It’s been just more than four months since a massive tornado tore through the western Alabama city of Tuscaloosa, killing dozens. In all, more than 240 died in Alabama in the tornado outbreak April 27.
While a short period of time has passed, much work is left to be done, and Wilmore-based GO InterNational is seeking 10-12 volunteers for a mission trip scheduled for Oct. 16-23.
“Homeland Missions is a new field for us,” GO president Bert Jones said. “GO has typically been international, but we really believe the Lord is leading us in this direction for the last year or so.”
Jones said stateside missions can reach another segment of people who cannot afford international trips.
“A lot of people want to travel and be a part of missions, but they can’t afford to be on the foreign trips as much as they did,” Jones said. “This makes a way for them to continue mission work.”
GO is partnering with United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to aid the ravaged Alabama community, said Roger Clark, director of homeland missions.
“They (Jones and senior vice president Ron Houp) were very impressed with (UMCOR’s) organization,” Clark said. “I see our task as not to create the wheel again, but to come alongside some of these other established organizations and ministries that we can lend assistance to.”
Clark said what tasks the GO team will perform depends on the skill set involved.
“As we’re recruiting this team, we’re going to find out what the skill sets that we have are,” he said. “They need people organizing, packing (and) different types of construction sets. What we will do, once we recruit this team, we’ll let them know what our skill sets are.”
Jones said this will not be the only trip GO will take, as plans are in the works to make multiple trips to aid in relief at different points in the year.
Once the team arrives, UMCOR will dispatch members to areas in and around Tuscaloosa with problems that need to be addressed.
The cost for the mission trip is $449 per person, and that includes meals while in Alabama and lodging and transportation while in Tuscaloosa.
“The only thing they need to do is get to Tuscaloosa,” Jones said.
For more information about GO’s mission trip to Tuscaloosa, call Bob Stanko at 859-858-3171 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to sign up for this mission trip is Oct. 1.