By MARK MAYNARD / AFA
MOYO – It is an interesting team that was put together for the Amy For Africa Mission to Moyo trip, which enters Day 5 on Friday.
Here’s a little insight into what each member has brought to our table so far this week:
Amy Compston. Everybody knows Amy and she brings considerable talents to the team, including simply being the face of the organization. Amy is passionate about running but it almost pales in comparison to her passion for the children of forgotten Moyo. She has a great personality, a winning smile and is mission-minded. A winning combination and a great mission partner.
Chris Compston. Amy’s husband is more than JUST that. His heart is as big as all outdoors and few will outwork him. Chris stays out of the spotlight and certainly loves his wife more than anything. He made sure he had cards for her on their anniversary earlier in the week. God has grabbed his life and it’s a beautiful sight.
Amy Blankenbeckley. Such a sweet person who is another of our “I’ll-do-anything-you-want-me-to-do” people. Amy’s parents, Ralph and Linda Beadle, have a heart for the Moyo region too. They are strong supporters of the United Christian Expedition. She has been a great addition to the team.
Tony Blankenbeckley. This man’s mad skills with electricity have been invaluable and so is his work ethic. He’s basically the one responsible for keeping us all connected. Tony isn’t outgoing with his personality, or at least that’s what we thought. Turns out he fills comfortable around us.
Rob Barber. Rob called me back in February about the trip and I thought it could be a match made in heaven. He has some incredible videographer skills and is planning on doing a documentary on the Amy For Africa mission. Rob is a strong personality who has mixed well with an interesting crowd.
Kathy Whitely. Amy’s mother is one of the sweetest people around. She is on this trip despite a knee that will soon be operated on. She and Amy are so close and they share much the same personality. Kathy loves on those little children and does everything she can to make Amy For Africa a success. We couldn’t do without her.
Rob VanHoose. Mr. Big Sandy Superstore himself has been quite the comic relief for everyone. He has a personality as big as one of his bigger, better sales. Rob also has a heart of gold and great respect for Bro. Floyd Paris and the work he is doing in Moyo. This trip wouldn’t be near as fun without him I can tell you that.
Jon VanHoose. Rob’s son has been such a nice addition to this crowd. He is taking this all in from a new perspective as someone who wants to do something great for God. He is doing great things in the Ashland area and on this trip. Jon never met a stranger and he lights up the outdoors. Wow! What a change in a life since he allowed Jesus to totally take over.
Shannon Luther. Rob has already given her the “Miss Sunshine” award and it’s hard to argue. She is a genuinely beautiful person in every way. Shannon is a worker, too, and don’t underestimate her. She does some cross-fit and has trained during her time away. Her hair styling skills have been used by Amy, Dr. Maggie, Whitney and Bro. Floyd Paris (buzz).
Dr. Maggie Lawentmann. Amy and I were so excited when Dr. Maggie decided to join the team. What a blessing she has been as a doctor, a worker and a wonderful personality that simply makes her a pleasure to be around. She is another one with a heart for missions and there may be more medical missions are in her future.
Whitney Saucedo. Whitney comes to us from Carmel, Ind., where she works for Samaritan’s Feet. Whitney is quiet but started opening up to the group after a few days. It’s hard to know how to take us sometimes but she is figuring it out. Whitney is country girl strong, too, despite being petite. None of the guys would take her on in feats of strength events.
Me: You guys know me well enough but you may not have known I have mad dancing skills. I’m proud to be part of this group of friends – some new and some old – and hope they have enjoyed the experience as much as me. We still have work to do! I just thought you’d like to me the gang.