By Kay Whatley, Editor
Each summer, Wakefield Central Baptist Church partners with the American Belarussian Relief Organization to sponsor a group of children from Belarus for a brief stay in Zebulon NC area homes. The church, as part of their mission work, hosts, clothes, and raises funds for Belarussian children.
Children and teens come from the country of Belarus and stay in host homes for six weeks, with Wakefield Central arranging the host families. The host families provide space for the kids to stay, and arrange for time with their own families during the six weeks of hosting. The length of the stay is designed around the children’s health needs — mainly to give their bodies time away from the radiation that bombards them daily in Belarus.
During a six-week stay, the Belarussian children become part of the host home’s family. They receive needed physical care, love, and emotional support. Wakefield Central and its members provide Bibles and Sunday School material in the children’s language to minister to their spiritual needs, too, during their stay.
In preparation for the children’s arrival in 2016, Wakefield Central is seeking clothing donations. Clothes may be new or gently used, and in a range of children’s sizes. The clothing may be worn by the hosted children during their stay, and then sent home with them to Belarus.
From the church’s bulletin:
It’s that time again to clean out your closet and donate to the Belarussian Clothes Closet. The children arrive in June, and we are hoping to have the closet available to them at that time. We will also take donations of clothes and shoes for the kids to carry back to their parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. — so clean out your closet to help the families too!
Please call or text Terri Pate at 919.614.7739, Janie Dupree at 919.524.6748, or Garry Allmon at 919.410.5916.
Contact one of these folks if you have clothing, in any size, to donate for this mission.
Community Yard Sale and Bazaar Fundraiser
Each year Wakefield Central holds their annual “Belarussian Day” yard sale event — an outdoor yard sale followed by an auction inside the church. The event is arranged to raises funds for the Belarussian mission. It helps the church to cover costs related to hosting the group of children.
This year, the “Community Yard Sale and Bazaar” is April 9, 2016. It begins at 6:30am — perfect for early birds — and continues throughout the day. Local vendors and yard sale spots all open at 6:30am and will be open until 4pm when the auction items’ viewing begins.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served during the yard sale to feed those coming to shop, and those selling from vendor booths in the bazaar. The church plans to serve BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, desserts, drinks, and goodies, with proceeds going toward the day’s total benefits.
Yard Sale spaces of 10ft x10ft may still be available for a nonrefundable fee of $30. Spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis, and the event is fast approaching! Contact Laurie Hicks 919.625.7344 if interested in being a vendor during this one-day event.
At 5pm, the live auction bidding starts. The day wraps up after all items have been auctioned.
Items auctioned off have been donated by local businesses and community members, and range from antiques to special goodie baskets to local services.
About the American Belarussian Relief Organization
The American Belarussian Relief Organization, or ABRO, is an organization that helps children from Belarus.
Belarus is a small country whose southern border is just 12 kilometers north of Chernobyl Reactor #4, the site of the April 26, 1986, nuclear accident. Seventy percent of the Chernobyl radiation fell on Belarus.
The children are affected by the radiation from the Chernobyl Reactor accident, directly or indirectly. ABRO brings children from Belarus to America for six weeks each summer to give their bodies a rest from the contamination. Some of the children are orphans; some come from small, highly contaminated villages; some have known medical conditions such as leukemia or thyroid problems and some children are dealing with physical handicaps. And most of them come with suppressed immune systems.
By housing the children for a period of six weeks, their bodies get a rest from the physical and emotional stress of living in a contaminated environment.
The children, while hosted in the US, receive medical, dental, and eye care as well as a loving, caring home environments. Many local and regional hospitals have provided medical attention for “the ABRO children”, as have many dentists, optometrists, and specialists.
ABRO is able to continue this work only through the generous support of individuals such as the host families, churches, and the local medical communities.
ABRO’s Mission Statement is: that all children living in areas contaminated with radiation from the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant accident are assisted in finding a quality of life and hope in the future. It seeks to do so in the following ways:
- by providing clean food, rest and sanctuary in radiation free environment.
- by offering medical evaluation and treatment as needed.
- by recognizing and nurturing the spirit of those who seek to assist.
ABRO’s summer program statement of purpose is: bringing children to the US for six weeks each summer and displaying a love that is felt around the world. One will be helping to meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of children who have seen their world turned upside down along with all the many problems that they and their families face each day. As Americans help the children and their families, the leaders of ABRO continues to watch the relationships build and the love of Christ spread to these precious people.
About Wakefield Central Baptist Church
Wakefield Central Baptist Church is located at 308 Proctor Street, Zebulon NC — across from Bojangles. The church holds services each week in English, with separate services by their Hispanic Ministry offered in Spanish. Their Pastor is Keith Wagner, who with wife Lisa has ministered in Zebulon for five years, and in other countries for many years before then.
According to the church website, their missions is organized around the command of Jesus in Acts 1:8:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The church describes this command is threefold:
1. We endeavor to be bold witnesses in our “Jerusalem” right here in Zebulon. We regularly witness in our community in a number of ways through activities such as prayer walking, door to door evangelism, servant evangelism, filling benevolent needs, and ministry visits.
2. Wake County, North Carolina, and surrounding states is considered our “Judea and Samaria.” We organize different types of work and evangelism mission trips in these areas to spread the Gospel of Christ.
3. Outside the U.S. is our “ends of the earth.” We send mission teams to work with our partner missionaries in Okinawa, Japan and Budapest, Hungary. We also minister to children from the country of Belarus every summer.
Ed. Note: In addition to the yard sale date mentioned above, the church has a Revival April 10-13, 2016. Times vary, so check the church website above for complete schedule and guest speaker information.