MATHER TOWN, GRAND BAHAMAS – A group of Georgia Baptists, in partnership with Baptists for Haiti, completed their third trip to help with recovery efforts in the Bahamas. The team answered a call to “adopt” Shiloh Baptist Church that Stuart Lang, state Disaster Relief coordinator, communicated to The Index last month.
This most recent trip, completed right before Christmas, comes in the wake of Hurricane Dorian that tore through the Bahamas in September. The group focused on repairing Shiloh Baptist Church and preparing it to bring in larger teams.
The previous two trips were for “planning and determining the scope of work,” Scott Zepplin, director of operations at Kingsland Baptist Church, told The Index.
Roland Norris from Baptist 4 Haiti, Skip Lamkin from Kingsland First Baptist, Ken Hilson from St. Marys First Baptist, and Zepplin all participated in the trip.
“The scope of work was overwhelming for the team, but prioritization was the key to success,” Zepplin shared.
Therefore their priorities were transporting a trailer full of tools and over 40 cases of food via ship from West Palm Beach to Freeport, Grand Bahamas and repairing the showers and restrooms to make the accommodations ready for larger teams that will be coming throughout the year.
“The current showers had nowhere for the water to drain so our first task was creating an eight-foot trench through four inches of concrete and installing shower drains. Then we installed a water heater, piped the water supply to and from the heater, updated the electrical on the shower building, and purchased a propane tank to feed the water heater,” Zepplin shared.
“In addition, we installed a new vanity and sink in one of the men’s restrooms, replaced a light in the ladies’ restroom, and repaired 2 leaking toilets,” he continued. “The roofing repairs, though critical, are not preventing future teams so they were shifted to the next construction trip which will happen hopefully in early (this year).”
Besides the church’s roof repair, more work will need to be done by mission teams, focused around helping repair 19 homes that belong to members of Shiloh Baptist that damaged by Dorian, including Pastor Leonard Pinder’s house that burned down. Most of those homes need roofing and drywall repair and/or replacing.
This mission team that arrived on Sunday, Dec. 15 – in time to worship with the members of Shiloh Baptist – completed their work on the 19th. The church is now ready to host teams of up to 20 members.