Your Life: Love can be shown in variety of ways

Charlotte Lankard: Members of Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond say, “I love you” by meeting needs in international arenas, the local community and within their church family.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD clankard@opubco.com Modified: February 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013
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There are many ways to say, “I love you.” The members of Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond do it by meeting needs in international arenas, the local community and within their church family.

From 1996 to 2010, volunteers ages 16 to 80, made an annual mission trip to Honduras to work in the clinic of Dr. Reniery Espana. They taught children, painted schools, built shelves — whatever needed to be done.

In 2011, Espana was caught up in the increasing violence and unrest in his home country and the target of an attempted kidnapping. He went into hiding and sought help from the Edmond church who arranged for him to come to Oklahoma City.

Mike and Debbie Bohn served as his host family for almost a year while he secured a visa for work in the U.S. John and Jean Scott Gauldin provided a car and Espana, who has a degree in public health, found employment at the Latino Community Development Agency.

Other international programs in which members participate are World Neighbors; Love Without Boundaries in China, providing surgeries for children with cleft palates; and Caminante in the Dominican Republic, working to keep kids out of the tourist sex trade and in school. They are also big supporters of Edmond's “Crop Walk” to reduce world hunger.

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