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April 16, 2012

Press Photo

BCF students Ashley Fredryk, Kayla Ellis, Calvin Booth and John Lain spend Spring Break in Haiti.

When thinking about the country of Haiti, there are many pictures that come to mind. One might visualize the disaster left behind by an earthquake, buildings leveled, and a child left standing in the street without parents. One might also imagine the effects of overpopulation, hunger and insufficient shelter. Whatever envisioned, the students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville that went to Debauche, Haiti, on Spring Break have a different story; it is one that offers hope for a future and praise found in the faithfulness of God.

On Wednesday, March 21, BCF Junior John Lain and Freshmen Ashley Fredryk, Kayla Ellis, and Calvin Booth, made their way to Ft. Pierce, Fla., to join the Haiti mission team led by Children, Families and Missions Pastor Eddy Fredryk of First Baptist Church of Jensen Beach.

"We devoted time, prayer and energy in preparing for the trip to Haiti," stated Fredryk's daughter Ashley, who coordinated the BCF group. "In the end, it was all worth it. Kayla and I were worried about being the first American girls to visit the specific area where we were going, but we knew that God had His hand on us and would use us for His glory."

While in Debauche, Ashley and Kayla were able to speak to over 50 young women and girls about the importance of purity and their beauty and worth in the eyes of God. This concept was very foreign for many of them. "It was amazing to see the new hope that these girls had been given," explained Kayla. "They are used to being at the bottom of the social order and I don't think they imagined that God cared for them as much as He cared for the boys. I'm just so glad that we could share God's love with them!"

In the weeks leading up to the mission trip, Calvin questioned his decision in even going with the group because of assignment deadlines and having just returned from the Male Chorale tour. "I was unsure if God really wanted me to go to Haiti. I've always been focused on my studies, and I was very uneasy at the thought of not getting my work done on time. I was encouraged by the others on the team, and before we got on the plane Thursday morning I was able to complete my paper and the other assignments that were due."

Calvin realized, once in Haiti working with the children, "I was where God wanted me to be at that exact moment. God knew I needed to be there."

"We became a family," John explained. "We left as just a few BCF students praying to advance the Kingdom, make a difference. When we arrived at our destination and began to work together, we became a close knit family." John described how he knows how to share the Gospel, prepare sermons, lead in discipleship and missions, but he quickly illustrated how, "No one could prepare me better than how God taught me on this trip. As I preached through an interpreter, I became acutely aware of the effectiveness of statements that are straight to the point. I forgot about schedules and other life events, and I learned to stop and just love people. It is so evident now why God brings different people together."

As part of the Haiti mission trip, BCF students learned that the First Baptist Church of Jensen Beach has established a primary school for children, a church for the community and a mission opportunity for others interested in getting involved in international missions. Students saw poverty and rubble, and tremendous opportunities to bring the message of hope that comes from Christ. "What these people are beginning to experience is that there is a God who loves and died for them," stated John. "We just have to be faithful to bring them that message, hope. That is why in December we plan to go back, because if God's work isn't done, then neither is ours!"

Press Photo

BCF students Ashley Fredryk and Kayla Ellis in Haiti.