Sager Brown Stories: Rev. Samuel Battiest, Jr.

y-ya sager brown 3The following is a personal reflection of a mission trip I was privileged to lead July 20th through July 25th, 2014 to UMCOR Sager Brown located in Baldwin Louisiana. With me were three Young Adults and three Youth. I can only give a summary of the trip because I cannot even come close to relating to anyone who would understand the depth of this experience it has on its participants. Only those who have spent considerable time with a group of fellow travelers would understand the bonding dynamics that takes place.

I was honored to take Kathryn Allen, Charlotte Johnson, Zack Lopez, Larimie Fixin, Britteny Cuevas, and C.J. Gray to their appointed destiny where I believe God wanted them to be to reveal Himself to them. This was the Oklahoma Team. On the way down we stopped to get gas and cold drinks and some snacks. A bus was there carrying members of an Oklahoma National Guard unit. The group began to converse with the Guard unit and asked them where they were going all they could say was that they were on a mission. The Guard members asked where we were headed and they were told we’re on a mission too!

UMCOR Sager Brown is an awesome place that God has placed in southern Louisiana so that United Methodists can go there to be part of a world-wide mission project. Knowing that the work that you do at the UMCOR Depot is benefiting people locally and around the world really is uplifting and humbling.

We got to meet and fellowship with other members of the family of God also. The only other group was the eighteen members of the Dixon UMC of Dixon, Illinois. That was awesome also to see members of the body of Christ from two different areas of the country and from two different cultures working together serving God. They worked together packing kits, handing out food to needy families, and worshiping together at the Thursday night Vesper services.
Of course we also took time for some sightseeing. We visited the Chitimacha Tribal Museum, took a trip to the Gulf of Mexico, and topped it off by visiting a local eatery to sample Alligator and Gumbo. Thursday night all the volunteers traveled to the next little town over for ice cream at Sonic.

I can’t close without bragging on the Oklahoma Team. They really made an impression on the Dixon Team.

At the Vespers service when everyone was asked by the Dixon Pastor Mike where they saw God that week one of the ladies from Dixon stated that she saw God in the work and ministry of the Oklahoma Team. She proclaimed that, “They are awesome!” Friday morning the Oklahoma Team had Kitchen Ministry after breakfast and before we could leave. As we finished and were preparing to leave the head cook told the Oklahoma Team that they were the best group to pass through the Depot. She was really impressed with their work ethic and attitudes. What a great encouraging word for us as we started our journey back home. It was a long drive to and from Baldwin Louisiana but the benefits of the trip greatly outweighed any inconvenience we encountered.

group ltrip 001

I want to encourage anyone who has an opportunity to visit UMCOR Sager Brown to go. You will be changed. Thank you Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference for the opportunity to go on this mission. Thank you for support of every kind. Thank you Fife Indian UMC and all the other churches who supported your team members in some way and made the trip possible.

Respectfully submitted,
Rev. Samuel Battiest Jr.
Pastor Fife Indian UMC/Team Leader