“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
This article was written in collaboration with Samantha Francis. Samantha is a resident of Ashburn and attends Capital Community Church.
The Missions Ministry at Capital Community Church believes in the “Great Commission” of spreading the Gospel to the entire world. Missions are vital to the growth of God’s Kingdom. While it is impossible for everyone to go to the mission field we support home and foreign mission endeavors both financially and with prayer.
In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, God reminds us to take care of our neighbors. The well known story of the Good Samaritan clarifies to us that all people are our neighbors and the importance of showing compassion for them. For those who are not familiar with the Gospel, it tells the story of a man who was beset upon by thieves and left for dead by the side of the road. Both a priest and Levite come upon the man, but they both walk by and ignore him. It’s not until a third man, a Samaritan, passes down the road that the wounded man receives help. The Samaritan goes above and beyond, bandaging his wounds, taking him to the nearest inn on the Samaritan’s own animal, caring for him, and paying for his stay after the Samaritan leaves. In Luke Chapter 10, Jesus uses this parable to illustrate the kind of compassion God asks us to show for others when he says “love your neighbor as yourself.” We are told to “Go and do likewise.”
It was in this spirit that a 14 member team of doctors, nurses, pastors and layman visited Haiti in May 2012 on a medical/humanitarian mission trip to serve that nation’s poor and needy. Like the Good Samaritan in the story, most of the team traveled at their own expense to bandage both the metaphorical and literal wounds of our Haitian neighbors, many of whom are still suffering from the devastating losses of the January 2010 earthquake. The team was led by Loudoun County medical doctors Daphne Thomas and Diane Traficante and Capital Community Church (CCC) Senior Pastor Chester Mitchell and Associate Pastor Anthony Francis. The other members of the team were Yim Belote, Cressida Austin, Jeffrey Carroll, Marie-Guilene Joachim, Cathy Johnson, Felicia Mair, Michael Merrell, Maryam Sindi, Richard Kissal and Samantha Francis. The United Pentecostal Church (UPC) of Haiti led by Bishop Ronald Brian and his wife Terry Brian hosted the group at the UPC compound.
While other Caribbean countries boast of beautiful beaches, five-star hotels and amazing sites, you would be hard pressed to find any of those things in Haiti. The fact is Haiti is hot, dirty and physically and emotionally exhausting to live in. The team held medical clinics for approximately six hours each day in the towns of Bon Repos, Thomazeau and Tabbare; taught at a Bible School in Bon Repos and participated in church services in Bon Repos and Sous Dallas. Over the course of the trip, the team treated approximately 1,000 men, women and children (including over 100 orphans) for a variety of ailments and distributed over 2,000 packets of medicine and vitamins; dozens of reading glasses; and hundreds of pieces of clothing and toys among other items. Additionally, the team provided bags of rice to many of the single mothers that visited the clinics each day.
One local Haitian man who travelled with the team said that “it was an honor to see how foreign people love Haitians and show all their love by helping Haitians like me. I appreciated it from the depth of my heart.” The good deeds of the CCC team were appreciated not just by those in Haiti, but even affected those back at home. A woman in the U.S. commented on one of the team’s Facebook photos of a patient and her child being treated; expressed shock to see it was her sister and niece. As the Bible proclaims in Acts 20:35 (NKJV), “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Capital Community Church (http://www.capitalcommunity.org) is located at 20430 Ashburn Village Boulevard in Ashburn, VA. The CCC leadership consists of Senior Pastor Chester Mitchell and First Lady Marion Mitchell, along with Pastors Stephen O’Donnell, Anthony Francis, Terrence Bridges and Jon-Paul Bellamy. The assembly hosts three services on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and a Spanish speaking service at 4:00 p.m.
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