Mississippi missionaries dedicated to meet needs of Jonestown residents

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Mississippi missionaries bring help and love to Jonestown.

Alexandra Diaz, Tori Litschgi, Missionaries/Achona Staff

“If you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

Dolly Parton’s quote hung above the heads of the 28 AHN Mississippi missionaries all week, amidst several other motivational phrases. For the tenth consecutive year, twenty four Academy missionaries traveled to Jonestown, Mississippi for a week of service.

The generous Sister Kay Burton opened up her small home to the twenty nine Academy volunteers. The girls squeezed against each other in sleeping bags on the floor of Sister Kay’s living room each night. With seven o’ clock wake up calls, the girls hurriedly woke up and placed their bag of toiletries in line for the two bathrooms. Dealing well with small living conditions, the missionaries created a strong bond that will last long after their departure from Jonestown.

The main project of the group was repairing and restoring the trailer of Miss Irene. The trailer was given to Miss Irene for free, by the family whose property the trailer sits on due to its terrible conditions. Without running water or properly functioning windows, the trailer was in desperate need for the help of the Academy missionaries. By the end of the week, the trailer walls were cleaned and painted a fresh blue color. New floors, windows, kitchen appliances, and two ceiling fans were installed in the trailer with the help of Mr. Charles Cook, the town’s handyman. With individual hugs and tears from Miss Irene, the entire group felt true appreciation and satisfaction with their hard work throughout the week.

Emily Joseph, a Senior leader on the trip added, “[The end result made me feel] amazing. She was so appreciative and she started crying, then we all started crying. It was a very worthwhile experience”.

Another job of the group included visiting the Tutwiler Clinic. The clinic takes in thousands of patients that are unable to pay for their treatments, so they function primarily on donations. Headed by Sister Anne Brooks, a sister of the Holy Names, the clinic is located in the neighboring town of Tutwiler. The daily jobs varied from cleaning out the blocked gutters, washing the windows, organizing medical information, and landscaping.

The Academy missionaries participated in the town of Jonestown’s annual Walk-a-thon which benefits the people of Lesotho. With a ten dollar entry fee, the people of Jonestown walked with the girls and supported this important cause. It was inspiring to witness people with less, give to those who are even more less fortunate than themselves.

The 2012 Academy missionaries left Jonestown, Mississippi with confidence in their positive impact and success.

Missionaries:

  1. Alex Piccirilli (leader)
  2. Katelyn Smith
  3. Mary Green (leader)
  4. Emily Joseph (leader)
  5. Sara Torres
  6. Cristina Gomez
  7. Ana Herbst
  8. Nicole Bramwell
  9. Tori Foody (leader)
  10. Gabby Nickerson
  11. Olivia Obregon
  12. Nora Johnson (leader)
  13. Franchesca Beatty (leader)
  14. Alex Diaz
  15. Caroline Dolan
  16. Tori Litschgi
  17. Emily Pollock
  18. Siobhan Plummer
  19. Lizzie Emmanuel
  20. Carly Stagg
  21. Alexia Acebo
  22. Elise Heiman
  23. Gillian Earl
  24. Olivia Joseph
  25. Ms. Debbie Lubrano
  26. Sister Mary Patricia Plumb
  27. Mrs. Kathy Joseph
  28. Mrs. Janice Sherrick ’65
  29. Mrs. Kimberly Earl