Just among friends
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:00 AM
Our friend, Bill Molpus recently ventured to Niger, Africa. He shared his story:
An unusual beginning to a mission...to say the least. My flight to Atlanta was usual, but hey, the Atlanta airport is closed. How can that happen? Had no idea that the little Jackson airport had a way to de-ice the plane before take off, but de-ice they did and away we went. Got there early and the world's busiest airport was like a ghost town. As we came in for the landing, you could see all the empty highways. Nothing was moving on the tarmac. Inside the airport, the departure boards were already cancelled! By noon, the sun was out and the snow and ice began to disappear. My flight to Paris left early evening on schedule.
I arrived in Niamey, Niger to 100 degree weather. If felt good. Niger is sub-Sahara and in the northwestern part of Africa. It is considered the poorest country in the world with 98 percent of the population Muslim. The organization we worked with had a compound on the outskirts of the city. It was high-walled and well guarded and a perfect oasis in the desert. The team housing was excellent, spotlessly clean and fantastic food. We had air conditioning in the bedrooms!
We left early each morning for the hour and a half drive to the village where we were doing the mission. Our convoy of four vans was preceded by a truck with six security guys with guns and a similar truck followed brought up the rear. Kidnapping foreigners is a problem in Niger but, needless to say, we were well guarded at all times and never had a problem.
Of course every mission is different and this one was certainly so for me. It seemed that every patient needed two wisdom teeth extracted and wen all was said and done, that was a lot of hard work. But the help of Jesus, we saw several hundred patients and made it fine. The patients were wonderful and it was a blessing for me to be there. When the mission was finished, it was not possible for any sort of tour because of the security problems. They did arrange a camel ride in the desert and a Niger river boat ride to view the hippos while we were guarded.
The Joy (Just Older Youth) group from East Philadelphia Baptist Church met in the fellowship hall for their February meeting. A delicious salad and dessert lunch was served and interesting presentation was given by guest speaker, Ron Waterman, representing the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.
In 2013, local statistics showed there are nearly 1,300 Mississippians on the organ transplant list with over 1,200 of those waiting on a kidney transplant with over 1,200 of those waiting on a kidney transplant.
National stats show there are over 120,000 men, women and children waiting for a life-saving transplant. More than 105,000 of these patients are awaiting kidney transplants. Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list. Vital organs have been recovered from donors up to 90 years of age.
Over 643,000 Mississip-pians are currently on the Mississippi Donor Registry. To become a donor, join the Registry at www.donatelifems .org. You can also become a donor when renewing your driver's license or call 1-800-690-8878.
JOY members and friends present were: Tommy Jones, Supply Pastor, Rusty Parsons, Youth Minister, Richard and Linda Brewer, Randy and Jackie Hearn, Hoyt and Marjorie Payne, Kenneth and Polly Massey, Roy and Lilly Partridge, Bobbie Anthony, Group Leader, Carolyn Smith, Mandy Hailey, Iola Krezie, Jane Barnett, Ann Baughman, Maudine Beckham, Curtis Blocker, Marie Davis, Lisa Hutchins, Darlene Rush, Fay Moore, Janice Thomas and Ray Fleming.