Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baptist Church did its second Mission Midway Sat.

By Cassidy Myers
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Some churches say they care about their community, but Midway Baptist Church shows it cares.

It is 8:30 on Saturday morning and volunteers of all ages are gathered in the church’s dining area eating biscuits and donuts and cheerfully visiting with other helpers. At this hour, most people are still at home in their warm beds. Not these eager, smiling volunteers! They are up early to participate in Midway Baptist Church’s second annual Mission Midway project. (Photo: Chad Royalty, on roof, and Kash Foster so some exterior work on a home)

Mission Midway is a one-day mission outreach event in which members of the church volunteer for a day of goodwill around their town. Some groups will brave the cold and the rain to do yard work for the elderly; 20 others will give blood; and a group of preschoolers will deliver care packages to the town merchants. Other projects include delivering blankets to shut-ins, administering medical check-ups and distributing appreciation gift bags to first responders such as firemen and policemen.

The purpose of the project is to focus on the needs of the community and provide an opportunity for everyone to help. “We wanted to encourage our members to get really involved in the community,” Senior Minister Tom Allen said. “A lot of times we have these mission projects that involve going overseas or a long-term commitment with a lot of planning and preparation, but we wanted to provide an opportunity that almost anyone could be a part of.”

Volunteer Joy Arnold, who also helped spearhead last year’s Mission Midway, echoed the same sentiment. “It’s very easy to go off somewhere for a week and never see those people again. It’s another thing to serve the people you see on the street,” she said.

The church had plenty of willing volunteers with about 85 members of varying ages stopping in to help throughout the day. The event also inspired Midway Presbyterian Church to participate, which symbolizes the theme for this year’s project, “Making Tracks in Midway.”

The motto represents the goal of longevity and participation that the church has for this project. “We are laying the foundation for mission work in Midway and hopefully after years of doing this, we’ll make tracks in Kentucky and then the United States and then the world,” said Mission Midway coordinator David McCoun.

After a morning of distributing blankets and benevolence, volunteers began filing back into the dining area where the aroma of six homemade soups greeted them. Most of the seven projects had been completed and the day was declared a success, not only by the participants but by the Midway community as well.

Mission Midway beneficiary and longtime church member Joe Fischer was grateful for the volunteers who helped clean up his yard just in time for winter. “They did a great job and trimmed some limbs off the fence and cleaned my gutters out. It was a great thing for me. It helped me out a lot. It was a good day and they couldn’t have done a better job,” he said.

“It went well. We got done what we wanted to do,” said volunteer and resident videographer Zachary Rankin. “It brightened a lot of people’s days to see us out there.”

On an otherwise cold and dreary day, spirits were high and the day was brightened for everyone involved, exemplifying the day’s theme of “Making Tracks in Midway” and increasing expectations for next year’s event. (Photo: Left to right, Kristy Royalty, Khristina Meissner and Catlynn Taylor brave the cold to administer free blood glucose and blood pressure checkups.)

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