Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Plan Was to Go to Siberia; They Ended Up in Haiti

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Plan Was to Go to Siberia; They Ended Up in Haiti

Article excerpt


Spending a week on a tropical island was not on top of Ted Corby's to-do list.

As a missionary team leader for San Jose Baptist Church, he had been spending the first week of November running down a checklist and making sure all 13 members of his team had packed enough cold-weather clothing for an upcoming trip in a decidedly different locale.

"We had been preparing to spend a week doing missionary work in Siberia," Corby recalled. "We've been there on two previous occasions, but our plans just didn't work out this time around."

"But when God closes a door, he opens a window somewhere else, so we got the opportunity to spend a week in Bercy, Haiti, instead," he said.

Naturally, a little repacking had to be done for a tropical missionary jaunt.

The church's missionary teams do not blindly hop around the globe to do good works. They belong to the Jacksonville Baptist Association's far-ranging global missionary network. The association began its Haiti Mission Project in 1998 in response to the great need members saw in the poverty-stricken Caribbean island nation.

Rusty and Cheryl Merritt, who call Jacksonville home, run the Cabaret Baptist Church, School and Children's Home in Bercy - a village in the small, rural area of Cabaret, Haiti, said Mike Reed, San Jose Baptist's senior pastor.

"For over 2 1/2 years, the Merritts have been traveling back and forth from Jacksonville and Bercy once every two weeks," Reed said. "Rusty and Cheryl also run a stateside business in addition to their missionary work."

While traveling to Haiti by airplane is easy, getting needed supplies to the orphanage, school and church is a more complicated affair.

"Because of the rampant corruption that plagues Haiti, you cannot pack up all your supplies into a shipping container and send them to the island," Corby said. …

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