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Youth Paster Thelma Lamaster, Nick Stohler and Ashlee Stohler help organize items and sell them at Frankton Heritage Days. They are members of the Florida Station Church of God that is sending 14 people to Haitti on a mission trip.

THB Photo
The Herald Bulletin

FRANKTON — It wasn’t just another rummage at Frankton Heritage Days earlier this month for the members of the Florida Station Church of God. It was an opportunity to change the world — or at least raise the money to help change it.

Sitting at a crossroads south of Frankton is a small church in the unincorporated community of Florida Station. The building is one of the largest in the community and on Sundays it makes the population swell by about 250 additional people. Fourteen of them will be going to Haiti Oct. 6 to 13, said youth pastor Thelma Lamaster.

“We’ll be doing clinics, medical clinics in four different areas,” Lamaster said. “We’ll have dentists doing tooth extraction, and we’ll be seeing people with malnutrition, worms, skin problems and respiratory problems.”

This will be the church’s third mission trip to Haiti, the last being three years ago, she said. At that time they saw more than 2,000 people come through the clinic. When they go they take a 30-day supply of medicine and vitamins for the people. They used the rummage as one of the fundraisers to send the 14 on the trip and to buy the supplies. It costs each member about $1,400 for the trip.

“Everything we give out, we have to take with us,” Lamaster said. “We need all the money we can get; we’re not near where we need to be yet.”

Ashlee Stohler, 19, joined the church about four years ago and had heard about the previous trips from her husband, Nick. This will be her first mission trip.

“Nick went before and said it was a life-changing experience,” Stohler said. “I’ve heard a lot of times there can be unrest, and it could be unsafe.”

But she’s ready for that and to experience what it is like to help others. She said she’s heard that the people may be poor but that if you give them a smile they smile back.

The hope is that the group will be able to hike up into the mountains to a village to help people there, Lamaster said. The mountain people don’t normally get medical care.

Stohler said she’s a little anxious about the bugs and the hike.

“We’ve been waking at night to get ready,” Stohler said. “We’ve been eating healthier too because there (quality) food isn’t the first priority. It’s awesome to think you are able to affect people in such a positive way.”

Who: Florida Station Church of God

What: Raising money for mission trip to Haiti

To donate: (765) 641-2599

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