Grace Pointe Church Spread Gospel In Haiti
Fri, 07/15/2016 - 4:15pm Douglas1
Kristen Kitchens Enterprise Staff Writer
“Some of the smaller churches aren’t able to do bible school in Haiti, so it was a blessing that we could go over there and do that with them,” Grace Point Church Discipleship Pastor Archie Rish states.Dr. Chad Fussell and Dr. Dana Fender both traveled with the group to perform tooth extractions for the children and adults. During their week stay, the doctor’s removed over 500 teeth.
A group of congregation members from Grace Pointe church recently traveled to Haiti to spread the Gospel and help the citizens of Leogane, Haiti, in any way they could. The church members (along with two other locals) formed a dental team for the citizens, held vacation bible school in churches, and visited the local orphanage.
The group traveled to Haiti with the Baptist for Haiti organization, which was established approximately five years ago after the earthquake in January 2010. Soon after the earthquake the Georgia Baptist Convent sent a scouting team to see how Baptist churches in the United States could minister to the people of Leogane. They rented a house in the city, which is known as the Georgia House, and began to bring teams all over the country to help minister to those devastated by the disaster.
The group stayed in Haiti for one week (with the exception of one who ended up staying an additional week) and visited with the community, along with joining them in church services and hosting vacation bible school.
“Some of the smaller churches aren’t able to do bible school in Haiti, so it was a blessing that we could go over there and do that with them,” Grace Point Church Discipleship Pastor Archie Rish states.
Dr. Chad Fussell and Dr. Dana Fender both traveled with the group to perform tooth extractions for the children and adults. During their week stay, the doctor’s removed over 500 teeth.
“We had a group of around nine people in these dental teams that would visit with the patients before the procedure was done. We would talk with them and hear their story and share the gospel with them. We also would pray with them before and they would pray for the normal things, like protection and food, but they would also ask God to help their parents be able to send them to school,” Archie states.
The team also learned that the food supply in Leogane is short, but the access and supply of water is even worse. “The thirst issue was terrible. The locals would have to sometimes to and travel up or down mountains just to have water. When the kids would see us with the water bottles, they would all shout ‘blue!’ because they knew we had water.”
Archie and his wife, Carla, also spoke of a sweet moment they shared with a local woman who lost all of her children during the earthquake.
“The interpreter came up and said that this woman told him to tell us that ‘all white people were her children’, I didn’t really understand at first and then he told us about her losing her children in the earthquake. She told him that since we were coming to help them and visit with them that we are all of her children now. It was such a sweet and humbling experience,” Archie states.
“It was just such an amazing trip for everyone overall. We don’t really realize what we take for granted until we actually are in a place like that surrounded by people who have so little, but still walk around smiling,” Carla says.
The group of missionaries who visited Haiti included: Dr. Dana Fender, Hope Fender, Evan Fender, Danielle Legit, Marenda Benson, Teena Price, Alyssa Price, Wes Price, Wyatt Price, Dr. Chad Fussell, Amie Fussell, Sydnie Fussell, Ben Fussell, Kirk Farrar, Kensley Vickers, Archie Rish, Carla Rish, Brody Rish, and Nate Rish.
“One of the many things that resonated with my soul in Haiti was a conversation I had one of the Haitian translators. He is currently going to school to become a lawyer and I asked if he planned on staying in his country or if he might come to America. Without hesitation he stated, ‘I will always stay in my country because it is my job to help my people. They tell me in America many people have big houses and lots of cars. Why do people need all of that stuff? And how can people say they love Christ and not help those in need? If you say you love Jesus, but don’t help those in need, you lie to people.’
“That rocked me to my core and I began to cry. He comforted me by saying, ‘But you have to come to my country to help my people. When your husband does dental work and gets Haitian people out of pain, you are doing your part. When you come to VBS and feed my people, love them, and tell them about Jesus, you are doing your part.’
“That left me questioning my heart. Questioning my abundance of ‘things’ back home that we as Americans put so much emphasis on, that in the long run it doesn’t even matter. It made me realize that he was speaking the Word to me. The only ‘thing’ that matters is that we love God and love people. For me and my family, love does really cross oceans and I cant wait to cross that ocean to love on Haiti again and again. Mark 12:30-31” Amiee Fussell states.
“If you ever get the opportunity to go and experience something like this – Go. It was an eye opener and the best experience I ever had. When I got home, I opened my Bible and it smelled like Haiti and I just began to cry. It was truly a blessing,” Archie states.
See page 1-B in the Sunday, July 17, 2016 edition.