Dearing resident Keli Wells has been concerned about the human suffering in Africa, and now she will be able to do something first hand to help.
Miss Wells is one of 10 Georgians who will travel to that distant continent on a mission trip Sept 16 -- 28 arranged by The Servant's House Ministry, based in Blackshear, Ga.
Ms. Wells, who is saddened by the low life expectancy in Africa and the way the AIDS epidemic has spread, said "I am looking forward to going. I've been waiting for something like this to come along."
McDuffie county resident Donnie Farr agreed.
"I can't wait. Everyone needs to go on at least one mission trip overseas. It puts things in perspective," he said.
Mr. Farr, who has been on several mission trips in the United States, looks forward to making life a bit better for those in need overseas. He expects to do some construction work, help with Bible study, and perform whatever other tasks are needed.
The mission group will travel around 20 hours by air to the Venda region near Zimbabwe to an area hard hit by AIDS. At the invitation of local missionaries, they will work and stay at the orphanage which houses children who either have the disease or who have lost parents to it.
"I just hope we can bring them some things they can't get and that it will improve their lives. We can also teach about Jesus in the process," said Miss Wells, who teaches discipleship training at Dearing Baptist Church.
Members of the mission group are packing carefully since their personal baggage is limited, but they will save a place for vitamins and Tylenol, common over-the-counter items in the United States that are a real luxury in Africa.
Mr. Farr will make sure he has mosquito repellent, and has already gathered baseball caps and sunglasses, two highly prized items in that area.
"I already have 100 of each," he said.
Ms. Wells has a few surprise items, too. She will pack plenty of craft supplies including balloons. She will use her past experience in a clown ministry to craft the balloons into whimsical animals and hopefully bring a smile to the face of an Africa orphan.