Mission Trip to Mount Olive, MS
On the road to Mount Olive , Mississippi we passed convoys of FEMA trucks heading south while convoys of Linemen trucks and National Guardsmen were heading back North. We saw massive trees with seven foot bases that looked as though they had been lifted from the ground and tossed to the side. It was a reminder of Isaiah 61, specifically verse 3, where it talks about oaks of righteousness and it made us think of how we need to have deep roots of faith in order to survive God's judgment. It also reminded us that we are His disciples called to help those in need.
We arrived at Mount Olive Community Church at 1 pm and met with Pastor Tony Duckworth. He shared the needs of his church and community with us. As we talked, he also shared with us his understanding of the importance of living among his community, particularly while other pastors moved out of the community and drive in only for services. While others had electricity and water, the small rural communities had nothing for four weeks.
Pastor Duckworth is a very busy man of God. As he strives to finish his master's degree and to pastor his church, his wife Shannon works full time in the ministry with their after-school program to further help the children to excel in school and receive the Word of the Lord.
Pastor shared how glad he was that he had taken off school that day or he would have never met the OSA RV and semi-truck coming down his road. Praise The LORD! As word spread through the community that Pastor Duckworth had received supplies, the town became flooded with people. He has had different groups come and stay in their small modest church to help the community clean up. By the grace of God he has been able to bring on a part time secretary to help with the needs of the church and the community.
Deacon Troy Liggett's wife Anita shared with us that a mobile home she was housing a relative and her children in, had the roof ripped off. She had no insurance, and FEMA told her they could not help her since she was not the one occupying it. Mrs. Liggett came with us while we went shopping; we were able to buy a thousand dollars worth of supplies, which we donated for the needs of the church, along with the truck load of supplies brought from St. Louis . Afterwards, we fellowshipped some more over a meal, and were back on the road by 9 pm.
It's clear that relationships are being built and cultivated by the Holy Spirit. It's also clear that these people still need help. Pastor Duckworth, his wife, and two children are selfless. They truly live as simple and humble Christians, even through the times when there was no paycheck or electricity. Our OSA t-shirts were noticed everywhere we went. Everywhere we walked, people wanted to talk and thank us for taking time to care and to come. Critter took off his red OSA shirt and gave it to Deacon Troy - and man - was he excited! We told him that if anyone wanted more t-shirts, the website was printed on the sleeve.
On the drive home we shared how truly blessed we felt that St. Vincent du Paul and many church members in the community donated all of the many items to make this mission trip possible, and that Dave Sinclair Ford provided the half ton pickup truck to accomplish God's work that needed to be done. We give thanks and praise to the Lord! AMEN!