MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/5/13) –Madisonville Police Department (MPD) officers don’t always need badges and uniforms or fast cars with sirens to effectively serve a community. They’re equipped with that one vital instrument that any officer needs in order to truly serve and protect a people, and they wear it on the inside; that instrument is the character quality of selflessness. Lt. Robert Carter and Chief Wade Williams find that the reward in selfless service to others is something for them to give and not to receive. The two officers are extending that reward far outside of the U.S. to lend their hands for mission work for a church in Haiti.
Chief Williams and Lt. Carter are members of Life Christian Center on State Highway 70, also known as Princeton Pike, in Madisonville. On Saturday afternoon Chief Williams and Lt. Carter left for their trip right after lunch, along with three other men from the church, including the Associate Pastor John Kinkade, Jake Preston and Chase Duke.
Many of the details of the trip are currently not yet established, though their objective on the mission is to rebuild a damaged roof over covering a church in St. Louis Du Sud, located SW of Port Au Prince. The roof is in such bad condition that when it rains, the church is flooded. The men have only a vague description of the building structure of which was given to them by Pastor Kinkade’s father, who is the World Missions Director for the Pentecostal Church of God. He has served as a point of contact in the trip thus far. They plan to negotiate with locals there in purchasing materials they’ll need for the roof using the funds raised for the construction by a woman from Trinidad whose exact identity was not provided to SurfKY News. Chief Williams said that he has also already contacted the U.S. Embassy in Haiti regarding materials as well. They cannot even speculate as to the costs with the few details they have now. Haiti is of a significantly poverty stricken economy, and they do not have the means of machines and power tools to build with or use for construction. “Everything is done by hand,” said Williams.
The men have no specific meal plans in place, nor boarding or travel arrangements. “We’re not checking into the Ramada here,” Lt. Carter said, acknowledging the uncomfortable conditions they all know they’re facing. Part of the same group made a similar trip to Haiti in 2010 for mission work following a damaging hurricane. They explained that the natives of the community they worked in that year were very welcoming of them, and that they even pitched in on labor and feeding them. They did not seem pre-occupied with the lack of details or uncertainty about how they will sleep or eat during the mission, each testifying their own sense of comfort and faith that the necessary means will be provided for them in some way.
When asked how they felt about any potential civil hostility in the country they may encounter, again the men reclaimed their unwavering faith that they will be protected in order to complete the mission safely and efficiently. When asked what they feel to be the most challenging thing about the trip thus far, considering that they are undeterred by the incidentals, their smiles turned down somewhat as they recalled the people of Haiti and their struggles.
Lt. Carter expressed his own gratitude for his life here in the U.S. and the compassion he feels for the people there. The other men nodded agreeing as he said, “We have our lives here that we become so comfortable in. Day in and day out we go through seeing our families and talking to people we love, going to work where we get pay and benefits and we go to the stores and we buy things and live in comfortable homes and it’s all just here. We have that and we know it every day. These people don’t have anything. It is truly humbling to experience the conditions they live in and then I have so much gratitude for the blessings I have been granted.” Chief Williams continued, “It really puts things in perspective for a person going on these trips. Then I feel so helpless because there’s so much more I wish I could do for them. You find yourself saying, ‘If I had a little more money I could build this for them or I could send that child to school…’ It gets to be a heavy burden, but you do what you can in the time you can and that’s all you can do.”
Each of the five men will be allowed to board the plane with a maximum luggage of 50 lbs. per man. The 50 lbs. will have to include all of his clothing, camping, and personal care items as well as any tools they may need for labor once they arrive. “We’ll have lots and lots of baby wipes and bug spray,” the men announced joyfully, as they gave the list of items of importance included in that 50 lbs. They are all in high spirits about the mission, and hope to be able to continue to do similar work overseas for years to come.
The men plan to record footage of the trip and will be posting it online if the circumstances allow them to do so. Depending on their location, they may not have access to internet or cellular towers. The will tentatively return on Saturday, April 13, and SurfKY News will be posting any footage provided along the way, as well as a subsequent interview with the group following the mission. We wish the men well on their trip. The citizens of Madisonville can claim your own security in knowing we are represented abroad and protected at home by noble officers of MPD.
Photo by SurfKY Graphics
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