USA (MNN) — Did you know that racism still
exists? Most likely. But what about a racism so strong in an entire community
that it borderlines segregation?
For seven years, MOSES Inc. has been ministering to a small
town in Mississippi. Judy VanderArk of the organization says, “McLain is a
little speck of a town; it doesn’t even have a traffic light, and we discovered
it through a mutual friend. We found out that there are some wonderful people
living there that are very under-employed and under-resourced.”
According to USA.com, the population as of 2010 was a mere
441. The average individual income is just under $29,000 per year. Over 70% of
the population is Caucasian, 26% African American.
The relationships that the team is building year after year
are meant to combat the general mentality of the community. “We’re trying to
give these people hope. We see a lot of hopelessness down there. There’s still
a lot of racism.”
The division between the two races is one that most of the
country left behind decades ago. “People that live up in the north part of the
states don’t realize how prevalent that still is in some of the southern states.
[In some areas] you don’t go to church together, you don’t go to school together; there’s
a separation even in the stores,” VanderArk says.
McLain still shows signs of mild damage from Hurricane
Katrina. VanderArk says that the destruction began even before hurricane
Katrina: the town has seen many tornadoes. Aside from natural disasters, the
conditions are also a result of the hopelessness due to a depressed lifestyle.
Upkeep of homes is often difficult, as is keeping everyone fed.
“One of the greatest needs that we see in the community is
the need for steps and ramps. A lot of people have infirmities or they’re
elderly.” Last year, the team built 24 sets of steps as well as some ramps.
The team ministers to those in need without discrimination.
Slowly, they are gaining the trust of the community. On their last trip, the
team was met with many acts of kindness from the community, often involving
In the beginning, MOSES saw participation from the residents,
but only from younger children. More recently, however, adults have been
lending a hand to the projects as well.
MOSES is encouraged that their work is making a gradual
change against the attitudes of racism and hopelessness. They are hopeful that by
their deeds, the community will see Christ and learn that we are all equal in
his sight. While they have devotions and worship services open to everyone, the
majority of spiritual ministering occurs in discussion during the projects.
They are actively sharing the Gospel in this manner.
Now it’s time for you to consider being a part of this.
MOSES is taking a team again this Spring Break (April 3-12, 2014) and would love for
you to join. The trip is extremely low cost and focused on serving needy people.
They are asking for participants 14 years of age and older (unless accompanied by a
parent). For more information on the trip, visit the Web site here, or call the
And as always, you can pray for these people. The community
needs a new mentality: pray that they will recognize that Christ is the Savior of people of all