A lot of us would love to do full time mission work, especially in Honduras. Many have asked why I have not done it yet... and to be honest there are several reasons. Probably the most obvious would be health reasons, since I am still not considered in remission yet from cancer. Being close to the proper medical centers needs to stay on my priority list in case I have to deal with any more treatments. Fortunately, my health has held and I have a great job that allows me to continue doing short term trips. And I love recruiting people to go on trips so it seems to be working out really well right now.
Working at Freed-Hardeman University has put me in a situation where I have more time than ever to go on short term trips. I plan to take advantage of that and this summer begins the adventure. This summer I will get the opportunity to go to Central America to spend 33 days doing mission work. It will start off in Costa Rica and will end in Honduras. Along with me I will have 14 people that will join me on the adventure. 11 are college students that will be serving as interns this summer. The other 3 are my "special" friends! All will have challenge of working for 33 days straight and putting up with me! Ask Margaret, she will tell you...
Brandy Barnett, a F-HU graduate in 2008 and a veteran of 10 Torch trips, will be our communication czar this summer. She is currently in grad school and has an awesome job at Region IV Mental health Commission that will allow her to have the time off this summer. Kennedy Cheatham is a high school junior and is from Hendersonville, TN. This will be her 2nd year to go to Central America. Along with Brandy and Kennedy Pat Guthrie, from Kittanning, Pennsylvania, will be with me. Pat, who goes by various nicknames, is a long term veteran of Torch and is retired. Pat is a construction guru and will be the tool czar this summer.
My college interns will have a variety of jobs and tasks this summer. If you are going on the Costa Rica or Honduras trip, you will get to know these interns very well. Paige Atkinson is a sophomore at Freed-Hardeman. She is from Centerville, TN, and is a nursing major with a minor in missions. This will be her first trip with Torch Missions. She has worked 2 summers in El Salvador with Latin American missions and has also done Stateside work in Arkansas with her social club, Phi Kappa Alpha. She loves to sing in the rain and has an awesome rock collection. Macy England is a sophomore social work major at Freed-Hardeman University. She is from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Macy has done several Stateside mission trips to Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, and West Virginia. This will be Macy's first trip with Torch Missions as well. Macy loves sports and being outdoors. She also enjoys admiring her roommate's awesome rock collection.
Tyler Gist is a sophomore non-traditional student at Lipscomb University. He told me he does not know what non-traditional means so I thought I would use it in his bio. He is from Lexington, SC. Tyler is majoring in Bible at Lipscomb with an emphasis in youth ministry with a minor in missions. Tyler has been on 8 Torch Missions trips. Tyler loves sports and plays baseball and softball, but his favorite is Ultimate Frisbee. He loves snow and being in the cold. Other hobbies include building Lincoln Log cabins and starting a rock collection like Paige. Leah Wright is from Gallatin, TN, and is a freshman at Freed-Hardeman. Leah is really smart and is in the honor college at F-HU with a double major in mathematics and secondary education. According to Leah, she wants to be a high school math teacher (go figure). She has been to Honduras on 2 Torch trips. She loves eating ice cream, talking, identifying and classifying rocks, and making things with duct tape. She also likes playing soccer and running over flags.
Jorden Camp (yes, that is the way she spells her name) is from Lebanon, Tennessee, but is originally from Texas. Jorden is a freshman at Freed-Hademan University and is majoring in nursing. Jorden has done Stateside mission work and has gone on 1 Torch trip to Recife, Brazil, and 1 trip to Honduras during spring break with Friendship Christian School. Jorden loves animals, especially horses and dogs. She is also loves playing soccer, spending money, and geo-caching. Andrew Allgood is a sophomore Bible major at Freed-Hademan. He is also studying physiology. Andrew is from Joelton, Tennessee. Andrew has participated in Stateside mission trips to Kentucky and Florida and has also been on Torch trips to Honduras. Playing sports and hanging out with friends are his favorite things to do, along with talking and reading books about rocks.
Kathryn Bettis is also a sophomore at Freed-Hardeman. She is a Child and Family Studies major and hopes to teach pre-K through 3rd grade. She is also minoring in Spanish and missions. She is from Clarksville, TN. She loves sports and has been on 1 Torch trip to Honduras in 2009. Besides the trip this summer she plans on going to the City of Children in Mexico this spring break with her social club Xi Chi Delta. Kathryn's hobbies include weaving fishing nets, yodeling, and star gazing. Another sophomore on the trip is Minor Perez. Minor is from Costa Rica and is working on a double major in Bible and Communications at Freed-Hardeman.. Minor has done extensive work with Latin American Missions and has been to Honduras once with Torch. He studied aviation and computer engineering in Costa Rica. He enjoys swimming, playing soccer, and getting up early to watch the sun rise. He doesn't like rocks.
Ashley Stewart is from Columbia, TN. She is a Harding University student but is currently going to school part time at Columbia State and working full time at the YMCA until she goes back to Searcy. She is majoring in Sports Therapy. She is the assistant coach for the YMCA swim team and works with about 50 children. She has done mission work in Arkansas and has been on 3 Torch trips to Honduras. She enjoys running and is training for a 5K this spring, drawing, and is a scrapbook junkie. Her favorite scrapbook was the one she did for Paige and her rock collection. Brandon Mann is a freshman at Freed-Hademan. He plays for the Lions soccer team and is an Exercise Science major. He was born in Florida and currently lives in Joelton, Tennessee. Brandon has been on 3 Honduras mission trips with Torch Missions and worked with the youth group at his mome congregation this past summer. Brandon enjoys hangin' with his boys and texting Brandy Barnett. He got to see Ashley's scrapbook of Paige's rock collection and in contemplating starting his own collection, however, he is not sure if he wants to dedicate the amount of time needed to have one as complete as her's.
Joe Jones, AKA Little Joe, finishes the list of interns. Joe is from Corinth, Mississippi, and is a junior at Freed-Hademan University. Joe recently changed majors from Graphic Design to Bible with an emphasis in youth ministry. Joe has served as the youth intern at the Foote Street congregation last year and is serving as the intern again this year. Joe has been on 1 trip to Honduras with Torch Missions and has also participated in Mission Mississippi on spring breaks. Joe likes long walks on the beach, gardening, and needlepoint. He also has a pet rock collection and likes to eat grape snow cones.
As you can see, I have quite a group of interns this summer. This weekend we will be at the Mid-South Youth Camp, here in Henderson, for a 2 day retreat. We will be discussing several different aspects of the 33 day trip, look at a lot of photos, and discuss the tentative schedule of each trip and details concerning the Vacation bible School. It is going to be a great weekend, especially if it wams up and the snow melts! With 8 snow storms this year, I have decided that I am offially done with snow. There are many reasons to live in the South, and I can assure you that smow is not one of them!
2011 marches on, spring break for F-HU is just a month away! And summer will be here before you know it and so will our trips. Stay tuned, more to come! Reinados de Dios!