Monday, May 29, 2023

Bryan Throgmorton shares mission experience

By Dixie Terry

After eleven months in eleven countries, Bryan Throgmorton, Vienna, has returned home to share his mission adventure.

Bryan was at the Community of Christ Church on February 7, to talk of his eleven months of doing mission work with “The World Race.”

Throgmorton mission tripHe was welcomed by the pastor, Glenn Webb, of the congregation, one of many churches, who supported Bryan with prayer during his mission trip. Bryan’s parents, Bobby and Sherry Throgmorton also attended, along with friends and church members, following a supper in the fellowship hall.

Bryan provided an informative video, with a number of statistics, such as: 37,712 miles flown; 190 hours of bus travel; 12 hours on trains; 77 hours on planes; 44 mission team mates; serving at 16 ministries; dealing with 8 languages; in 6 time zones on 3 continents; for one life-changing experience.

Of the fifteen missionaries that began the trip, four returned home early, while one returned home for medical treatment.

In month one, in January, 2015, the group arrived in Lajas, Dominican Republican, where they taught English, held Bible studies, cared for missionary children, did door-to-door visiting, and held Bible school activities. As in all the locales they visited, they worked to build good relations with the community.

Their accomodations included a shack without electricity, and an outdoor kitchen where they ate a lot of beans and rice. Their laundry was done by each person, by hand, to hang in the sun until dry.

During month 2, the group arrived in Haiti, working with the “Mission of Hope”, in the village of Titanyeu. They took a community census; did plenty of manual labor, including painting and yard work; spent time with the orphans, along with local families, doing demos of teeth brushing and hygeine, and left each person with his own bar of soap, a tooth brush, and a face cloth.

Month 3 found the missionaries in Los Guido, San Jose, Costa Rica, where they taught English at an elementary school and fed 150-200 children rice and sausage at a feeding center each day, and also played games with the youngsters. A personal tent for each, inside a gym, was their own private getaway. They also spent much time in an open-air school.

And, they learned Spanish.

Bryan said he occasionally wondered if they were making a difference, and when a little girl drew a picture for him, printed with, “my friend, Bryan,” he knew they were.

In month three, they arrived at Talanga, Honduras, to work with “Aaron’s Mission Outreach,” where they did manual labor on the church grounds; assisted a medical clinic, with a doctor, but no nurses, where Bryan interviewed the patients. The group learned to make corn tortillas, that resulted in blisters from turning them over with their hands on the outside griddle. They visited schools in the mountains. A large populace lives in the trash dumps, digging through heaps to find metal and plastic to sell. The group bought hot dogs for a treat to the children living there. Bryan told of sleeping in a hammock for a month, a real challenge. He also told of the bed bugs that were sometimes quite apparent. There was no option to just call pest control services like here; they had to be dealt with.

After being requested to become a Squad Leader, Bryan consented, after much thought and prayer. This position included becoming a discipleship mentor, serving as a liason between the mission team and their base in Atlanta.

Month 5 was spent in three locations in Guatemala, where they taught English and Christian values in a high school. They also ministered to widows, who are neglected in that society. They planted fifty avocado trees in two days, without gloves, which resulted in blistered hands. The avocados will be used as a cash crop and also for local food. Experiences for children and a mothers’ day event were also held.

In month 6, the missionaries spent 28 days sleeping in 12 different locales, in the very hot and humid weather of Thailand. They taught English and Bible stories at a Buddhist school and shared of our American culture. At a teacher appreciation event, the missionary group was honored. The girls in the mission group did a women’s prison ministry. Bryan told of the idol worship there, with Spirit Houses, where locals take food and drink, to assure their wealth.

Month 7 was to Karok, Malaysia, where they shared at “Siloam House,” that has chosen not to be assisted by the local government. Here, the group made raised garden beds, painted fences, held Bible study and hosted a game night.

Month 8 was spent in Cainta Rizal, Phillipines, where they served at the Toddler House, an orphanage where four adoptions took place while they were there. The group took special needs youngsters to a local gas station for ice cream, a rare treat. They went to different locations to feed groups, with each participant bringing his or her own bowl. At a trash mountain, they fed youngsters Spam and rice. “Happyland” is a trash dump with a population that calls it their home.

During month 9, in Manzini, Swaziland, the young missionaries served with “Heart for Africa,” helping in a pre-school and a kindergarten. Anyone 18 years old can homestead, with each person or family building huts and calling it home. The missionaries took clothing for the orphans there, of which there are many.

Month 10 was spent in Botswana, where the group did manual labor on a ministry campus. They participated in the “For His Glory Farming,” an aquaponics procedure of raising tomatoes, strawberries, and other produce. Although there is much poverty there, the country is extremely rich, due to having the world’s largest diamond mine.

During the last month, the group traveled to Kommetjie, South Africa, to participate in the “Ask the Lord Month.” They built relations with locals, learned their culture, and did activities with the church.

Bryan stated, “The ministry is there and there should be more missionaries coming in to carry on what we started on this trip. We built relationships and then had to leave. That was hard. Leaving the children, after 30 days was also very difficult.”

He is now back at work at Autumn Ridge, following the mission trip, which he said was a definite challenge. One of those was carrying their world’s possessions in a 50-pound backpack, Another was constantly changing locations. And, living with the same group and learning to love those you don’t always want to, was another challenge to face. Being in a spiritually dark location was also a minus for the Christians in those countries.

Bryan said his favorite time was spent in Swaziland, where he would like to return and spend a year or two doing mission work.

He said he appreciated all the financial support and prayers he has received from individuals and churches in this country.

The Bible verse that motivates these young missionaries is Mark 16:15: “ Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”