Helping Haiti: A week of service in review

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Haiti is a beautiful Caribbean island nation still trying to recover from the devastating earthquake in 2010, but a team from Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches is trying to change that.

"They have a lot of need but they have so much love and friendship to offer," said nurse and volunteer, Dana Oldham.

The group of 25 arrived in Haiti July 1, and with supplies already needing to be sorted, there was no time to relax.

Tuesday began their busy week with the Haitians.

Everything from playing games to putting on skits with the kids to meeting physical needs, the group made an effort to show compassion to those that they served.

"It's harder to tell who is having more fun, the kids or adults," said KTRE Assignments Editor, Jeff Awtrey.

"I'm covered in powder because I'm playing a role of a soap. We are teaching them about hygiene and how not to get sick and have germs. We want to make sure that they're healthy and safe," said volunteer Lexi Weems.

The group even looked at the local water supply.

"We wanted to do was determine what the water source of this community was and determine how clean the water is and if there is something we can do in the future," said Awtrey.

All week, the group's clinic stayed busy meeting needs that many East Texans would find ordinary.

"We give them this little bag: tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant; essentials we have back home, but something that is hard to come by here in Haiti," said Awtrey.

The group strived to meet all health needs, but they were also there for more.

"We're not just making this an assembly line where we run them in and run them out. We are coming through and trying to talk to them and just minister to them," said Awtrey.

While it is easy to see the impact they have had on the Haitians, the volunteers have also been impacted.

"We have so much more than other people do around the world, and it's made me realize not to take things for granted and there's people everywhere that God has called us to help," said Oldham.

The team from the church will be in Haiti one more day. They are scheduled to land in Houston Monday night around 11 p.m. The group will then drive back to Nacogdoches and arrive around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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