December 23, 2009 Edition

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Price helps spread
Christmas cheer

Theresa Price of Hoxie shows children of Miss Laddee's Foster Home how to blow bubbles. The children at the orphanage also received jump ropes and toy cars, which they also had to be shown how to play with.
Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

While everyone spreads Christmas cheer in their own special way, Theresa Price of Hoxie traveled more than 5,000 miles to deliver Christmas to needy children in Africa.

A member of the Freedom Church, located on the Lawrence County - Randolph County line, Price, along with Greg and Cindy Gamso of Pocahontas, participated in a 16-day mission trip to Africa with Holy Ghost Ministries of Conway.

"The people don't have much and nothing sometimes, but they are very happy and willing to share what they have," Price said of the people she met during the trip.

The first task Price and other missionaries completed was the distribution of 450 mosquito nets, which were purchased by Holy Ghost Medical Missions Directors Greg and Cindy Gamso through donations.

"Malaria is a huge problem in Africa," Price stated.

The majority of health issues and deaths in Africa are malaria related. Ninety percent of the yearly one-to-three-million malaria-related deaths occur in Africa. The disease is commonly associated with poverty and has become a major hindrance to economic development.

"People were so welcoming when they saw what we were doing," Price said.

"There were a few tense moments with some Muslim men, but once they received the mosquito nets they were more than friendly."

The nets were given to women of the Assembly of God Church in a village called Pusiga, as well as Muslim women from the village. Other nets were donated to the medical clinic in Kormansi.

Price also visited two orphanages in Obuasi; The Adgulawn Orphanage and Miss Laddee's Foster Home.

"The team sang songs and handed out toys and candy to the children. I met Paul at Miss Laddee's Foster Home. He was 17 and had been there for five years," Price remembered.

"He called me Mother Theresa and asked if he could write to me. He was very proud of the shirt I gave him," she said.

Price would also provide unclothed children with clothing she brought with her.

"I would have the driver stop the van when I saw a child with no clothes so I could put clothes on them. I believe it was more rewarding for me than for them."

Because of the toys and candy distributed, more than 120 children in the Ghana area will be able to celebrate their first Christmas.

The group also visited two medical clinics where they distributed delivery kits, which included baby caps, blankets and aspirators.

"Our goal this year was to help them help themselves," Price said.

Price had made two previous trips to Africa, the first in 2002 and the second in 2007 she said she believes this trip has opened several doors for future trips to the area to help create new water wells, public toilets, libraries, community centers and many other possibilities.

When asked about her overall experience Price exclaimed, "When you go to a country like Ghana and come home, you are so very thankful for what the Lord has given you. Family, friends, as well as a house to live in with food on the table."

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