It’s back to Haiti for 20 members of Zion Lutheran Church, with their time-tested but clear mission at heart — to help those who are suffering.
This upcoming mission will take place the week of Oct. 24. It will be Tom Thul’s, who is the Director of Global Missions (even though he doesn’t feel it necessary to have that title), fourth trip and the church’s third as a group.
“I just wanted to get to Haiti and help. I felt like I needed to do something. When I got back, I knew I wanted to put together a group through our church, and we ended up having a team of 25 people go down for the first time together,” Thul says.
The team’s passion for the people of Haiti shines through and touches many parts of the broken country. The group’s first priority was establishing a sister relationship with a church in the city of Carrefour, called The Strait Gate, which was completely destroyed in the earthquake. Zion also works hand in hand with the Life is Wealth Orphanage, which houses 75 girls ranging from six months to 17 years old.
“The No. 1 thing we do at the orphanage is spend time with the girls. There is very minimal staff there, so it is hard to give that one-on-one attention that they deserve,” says Thul. “They are usually only given a cot with a thin sheet to sleep on, so the group of high-schoolers that went down over the summer gave them handmade blankets.”
The main purpose of the mission, though, is to facilitate a dental and medical clinic.
“Dr. Tom Bieber, his dental hygienist Rachel Byrnes, and Dr. Don Burge and his team of nurses have accompanied us on these trips,” Thul says. “There are hospitals set up down there, but you have to be pretty sick to get in. They have some basic necessities but that’s where we try to fit in, right in the middle to give them that basic medical care that they need.”
A list of donation items can be found on the church website at www.zionclearlake.org. For more information regarding the trip or any other activities taking place at Zion, call (641) 357-5261, or stop in at 112 N. 4th St.