Church of Bridge City is planning to send a team of ten mission workers to Haiti to assist the citizens in their time of need. As part of a training experience, Pastor Brad Morgan and his wife Laura will travel to the destitute country this summer. They will experience the suffering and learn how they can help by being a part of another team. They will then be qualified to lead their own team and will be effective in giving the Haitians much needed relief. After further planning, they will return the week of Jan. 7-14, 2012 willing and able to do whatever work is deemed most helpful by the missionaries there.

It is not yet certain who will actually be going on the mission or exactly what the team will be doing.  Susan McAnelly, one of the team members, said that the team may be qualified to be a medical team and work with local organizations. If they are not qualified to be a medical team, they will volunteer as laborers, handing out supplies, building and rebuilding, and spreading hope. Every little bit helps.

McAnelly stated, “We are not just going to pick up rubble. We are going to spread the gospel, to teach all different ages about Jesus and how he is there for us in good and in bad. Also, we are not just giving handouts, though a little gift is nice. We want to educate them. We want to help them be self-supporting in the long run. We want to help.” 
Mrs. McAnelly’s statement closely ties in with the teachings of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist philosophy. Wesley believed that followers of Christ should minister to the whole person, not simply speak kind words and walk away in apathy. Neither should they give handouts carelessly. Wesley believed that they should spread the gospel in love, with deeds as well as words.

The first step of the church’s preparation for the mission is prayer. That is for them the most important thing, to be in the right frame of mind and to have the right motives. The team, with the support of fellow Christians, will pray for the will of God in this matter.  They will pray for protection, direction, strength, and preparation. The team has requested that the church pray for two minutes every morning at 7:58.

Without a doubt, this overseas mission, like anything else worth doing, will be costly.  The whole church has become involved in the fundraising efforts. The estimated price of bringing ten team members overseas is twenty thousand dollars. Through various fundraisers the team has gathered about two thousand dollars, leaving eighteen thousand to earn. The group has been creative in finding ways to supply the need. A garage sale was held. 

On Valentine’s Day, friends and family were asked to send money instead of flowers. The youth group has held a car wash and will be holding another one soon. The profits from the carwash will go toward the purchase of soccer balls that the young people will autograph and decorate with messages of hope and love. The soccer balls will be given to young people in Haiti. Everyone is doing their part. To keep track of the total funds raised, the church has placed a sign outside, making the numbers public.

Keep your eyes open for your opportunity to help in this important humanitarian effort!

About Gus LaFosse