St. Paul United Methodist Church, Florence, sent its 9th mission team to the Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Ky., in late April. Forty-two people were on the mission trip, including people from Harrison and Belair UMCs in the Lancaster area.
St. Paul has been pro-active during the years in mission work and routinely supports international mission teams as well as youth teams. It sent five teams to Mississippi to help in the Katrina Hurricane recovery efforts.
The Red Bird Mission, founded in 1921, provides medical care and educational opportunities in the remote area of Eastern Kentucky. Three counties there are recognized as the poorest counties in the United States with an unemployment rate exceeding 65 percent in the best of times. The Red Bird Mission today has a work camp, medical and dental clinic, food distribution center, school, clothing distribution center as well as a craft store and senior center. The work camp’s primary focus is to provide safe housing including running water, a leak-free roof, toilets and a way to warm the homes.
The mission group was divided into three teams, the Moses team, the Abraham team and the Joshua team to rehab homes. The work on three homes included installing a new roof, wall and floor on one home, a new back wall and kitchen on another home, and installing new windows, external woodwork and an air-conditioning unit. Two electricians made essential repairs.
Many people contributed funds to support Family Outreach. Three families were identified who needed special assistance. All of the funds were used to purchase clothes, food, appliances, dentures, safety upgrades to homes and meals on wheels.
Participants agree they came away from the mission feeling blessed by their experience and give credit to God for leading them on the journey to help others.
Those from the Florence area that participated on this mission trip included Worth Adams, Connie Baker, Ricky Baker, Celeste Braddock, Wayne Catoe, Martha Collier, Mayo Collier, Rosemary Ellis, Trecy Grant, Barry Hodges, Clint Jones, Polly Lester, Mark Lott, Tim Sadler, John Saleeby, Suzanne Saleeby, Beverly Scholz, Bobby Rutland, Diane Smoak, Gene Walsh, Donald Worrell and Brandon Yonce.
More information can be found about the Red Bird Mission at the Web site, rbmission.org. Contact Mayo Collier, at firstname.lastname@example.org about the possibility of taking a team to the Red Bird Mission.