by Lisa Tome
Three men from a local church took the missions trip of a lifetime late last month.
Pastor Josh McCord, senior minister at Conowingo Baptist Church, Jamie McMillan chair of the church deacons, and Ron Nelson, who runs the church children's ministry, traveled to Conakry in Guinea, Africa, from November 20-29.
They were there to support Pastor James Khanu's mission and Thanksgiving celebration. Khanu, is a Christian in a mostly Muslim area of the world, and has faced religious persecution. Pastor McCord has long followed Pastor Khanu's trials. When the opportunity for a missions trip came up, Conowingo Baptist held an event to fund the trip.
A church member even sold something he owned and donated the proceeds for the missions trip. "We didn't even spend all the money we raised. People gave hundreds or thousands," said Pastor McCord.
"This guy (Pastor Khanu) does amazing work with clinics, churches, schools, and orphanages for children whose parents have died of ebola," said Pastor McCord.
Angie McGuigan organized the trip for the three men. McGuigan worked tirelessly to make all the arrangements. All the work was worth it.
"We acted as ambassadors of Christ, to affirm everything God was doing through James' ministry," said Pastor McCord. While in Guinea, the men visited churches and schools. They gave away candy and soccer balls. They also met political leaders of that area and worked to keep a life-saving medical clinic open. They visited a Muslim home and prayer, were blessed by a Muslim minister, and witnessed the installation of a missionary. They also got to see the impact of the new wells that.
They also got to see how the Lottie Moon Offering, a special offering taken by the church every year, is used. All three men received hand stitched garments as a gift. The men passed through customs and military checkpoints effortlessly, despite the fact that others around them struggled or were searched.
"The entire time, God's hand was with us," said Pastor McCord. "We went to special places and the hand of God was caring for us and keeping us safe. We were very well received. We received unbelievable honor and respect."
Conowingo Baptist will remain connected to the area. Nelson and McMillan will return to that area as early as April or May. A team from the church will go to the area and build a school in October or November of 2018.
Pastor McCord said that has long been a goal of the church to make connections all over the world. "We finally found our ends of the earth," he said.