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"On a Mission" to Haiti: Help in the Potato Fundraiser Monday Feb. 3 at FBC

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The Potato Fundraiser is one way that four local missionaries pull together to raise funds for a Haitian mission. It will be held at kitchen entrance of First Baptist Church on Monday February 3, 2020 starting at 11am. Baked potatoes with the trimmings with or without pulled pork will be prepared and sold. The cost is $6 per potato lunch or $8 for potato topped with pulled pork. You can pre-order by calling 903-439-5336. Find out more about the mission fundraiser on the Facebook pages of any of the missionaries, or by reading the story below.

Cindy Lancaster, Gail Bain, Sandy Mullens and Yvonne King

A panel of local missionaries visited the KSST studios on Friday January 24, 2020 to share with listeners the mission trip they take each Spring. These four ladies travel at their own expense annually to assist in Bohoc and other remote villages in Haiti, one of the poorest nations on the planet. They are among many individuals and groups sponsored by Amanda Picott and Psalm139LOVE, who travel to the mission fields in planes provided through Missionary Flights, International. Here is a bit about these four missionaries and the sponsoring organizations which arrange trips and transportation for thousands of missionaries like them each year.

Education and learning English is one of the areas of need in Haiti

Psalm139LOVE is a ministry that strives to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Haiti, providing both spiritual as well as physical nourishment to residents of Haiti who live on less than $2 a day.​​ This ministry’s goal are to build and provide: 1. ​Agricultural Training Centers to teach Haitians how to take care of themselves. 2. Clean water by fixing and digging wells as water is life. 3. Evangelism or spreading the Word of God sharing the living water of the Gospel.

Clean drinking water is another basic need in villages

Don Beldin was just one man flying a small single-engine airplane in the 1960s for Youth for Christ evangelism in the Bahamas. Responding to need, Don began transporting other missionaries and equipment in his plane. In 1964, the Lord guided Don to incorporate Missionary Flights International (MFI) to meet the growing needs of Bible-centered missions. The need for air service increased, so MFI acquired larger planes and added new countries.

Don Beldin, once a flying evangelist, now operates Missionary Flights International from Fort Pierce, Florida, providing air service for 450 missions annually.

After 42 years in West Palm Beach, MFI moved to Fort Pierce, FL in 2006. Today, MFI operates out of two hangars flying turbine-powered DC-3s to meet the needs of over 450 missions in the Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and wherever the Lord directs. About 300 tons of cargo and 4,000 Christian workers are transported every year.

The four local missionaries come from different churches and different walks of life. None had previous experience in foreign mission work. All work and save up their money to pay for their travel. In different ways, each finds joy and fulfillment during the trip, despite the less-than-luxurious travel and rooming arrangements, complete lack of electricity and running water and very primitive environment they work in. They are there to bless the people, but each expressed they themselves are the ones who are blessed the most by the joyful and grateful Haitian villagers.

Gail Bain is taking her twelfth trip to Haiti in February 2020. Sometimes she goes twice a year! “The Lord laid it on my heart to go and help, and Haiti is where he led me”. Gail is a member of Shannon Oaks Church and says “my trips to Haiti have made me a better servant back here at home. In America, we may complain or grumble about our income or things we’d like to have. These people are just joyful and grateful for anything and everything!”

Sandy Mullens is a member of League Street Church of Christ and recently moved back to Sulphur Springs. She feels that the Vacation Bible School and the English they teach daily is one of the biggest ways the children are reached. “The kids are so happy when they receive anything, even a sticker on the back of their hand for doing a good job that day. And they sit so still and listen for hours, and are never disruptive or disrespectful.”

Cindy Lancaster is a member of St. James Catholic Church and will be taking off soon for her fourth trip to Haiti. “Knowing these people humbles me, makes me more faithful and prayerful. And it makes me more frugal! When you’re over there, any big problems you have seem like such small problems, compared with the challenges they face daily for basic needs.”

“It makes me a better person”, said Yvonne King of First Baptist Church. Since I’m now a Senior citizen, in the back of my mind all the time when we are working I think about the old people in the villages. They have no meds to take for the aches and pains of old age. Not even an aspirin! And no eyeglasses! No medical, dental or vision care is provided or even available in the villages, and if there was, they couldn’t afford it. Many don’t love long lives, most not past age 70. Yet for the most part, they are happy, loving and giving people.”

The four explained that food as well as shelter is a year-round problem. The Haitians villagers need to be able to grow their own food, but the soil is very poor. It is packed hard and has little topsoil, like dustbowl conditions. There is a large community garden with improved composted soil, planted through PSALM139LOVE. Missionaries help to cultivate it when they visit. Through donations of money from people in Hopkins County, funds are used to buy a few goats and chickens for families.

Others need metal roofs on their homes. The huts which have only banana or palm leaf roofs leak during rains, and during the monsoon season, there is no real shelter when mud becomes a huge problem, even inside their homes. “The cost of a 10×10 metal roof is $200, if anyone would like to pledge money for one. Each time we visit, a few more homes are able to get on the list for metal roofs through pledges and donations. Bad water is a health hazard, and drinkable water is scarce. Wells are being dug and also existing wells need repair each year. You can donate toward digging a well. Each little thing that is done makes life a bit healthier and happier for some of them. And, their faith is so strong! The Haitian villagers simple faith and joy are examples to us.”

Children dip water out of a hole in the ground. This water is contaminated and often causes sickness.
This joyful group has a new well in their village, thanks to the work and mission of Amanda Picott, shown in center back row.

The Potato Fundraiser is one way that the four local missionaries pull together to raise funds for the Haitian mission. It will be held at First Baptist Church on Monday February 3, 2020 starting at 11am. Enter at the back door near the kitchen. Baked potatoes with the trimmings or topped with pulled pork will be prepared and sold. The cost is $6 per potato lunch or $8 for potato topped with pulled pork. You can pre-order by calling 903-439-5336 or on Facebook sites of any of the four missionaries. Deliveries can be made that day with an order of two or more lunches.

Funds from the Potato Fundraiser go toward the purchase of Food Baskets of staples for village families. Each “basket” or box weighs about 70 pounds and will last a family one month. We’d like to have money to distribute lots of these baskets while we are there in February. This way, we see what the people receive and how our help can improve their lives.” To find out more about the Potato Fundraiser, see Cindy’s Facebook site or call her at 903-439-5336. To send a donation, mail to the local mission at 26 Jennifer Lane, Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482.

“We first went there thinking we could help bless the people, but it is us who have received the biggest blessings from them. That’s why we go back each year!”

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Author: Enola Gay

Has enjoyed working for KSST since 1989. Hosts the Good Morning Show with Enola Gay on weekday mornings from 6-9am, so 'start your day with Enola Gay'! Guest interviews during the Morning Show can also be seen in playback on Cable Channel 18 TV. Along with local country music fan Benny Potter, co-produces 1230 West, a Country and Western Swing radio show which airs weekly on Saturdays from 7-8am and repeats on Thursdays from 7-8pm. Also writes "At the Corral Gate", a column appearing weekly in The Millennium Shopper and in the Lifestyles section of ksstradio.com.

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