June 28, 2010
For Immediate Release
Kristi Ensminger, left, and Jordan Cornett are spending a large portion of their summer helping people in Haiti following the recent earthquake.
By Chris Megginson, sports information director
This summer was supposed to be spent as a summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic for Campbellsville University softball player Jordan Cornett and former women’s basketball player Kristi Ensminger. However when an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Haiti in mid-January, plans changed.
After the quake and nearly two weeks of strong aftershocks left a million people homeless and killed more than 200,000, the two student-athletes knew the location of their summer mission would change. Sam and Delores York, missionaries to the Dominican Republic, relocated to Haiti after the quake and welcomed the two CU student-athletes to their mission the first week of June.
“At first we were afraid after hearing about the changes that they wouldn’t want us to come anymore, because of our age and inexperience,” Kristi said. “We soon found out, though, that they still expected us. It worked out neat because Haitians were originally our focus anyway … we were going to help Dominicans and Haitians work together in churches.”
Because of the destruction caused by the quakes, the two student missionaries are not helping neighboring countries work in a church, but are busy housing and caring for other missionary construction or medical teams coming in to help rebuild the nation.
The two-month summer trip began the first week of June and will end July 31. After numerous flight delays, the two arrived in Haiti and received “culture shock to the max” according to their weekly blog.
“The ride from the airport made us realize how real this all was,” the first blog entry from Haiti reads. “As we met everyone inside the compound and got nestled into our no electricity, and/mosquito-infested room, it became even more evident that this was not going to be a vacation.”
The new reality began with a 5 a.m. start to the day as the pair helped prepare breakfast for 30 people, all from different relief teams. After three hours of the first day, the two claimed they were physically and emotionally exhausted after working in the heat at a local church turned medical clinic.
“We were thinking of every possible excuse to catch the next plane home,” the two write on their blog.
But by morning of Day 2, the pair say they were completely renewed by the “faithfulness of our Lord” and were already experiencing the power of prayer.
As the trip enters its fifth week and nears the middle point, Kristi and Jordan both continue to seek prayer.
Within an hour before responding to a Facebook message request for an update on the trip, Kristi wrote that Jordan became “VERY acquainted” with the gas stove and burned her arm as the stove flamed up at the strike of a match. With nearly five weeks to go, Jordan tops the duo’s top prayer request, at least for this week.
“Praise God only her arm was hurt,” Kristi wrote via Facebook, “but pray it won’t affect her ability to do ministry.”
The tough CU softball second baseman had already overcome her fear of a snake in their room and other tests, so the pair prays this is just another one that can be added to the list.
Jordan Cornett works with people in Haiti on the mission trip she and Kristi Ensminger are on.
As their ministry continues, the two also ask for prayers personally for their Bible story and study ministries they have begun at a local orphanage. Last fall, both were involved in establishing a study group on the Campbellsville University campus called Crazy Love. Now, they are using that leadership experience to teach Bible stories with kids and hope to begin a type of Vacation Bible School. The work with the children has also opened the door to have an all-women Bible study with teachers at the orphanage and others.
The prayer is not only that these ministries will be affective, but that they can overcome the language barrier without losing the focus of the Bible study. An 18-year-old girl named Esther, “who knows a fair amount of English,” has agreed to help, according to Kristi.
“We want it to be all women, and if anyone knows English in Haiti, its men, so that makes things difficult,” Kristi wrote.
The mission jobs and prayer requests mentioned are only a few of many Jordan and Kristi have as they work in Haiti this summer.
But while the days are long, hot, tiring and filled with work, they are still finding time to relax and have fun while building relationships with the others there – something very evident as you look at their photos of the trip.
When both return, Kristi will seek a job in the Campbellsville area as she prepares to begin seminary in Louisville this fall, while Jordan returns for her junior year of school at CU.