Several groups of Central Kentuckians traveled the globe to help with mission trips this summer.
We asked readers to tell us about their trips and send us photos. Here are the responses we received:
Sixteen people from Midway Baptist Church in Midway traveled to Haiti to work with Grace International and The Fuller Center on projects including a children's Bible camp, home construction in Lambi Village and serving food at The Lord's Kitchen. The team motto was, "It's a Love Haiti Relationship," reminding all that building relationships was the focus of the trip.
A group of 10 people from Campbellsville University's Baptist Campus Ministries went to Ghana for two weeks in May. The group worked with several ministries there, helping in a school, and building and cleaning up the City of Refuge Ministries campus.
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A group from Midway Presbyterian Church worked at Buckhorn Center for Children in Buckhorn, Ky., in June. Buckhorn provides residential care and treatment for adolescents.
Seth Felts of Lexington went with a group to Honduras as representatives of Mission Journeys. They stayed at Mision Caribe in Tegucigalpa and visited churches the mission started. They helped repair a church building, and with a feeding program for children. Felts said, "The joy on the kids' faces when they saw that we came to play and feed them was just heartwarming. I plan on revisiting Honduras and also becoming a missionary. This trip to Honduras was truly life-changing, and I think about my friends in Honduras constantly."
A group from Hill N Dale Christian Church in Lexington worked with AMOR Ministries in San Diego, Calif., as part of a larger team of about 130 that built homes for families in need in Mexico. The group did everything from mixing the concrete for the foundation to putting in windows, doors and a roof. Group members slept in tents in the desert and had very limited showers.
Central Christian Church's high school mission team went to Los Fresnos, Texas, in June and worked with Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries to provide care and support to those on the U.S./ Mexico border. The Lexington group provided assistance to the ministry center in Los Fresnos through demolition, construction and beautification projects.
A team of four teachers accompanied by Andy Newton, executive director of Lexington's Ministro Journeys, conducted an English camp in the southwest province of Yunnan China. Yunnan is a mountainous region in the Himalayan Plateau with frequent landslides, and is home to minority groups, including Tibetans. After serving at a large multi campus church for 10 years, Newtown created Ministro Journeys. It also conducts trips to Africa, Europe, Haiti and Mexico.
A group of six volunteers, two from Pendleton County, two from Bracken County and two from Harrison County, traveled to Haiti in July to provide vacation Bible school for a local church, The New Christian Church of Tabarre. About 150 kids came each day to learn about Jesus Christ and have a meal.
People from Cornerstone Christian Church in Cynthiana went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, through the ministry His Eyes. Cornerstone volunteers led vacation Bible school lessons, helped with food and clothing distribution in remote cities throughout the surrounding area, and helped build an addition to the local Christian medical clinic. It was Cornerstone's second mission trip to Honduras.
Volunteer groups from Lexington went to Hyden, Ky., for a weeklong community service before the Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival. The groups were organized and sent out by a new Lexington-based non-profit, Artruism Inc., in partnership with Hyden churches of various denominations, Leslie County schools and local leaders. Among other things, the volunteers packed 1,000 backpacks for school kids.
Frankfort's Buck Run Baptist Church went to Constanta on the Black Sea in Romania with Romanian American Mission. This was the church's 20th year going to Romania. Volunteers held medical clinics, taught vacation Bible schools and gave out reading glasses in small villages.
Connor Appelman, 21, a senior majoring in biology at the University of Kentucky, went to New Delhi and Chauntra, India. He worked in the Bhumang Jampaling Monastery in Chauntra as an English teacher for 20 Tibetan monk novices. The trip was organized through International Volunteer Headquarters, an international volunteer organization.
In mid-July, a group of 12 with Lexington's Psalm 82:3 Mission traveled to Liberia to work at an orphanage run by Americans for African Adoptions.
The main focus of the trip was to show the children love. The team held a vacation Bible school each day and spent time playing with and reading to the children. In addition, the team took books, built a library and a handicap ramp, created a garden to grow vegetables, built a chicken coop, made minor repairs and installed a water purification system.
A group from Crossroads Christian Church in Lexington worked on several Compassion International projects in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for 10 days in July. The group worked with children involved with Nuevo Mundo, where families live in community. The mission team spent time with and encouraged the mothers and children involved in the Child Survival Project. The team later went on home visits and prepared the land for a new church at the nearby Loma Grande Project.
A medical mission team that included four people from Missouri, one from Georgia and three from Kentucky — Dr. John Furcolow of Paintsville, nurse Vickie Conley of Georgetown, and medical student Caitlin Briggs of Lexington — went to Yuraj Marca, at more than 11,000 feet in the Andes, and saw 779 patients in 31/2 days.
The people in the town of about 2,000 had never had a visit from a medical mission and had only a small clinic staffed by a nurse. The closest hospital was seven hours away over very rough roads. Malnutrition was rampant, and there were lots of cataracts, headaches and dizziness due to the altitude. Everybody got vitamins, and nearly all received medication for parasites.