MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/25/13) – Madisonville Police Department (MPD) officers recently returned from a mission trip they took to St. Louis Du Sud where the five man team helped to repair a church roof for the poverty stricken citizens of the town located just SW of Port Au’ Prince in Haiti. Chief Wade Williams and Lt. Robert Carter, along with three other members of Life Christian Center on Princeton Pike in Madisonville, Jon Kinkade, Jake Preston and Chase Duke had little idea of what they were in store for upon their departure from the states on Apr. 7. SurfKY News posted an article on the same day interviewing the men less than 24 hours before they left Madisonville for the expedition. Reporters got a chance to catch up with them again this week to see how the week long mission turned out and to share the candid photos taken by the men during their time there.
Despite the lack of details and direction initially given to the men regarding the mission and what it would entail, they were all enthusiastic about the tasks at hand, and all expressed their faith that the mission would be carried out efficiently and safely as they had been given the ultimate direction by the authority of spirit. They had no prior formal plans in place on how they would receive food or shelter while in Haiti. They had no schedules to follow for building, nor had any of them been made clear on what exactly the building project would be or where and how they would get the resources for contracting. They had been given a few tid-bits of information presented by Pastor Kinkade’s father, their point of contact for the mission, who is also the World Missions Director for The Pentecostal Church of God, however no size, coordinates, locations, or resource information was provided to them because it was not known for certain by anyone in the states. The charity funding for the mission had been provided by a woman from Trinidad. The men were only allowed to take 50 lbs each in luggage, which was to include any building supplies, tools, and personal clothing and hygiene items.
The men explained in yesterday’s conversation about the trip that they ran into a pretty big obstacle before they could even board the plane leaving the U.S. They had managed to get a generator to take along but unbeknownst to them, it contained a full barrel of gasoline in the box that would absolutely not be allowed on the plane, and there was neither way nor any time for them to get it out. Instead, the men had to leave without it, as they had already gotten their boarding passes and were approaching their departure time too quickly to change their plans for it. They were not discouraged by the incident. They ended up getting a generator from one of the locals once they arrived in St. Louis Du Sud.
The dilemma of food and shelter also worked out once they arrived, as they had all faithfully expressed previously they knew that it would. When asked if they were able to eat well during their stay, the two men laughed together, but gratefully replied, “Yes, we did eat well. The locals there literally fed us off of the land.” Lt. Carter appeared to be holding back a grimace behind his smile as he nodded about the menu options they were given. Chief Williams playfully included that it made them grateful for what we have to eat here. The officers continually expressed their own gratitude for the things we take for granted in our lives here in the U.S. They gave details on the remarkably “Interesting task it was,” as they put it, to find resources to repair the roof of the church, that turned out to actually be a building project far beyond a simple roof repair. Lt. Carter said, “Here in the U.S. we can go to any store we want and shop and negotiate and shop online and change our minds and have stores accommodate our needs. It’s not like that there.” Chief Williams added to the account of purchasing building supplies, “If you want a 2x4 piece of wood there, that’s what you’re going to get. It’s not cut down or smoothed. If you want a 14 ft. board and all they have is 16 ft. then that’s what you’re going to get and you can figure out a way to cut it down yourself. Though the mission turned out to be more structural than simple repair, were pleased to announce that it was complete enough so that the locals were able to attend church services the Sunday morning Apr. 14 after the officers left Haiti to fly back home. Chief Williams noted that while most of the mission work in the area was being done by very large established organizations, he was impressed to realized that the distinction of their crew of five men and how much they were able to accomplish in the week at the church. They received great support and assistance from the community where they were working, and exclaimed their contracting help was immeasurable.
Chief Williams detailed the rate at which they paid a group of highly skilled brick layers and how inexpensive it was for a U.S. contracting rate, yet how outstanding it was to the men who were working sun up to sundown for such pay they’re unaccustomed to making.
As the officers reflected on the week, Lt. Carter summed up the experience with profound sentiment, both men agreeing it was indeed a successful mission. “We were blessed and it was a rewarding experience that we were able to pour into our brothers and sisters in Haiti, but when you look at it, coming back home, they really poured more into us than we could ever give unto them.”
You can view the initial interview posted by SurfKY News with Chief Williams, Lt. Carter and Jon Kinkade, who is the Associate Pastor of Life Christian Center, by clicking HERE.
Photos provided by Madisonville Police Department
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