Andrews attends final study club meetingPublished 7:41am Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Canoe Study Club member Evelyn Andrews was the club’s program leader for her last time Thursday, Nov. 8, in the home of Ronda Wood on North Canoe Road.
Andrews and her husband, the Rev. Pat Andrews, will be moving Dec. 9 to Pawhuska, Okla. in order to be near Evelyn’s mother, Frances Fuqua, and sister Marie Davis.
Pat Andrews is retiring as director of missions for the Escambia Baptist Association, composed of the county’s Southern Baptist churches.
Before Evelyn Andrews spoke at her last meeting, club treasurer Sarah Hall presented a note from Cathy McKinley, director of the Atmore Public Library, thanking the club for a monetary gift in memory of longtime club member Ann-Cile Hall Key, who died in July.
McKinley wrote, “Two books have been ordered in (Key’s) memory.”
Andrews gave a slide presentation about a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in April. Evelyn and Pat went on the trip organized by the Rev. Gene Pickern, pastor of Unity Baptist Church on U.S.31 east of Atmore. Pickern is a former missionary to the Dominican Republic.
Others on the trip were Myra King of Unity Baptist; Rick Gartman, with ties to Calvary Baptist Church on Jack Springs Road; Dr. Hugh Long of Brooks Memorial Baptist in Atmore; and Lonnie Wilson of Walnut Hill.
The mission group visited Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital, on the southern coast and San Cristobal, also a southern city.
The mission group’s aim, Andrews said, was to give encouragement to Baptist pastors in the two cities the group visited.
As a former missionary, Pickern spoke fluent Spanish, but others in the visiting group required interpreters as they walked in the barrios, or neighborhoods, and gave residents cards with Christian testimonies on them.
Children liked the cards. Andrews said.
“If one kid got one, everybody wanted one,” she said. “You would think they were baseball cards. The cards were so popular, we gave out every single one we took with us.”
The also group led children’s events, some right on the streets.
Laughing, Andrews said the visitors held a puppet show, using a porch of what seemed to be a vacant house. During the show, a woman appeared, wanting to get through the crowd into her home, but, “she didn’t care one bit that we were doing the puppet show there,” Andrews said. “The people were extremely friendly. They would invite us into their homes. They would offer us refreshments.”
The visitors worked with three pastors and two interpreters.
One of the pastors, Wilfrido Brunache, is married and has children. He appeared to be in his late twenties, Andrews said.
She described him as a Haitian who had been kidnapped as a child from his family and taken to the Dominican Republic to work in the sugarcane fields. Andrews added that many Haitians, however, do live in the Dominican Republic by choice because it has a higher standard of living.
While Pickern was a missionary in the Dominican Republic, he drove Brunache over the border to Haiti to find his father, whom he had not contacted until that reunion, Andrews said.
Another pastor is Ramon Sosa, who is married and has three daughters.
Andrews said Ramon and his wife, Wendi, operate a small store in the front part of their house, selling pens, pencils and jewelry and also sending faxes.
The visitors ate in the home of Ramon and Wendi and were served rice, a chicken dish and a potato dish. It was traditional Dominican food, and “it was good,” Andrews said.
In the city of San Cristobal, the visitors met pastor Miguel. Andrews did not know his last name.
Miguel, also in his twenties, took the visitors into the countryside where he has started churches.
“He has started nine Bible studies, and five of them are now churches,” Andrews said.
All the pastors and interpreters, Andrews learned, were looking for jobs. Even though the economy is better than that of Haiti, the pastors apparently need work outside their churches to sustain their families, she said.
Andrews said that in the Dominican Republic the visitors rode in a van whose driver wore a Boston Red Sox cap. Pat Andrews originally is from St. Louis and teased the driver about not wearing a St. Louis Cardinals cap.
As a surprise, on the last day the Americans were there, the driver wore a Cardinals T-shirt.
“Baseball is a big, big thing down there,” she said. “Everybody knows about American baseball.”