by Caitlyn Parrish, BPC Staff Writer
Eight Brewton-Parker students and Dr. Billy Puckett, Director of Community and Church Relations, went on a mission trip October 18-21 to Middleburg, FL to serve those affected by Hurricane Irma. “We were trying to follow the example of Christ, who left behind his status and comfort to go to those in need,” commented Puckett.
The group worked through First Baptist Church of Middleburg to help restore the homes of both a couple and a man who were unable to repair their respective houses on their own due to medical issues and lack of funding. While there, the group cut drywall, shoveled sand, cleaned out insulation, pulled plywood, and washed dishes and clothes.
One of the men who was served on the mission trip shared that he had stage four lung cancer and was only given a month to live. Dr. Puckett took time to share the gospel with the man so that he might spend eternity in heaven. For Lydia Clements, a sophomore at Brewton-Parker, the exchange between the man and Puckett was the highlight of the trip. Clements commented that she enjoyed hearing the different questions and responses. Clements said, “It helped me to know what to say if it ever happens to me.”
For Clements, this was the sixth mission trip she has been on. This trip however, stood out as it showed her how the Lord can work through her. During her previous mission trips, she often felt that the church she was working with was able to do the same thing without her assistance and that she was not really making a difference. Clements said, “Now I know that regardless of how little the things I’m doing are, the Lord can use these things to greatly impact people spiritually.”
Christian Walton, a Brewton-Parker freshman, shared that this experience for him reflected a Christian’s responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Seeing how much of a difference the group made in the lives of those they served showed him what it means to have a servant’s heart. This experience confirmed Walton’s love for mission work and for bringing restoration to other people. Walton recommended that every college student experience a mission trip before graduating. “Before you go out in the real world, you should experience how being a servant can impact you personally,” he shared.
Puckett shared his final thoughts on the trip as well: “We had a tremendous trip to Florida. We worked hard, had fun and served some great people in Jesus’ name. We pray that our Lord will use us, Brewton Parker College, as a living and holy sacrifice, to redeem, restore and reconcile all things to himself,” Puckett stated.