A Local Response to a Global Need
(From L to R)Rev. Mary McKinney, Pastor Peris Lester I and Dr. Rosalie Jackson attend training for their upcoming Missions trip to Haiti in November 2009.
Niele AndersonSentinel Religion Editor
Dr. Rosalie K. Franklin leads team to Haiti for Mission Project 2009
A response from a radio broadcast providing information about how people in Haiti were hungry and feeding there children dirt and cookies made out of oil and sugar did not sit well in the soul of Dr. Rosalie K. Jackson, a member of Lewis Metropolitan C.M.E. Church.
Â It troubled her so much that she went to bible study that evening and asked her Pastor, Elder Peris Lester I, "what is the C.M.E. church doing about missions in Haiti?" He did not know but told her he would find out. Three weeks later should found herself on a team headed to Haiti on a fact-finding missions trip.
She is now partnered with Pastor Mary Campbell -McKinney of the C.M.E. church who is also the National Coordinator for Missions of the C.M.E. 10th District. Pastor McKinney has been doing mission work since 1984 and has been all over the world.
While some have the privilege to vacation in the most exotic corners of the earth Pastor McKinney has traveled to those same corners but to the undeveloped and poorest parts of the same destinations. Her work has taken her to Jamaica, the Caribbean, Morocco, Ghana, Niberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, the Congo, and a few others.
When asked has there been anything that has just broken her heart? She replied, "it's been a long time since my heart has been broken, because you see so much poverty. It's not that you become accustomed to it, but you realize you can only do so much. That had been my experience until last year in Haiti. I visited a children's hospital and I picked up a baby and when you pick up a baby you expect to feel soft and cushy but it was just bones. Her eyes were open but she was just skin and bones and it broke my heart."
I next asked the ladies what happens when you return home? What are some of the things we take for granted? Dr Jackson replied, "everything. The 2nd time I went I had a team of five, ages ranging from 20's to 50's and they said there lives will never be the same it was changed forever. They are more appreciative of hot water for instance. We had to bath in cold water. We take for granted the variety of food we have to choose from. Even though we were eating much better in the mission house then anyone else in the city, we were only eating oatmeal with a little peanut butter and no meat. I'll be grateful to God everyday for the clean sheets and warm showers".
As the ladies prepare to get the team together of about 30 which also includes Elder Peris Lester I, pastor of Lewis Metropolitan C.M.E. Church. Several trainings and planning meeting take place that provide pertinent information. One of the most important topics is to get the team prepared to leave their stereotypes in the states and to realize that the team will be a guest in that country. From being in a non-Christian land to countries with unstable governments the team must be willing and able to adapt.
Next month Dr. Jackson and the team leave on her 3rd trip, and this time they will be providing supplies, equipment and building a playground for the Eleanor Workman Family Center (the clinic currently has no medical supplies).
Eleanor Workman is a 90-year-old African American woman who has dedicated her life to mission work. She is one of the only few African American's to have a mission facility set up in Haiti. She raised her son in Haiti and sent him to medical. Now Dr. Franco Jean-Louis (her son) is the doctor of the Family Center.
The team is raising funds for the trip in order to sponsor all supplies for one exam room in the center. Which includes exam table, examination stool, computer hutch and desk, computer hardware for electronic records, desk chair, exam room disposable container, (20 side chairs, medical equipment, medical scale, emergency kit, office cabinet, separator, one sidewall fan, and playground. The estimated cost for this is $17,725.
Sponsors are always needed and when you donate, upon the teams return the mission's feedback team provides a report and DVD of the work and resources that were provided on the trip. To make a donation you can contact Dr. Jackson at 310 412-0881.
The organization has just added 21 countries to the work and in 2010 have Mission trips planned for Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria and many other countries in need. If you are interested in becoming apart of a team contact Rev. McKinney at 904-619-8342.