The mission of the All Saints’ Servant Ministry committee can be simply stated, and yet its importance is profound and widespread: “to reach out to persons in need within our parish, our community, our state, nation and world.” This prayerful and active support reaches beyond the borders of local neighborhoods.
State and international outreach of the Servant Ministry committee includes Diocese of Mississippi, Episcopal Relief and Development, Camp Bratton Green and the Honduras Medical Mission.
Honduras Medical Mission
Though the Honduras Medical Mission originated in Pascagoula as an outreach ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church in the early 1980s, it has grown into a diocese-wide ministry. One of Tupelo’s own and revered, the late Rev. Gene Asbury, was one of those at St. John’s, Pascagoula, whose vision it was to begin this outreach abroad.
St. John’s was the sponsoring parish for the initial two years, and then sponsorship moved to St. Columb’s, Jackson. It was decided the two-year sponsorship by a different parish worked, so well that it continues today with team members joining in from other parishes for each annual trip to the small village of San Joaquin in the mountains of the Santa Barbara region of Honduras.
All Saints’ Tupelo served as the sponsoring parish in 2004, 2005, 2018 and 2019.
During the time in Honduras, team physicians will serve, on average, 3,500 patients with a multitude of health needs. Team dentists take care of dental issues, including the extraction of teeth from several hundred individuals. A pharmacist is on hand to dispense medications as prescribed by doctors. And the animals – dogs, horses, pigs and more – are seen by a team veterinarian.
Of course, there is more to the mission than meeting only the health needs of the people. Education takes place through videos and lectures to help the villagers learn more about good nutrition and hygiene. And there are daily, voluntary worship services.