On a mission
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 20, 2011 | 2392 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Haley Anderson and Megan Tucker, members of Bethel Baptist Church in Dora, work in the yard of a house on Massachusetts Avenue in Cordova. Service teams associated with Jasper-based Hope Missions are doing construction and ministry projects throughout the county this week. - Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
Haley Anderson and Megan Tucker, members of Bethel Baptist Church in Dora, work in the yard of a house on Massachusetts Avenue in Cordova. Service teams associated with Jasper-based Hope Missions are doing construction and ministry projects throughout the county this week. - Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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More than 150 people representing 12 churches and five states are in Walker County this week helping storm survivors.

The various youth groups and their chaperones are doing construction work with the Restore Sipsey Co-op and Flipping for Families in Cordova. They are also conducting nursing home ministries, leading backyard Bible clubs and volunteering at Dora's Mission of Hope

Shawn Doss, founder and director of Jasper-based Hope Missions, started coordinating the local mission trip more than a year ago.

"We had about 75 or 80 people signed up at the first of the year. After the tornadoes, we had a lot of response from people who wanted to come help with the recovery process," Doss said.

Doss is a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Dora who has organized and led numerous mission trips since 2003.

This summer, Hope Missions has sent groups to New Orleans; Panama City, Fla.; Manila, Ark., and Costa Rica. A trip to Haiti is planned in September.

Doss said the purpose of each project is to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

"People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know. However, all of this work that we are doing on houses is temporary. When we share the Gospel, that is eternal," Doss said.

The responsibility of caring for the mission teams' physical and spiritual needs has fallen to the congregation of Bethel Baptist Church.

Pastor John Foles said his church members have risen to the labor-intensive challenge and commended them for their selfless service.

Foles added that church leaders decided to sponsor a local mission trip months before the April 27 tornado outbreak occurred.

"After that, we felt like we were walking in the providence of the Lord because we already had all of this manpower coming," Foles said.