Buy fireworks to benefit church’s foreign missions

June 21, 2011

By Emily Baer

Doug Donaldson’s life changed when he handed the key to a newly constructed house to a struggling Tijuanan family in 2001.

Customers browse among the fireworks on display for sale at the Issaquah Christian Church stand, on Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, during last year’s missions fundraiser. Contributed

He and his fellow mission attendees and members of Issaquah Christian Church had spent the past year raising funds for the chance to spend eight days in Mexico building homes for the poor.

In 2005, Donaldson sold Northwest Computer Support — a computer repair and networking business he had been with for 22 years — to devote his life to helping families in need through the church’s mission trips.

“It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done,” he said. “You know, it was like my baby. Ultimately, it took a year for me to realize that it was meant to be.”

But Donaldson has no regrets — after treating patients with tuberculosis, HIV and machete wounds, he said his perspective and appreciation for his life in the United States have been altered forever.

The church will sell TNT fireworks in anticipation of the July 4 holiday to support three upcoming mission trips to Uganda, Haiti and Mexico.

The booth’s proceeds will also fund the church’s Women’s Ministry and construction of the new worship center. This year, 46 families have volunteered to staff the tent.

In 2010, the booth earned $50,000 in revenue and $20,000 in profit.

What to know

Issaquah Christian Church fireworks booth

  • 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E.
  • The booth opens at noon June 28.
  • Hours: Hours — 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 29 to July 4
  • Free hot dogs and bottled beverages will be available to customers July 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or as long as supplies last.

Working in conjunction with Amor Ministries, a team of 35 teens and adults will depart June 24 on a mission trip to the suburbs of Tijuana to build homes for families in need. The church has funded 10 missions to Mexico in the past 10 years, and has contributed to the construction of hundreds of homes and several churches and schools for struggling Tijuanans.

On July 6, a group of 14 church members, including a computer expert, an attorney, a prison guard, medical professionals and high school students, will embark on the mission to Uganda. The mission attendees will provide medical care for villages, prisons, orphanages and schools. Based on their inaugural trip in 2009, they expect to treat between 400 and 1,000 Ugandans of all ages.

Members of the mission to Uganda will work with the Federal Way-based World Outreach Ministries Foundation to provide basic health care for injuries and illnesses, including sore throats and HIV infection. The team will bring clothing, sports uniforms, toys, coloring books, vitamins and other donated items to their Ugandan patients.

“Well, we always feel like we get most of the blessings from the trip,” Mark Bowers, leader of the mission to Uganda, said. “The feeling of getting help to people that haven’t had it for a year or more makes us feel tremendous.”

At a cost of about $3,500, the frequency and size of the church’s trips to Uganda are limited largely by traveling expenses, Donaldson said. Though mission attendees also solicit donations from friends and family, sales at the fireworks stand are key to covering trip expenses, Bowers said.

The church has made more than 25 mission trips to Haiti in the past several decades and will send its next team in January. The team that went to Haiti earlier this year provided medical care to 1,457 patients. In addition to medical care, the next team will work with Global Vision Citadelle Ministries to pour a church foundation on the grounds of an orphanage in Fedja.

Emily Baer: 392-6434 or isspress@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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