Ray Gora / Lincoln Times-News
Prophetess Rosalind Bynum and eight other members of Without Walls Freedom Center in Lincolnton will be jetting off today to Cameroon, Africa, to deliver more than eight suitcases full of shoes and other necessary supplies to needy villagers.
Since establishing the church a little over three years ago, leaders said they’ve tried to plan an annual overseas mission trip, including their last one in December 2011 to Haiti, where they plan to return this year.
While in Haiti, the group handed out school supplies and toys to local children who lost everything in the 2010 earthquake.
However, just before the trip, someone vandalized the worship facility, stealing all the funds that had been collected for purchasing the supplies, Bynum said.
Thankfully, the church group, dubbed “One Accord Mission Team,” has not fallen prey to any thieves this time around and will be traveling to the one of the world’s largest continents with more than $1,000 in donations raised from just one of the multiple fundraisers church members held for the trip.
A large portion of the funds stemmed from a 12-hour basketball benefit earlier this month at Lincoln Charter School. Additional fundraisers included raffles, a fish fry, car washes, and a special Apple Festival booth, Bynum said.
Along with hundreds of pairs of shoes, since the country’s villagers are often forced to walk barefoot, the mission team will be taking first aid kits and other personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“We’ll see a little more about their basic needs when we get there,” Bynum said.
The trip is in connection with Bethel World Outreach Ministries International and the organization’s worldwide church, City of Hope, which is comprised of more than 40 nations and cultures dedicated to evangelism and making disciples for Christ, according to the group’s website.
By supplying such items to the Cameroonians, who live in huts, church members also hope to share their Christian faith.
“To let them know that Jesus loves them and is thinking about them,” Bynum said.
Her heart is particularly passionate for needy children and remembers the joy the Haitian children had on their faces when the mission team gave them small McDonald’s toys, frivolous items American children often take for granted.
“Just taking little things meant so much to them,” Bynum said. “It was like a whole Christmas. Their little faces lighting up grabbed our hearts and compassion to go and do other missions.”
She hopes to bring similar smiles to African children, many of whom live in utter poverty or as orphans taking care of other orphans.
“Parents don’t know how to make ends meet,” Bynum said, “and a lot of parents die from AIDS. You often have a little child taking care of another child.”
The Prophetess said she felt called to take a group to Africa after speaking over the years with a local Liberian woman and Charlotte business owner, Tonieh Russ, who has attended Without Walls, and whose brother, Oliver Russ, is a Cameroon native.
“She did an African fashion show at the church two years ago, and I met her brother … and he ministered at the church, and I’ve been talking to him,” Bynum said.
In addition to meeting needs overseas, the church is committed to benefiting their local community, holding an annual winter coat drive and free food giveaways twice a month.
For more information on these two ministries, call (704) 240-4411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One Accord Mission Team” is set to return home on March 22.