October 24, 2012 - Run or walk at the Emily Schmidt Memorial Trunk or Treat Trot, 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, Oct. 27, 9 a.m., at Clarkston United Methodist Church, 6600 Waldon Road.
With hard hats and supplies, David Johnson, the Rev. Rick Dake, Abby Whiteford, Mitzi Hamp and other volunteers are preparing for a mission trip to Haiti. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
"Run or walk with us – we're glad to have folks join us," said the Rev. Rick Dake, senior pastor.
The kids can fill their bags with sweets, all for a good cause – a mission trip to Haiti, Nov. 5-13.
Church groups have been on several mission trips locally and around the country, but this is the first international one. The entire church is helping. Children at Vacation Bible School this past summer collected toys, and Angels in Training collected medical supplies.
Eighteen volunteers are signed up for the trip, ranging in age from 20s to 80s.
"My husband and I are going together, it's exciting," said Abby Whiteford, who has been on mission trips leading the church youth group but never out of the country. "I felt a call, God called me to do this. It's the right time in my life, to go do something bigger than myself."
"It's on the bucket list of things to do," said David Johnson, member of the church for the past 15 years. "It's kind of one of those, you don't know what you don't know. We do a lot of volunteer work – it's time to take it to the next level."
The trip takes them out of their comfort zone, the volunteers said.
"This is an important step in my spiritual journey," said Mitzi Hamp, member of the church for the last 10 years.
"There are so many unknowns," said Johnson, who will help with roof work, repair, renovation, rebuild, and other lifting jobs. "It's kind of exciting. We don't know what to expect. Port-au-Prince has its resorts, while right around the corner is all this devastation. It's incredible."
The group will also work with children in orphanages and help out at medical clinics. They may also take medical supplies to a remote village in the mountains.
Most of the mission work will be in Jeremie, a coastal city in which the population has soared to about 200,000 since the 2010 earthquake.
"It's an area with great need," Dake said.
They will renovate a family-education ministry building, which was seriously damaged in the disaster.
For more information, call 248-625-1611.