Bertie County extends helping hand

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 31, 2005

ASKEWVILLE – For many Americans, the catastrophic tsunami that devastated Indonesia last December has already faded into the background, a disturbing distant memory of horrific images splashed across the TV screen nightly for several weeks.

Most of us have moved on to newer events, already focused on more recent news like March Madness, Scott Peterson’s sentence, and the Michael Jackson trial.

But there are a few among us who have not forgotten and who continue to work tirelessly to send disaster relief to the stricken areas where life won’t return to normal for many, many years.

Those caring few are members of Askewville Assembly of God in Askewville. The church’s pastor, Rev. R.O. Denton, has put together a dedicated team of five members, all with medical backgrounds, to make a medical relief missions trip to the city of Chennai in southeast India, one of the region’s hardest hit areas.

The team members are Dale Bazemore, 53, of Askewville, Betty Dozier, 45, of Todd’s Cross, Sue Jarrett, 42, of Askewville, Frances Perry, 46, of Askewville, and Marcie Todd, 33, of Todd’s Cross.

&uot;Our church wants to continue to reach out to these people,&uot; said Denton.

&uot;We must not forget that they are still suffering and they need our help. They especially still need medical attention and medical supplies.&uot;

The group departed March 23 and will travel throughout the region for nine days.

The team members have never done anything like this before, they say.

&uot;This will probably be a hard trip, hard to see such suffering, but this is something that we all felt led to do,&uot; said Dozier.

In order to fill that need, Denton asked Bertie Memorial Hospital (BMH) if it would donate some of those medical supplies for his team to take with them on their mission.

Mary Davis, administrator for Cashie Medical Center, located inside BMH, made requests for supplies from all hospital departments and the results exceeded her expectations.

Davis and Vice President of Patient Care, Claire Mills, presented the church with several huge boxes of supplies, including surgical gloves, catheters, aspirin, light pens, coloring books and crayons for children, medications, gauze, bandages, disinfectant soap, needles, and much more.

&uot;This trip is a wonderful idea and Bertie Memorial really wanted to support this mission,&uot; said Davis.

&uot;Our hospital doesn’t just promote good medical care in Bertie County,&uot; she added with a smile.

&uot;Now we are worldwide.&uot;

Denton said that his medical team will rendezvous with missionaries from his church who are already stationed in India.

And Denton himself recently returned from his own church-sponsored mission to Chennai, where he purchased and presented two local fisherman with new boats so that they could begin to rebuild their lives.

&uot;It was an incredible experience to meet these people, to see their plight first hand,&uot; said Denton.

He is using his newly acquired familiarity with the region to help his medical team plan their upcoming medical aid route.

&uot;These guys will be visiting orphanages as well as our own medical stations to give out these supplies.

It’s a chance to make a real difference in the lives of these people,&uot; he said.

Denton said that donations by BMH, local businesses, individuals, and other local churches, are what have made this incredible journey possible.

&uot;Bertie County has shown that despite the fact that much of the media has forgotten Indonesia, we still haven’t forgotten and still want to reach out,&uot; he concluded.