Giving the gift of a goat could change a Haitian family’s life this Christmas. Ginger Bauknight, of Acts 1:8 Missions Ministry, knows this from firsthand experience.
She, her husband Slate and their children Clay, Luke and Rebekah first visited Haiti with Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in February 2016. The mission trip changed their lives and created a connection with the people there that lives on through the ministry the Bauknights now run.
“Was just absolutely blown away by the living conditions,” Ginger Bauknight said. “You can’t see something like that and just move on.”
The poverty, lack of infrastructure and inability for children to access medical care and schools prompted the family to shift its focus to helping people in Haiti acquire at least the essentials to living life — food, water, medical care and school.
“You want to do something when you see that,” Bauknight said.
Since then, the Acts 1:8 Ministry has helped to rebuild homes, hospitals, built a doctor’s office and helped around 150 children go to school, among other things.
While on another trip to the Caribbean country with Mt. Olivet Baptist in July 2018, the group was stranded in a town called Montrouis, just outside the capital, Port Au Prince, where riots broke out in the country after its leaders announced massive increases in kerosene, gasoline and diesel prices.
The 21-member group made it out safely and returned to Hart County with a new perspective. Bauknight, whose son Clay was living there at the time, said the experience only made more evident the need the family’s ministry is hoping to fulfill.
That is where goats come in. Getting a knock on the door in Haiti from someone bringing a family a goat is like winning a sweepstakes, Bauknight said.
“They are such a blessing for the families,” she said.
Whether it is providing milk, meat, an opportunity to breed them to create a herd or a chance to trade for crucial services, a single goat can help a family survive, Bauknight said.
The ministry is hosting a goat mission this Christmas. A $70 donation to Acts 1:8 will provide a goat to desperately poor people in Haiti. Donations of other amounts help to provide rice and beans for families in need of food.
Bauknight said Acts 1:8, a registered 501(c)3 organization, is in a unique position to help the people of Haiti because they have a team of people who live there who are able to coordinate to ensure the donations go where they are supposed to go. When giving money for a goat this year, she also said people who donate will get a photo of the family with the goat that was given.
Bauknight said check donations should be sent to Acts 1:8 at PO Box 822, Hartwell, GA 30643. Donations are also accepted through the organization’s website at acts1eight.org, on its Facebook page or by texting 4BLESS to 44321.