Over the next four weeks, these missionaries will be featured — giving our readers a little peek of the experiences they have encountered.
In January 2010, one of the worst earthquakes in 200 years hit the nation of Haiti. Hundreds from around the world responded to help survivors physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Among them are several members of First Baptist Church-Metropolis who since July 2010 have made almost a dozen trips. Included in those groups is the family of Jeff and Jackie Lange.
They and four of their seven children — Justin, Abby, Nathan and Emma — along with Jackie’s mother Terri Wiseman, have witnessed first hand what has been happening on the island nation over the last three years — not only to its natives but to those who have gone to help them.
“It’s provided experiences for so many,” Jackie said. “The neat thing is seeing the families doing it together. When people come back, it changes them. Each person has told me that. We can be a blessing, but we also get blessed.”
It was six months after the earthquake when the Lange family had its first encounter with Haiti.
Jeff and Justin, and several other members of First Baptist Church-Metropolis (FBC-M), including Dr. Randy Oliver, were part of a medical team sent through Baptist Global Response (BGR), an organization that coordinates Southern Baptist efforts at global relief and development in July 2010. Jeff and Justin shared the gospel.
“That was how the Lord opened the door to Haiti to our family,” Jackie said.
Justin, now 21, had two very different experiences during that trip.
“One of the things that really got to me,” he began, “was a woman who couldn’t walk because her knees were so swollen. I don’t know how old she was but she was old, old, old — you don’t see women like that in Haiti; they usually die before then.”
The medical facility they were working out of was at the top of a tall hill, about a mile incline from Port-au-Prince.
“These two people carried her basically all the way up from the bottom,” Justin continued. “It so happened that Dr. Oliver had packed the specific shot to get some of the fluid out. It didn’t heal her, but it helped ease her pain. She wanted to be able to walk, and Dr. Oliver had to tell her no, and the tears (were) just flooding down her face. However, what we were able to do was take her to the end where Keith (Gilley) and Dad shared the gospel, and I believe she was saved. (Dr. Oliver) was able to ease her pain and make it better for a short while. She still found hope in the gospel.”
Justin lived amongst the Haitians the week he was in the country, staying in a house with a team from Virginia. “It was interesting. I got to see how they interacted. By the end of the week, they got used to us being there and played soccer with us,” he said.
It was on the roof of that house he had the second experience — one that brought “the reality of the evilness” of the country.
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