WILTON — Believing what Jesus told his disciples, “… you are my hands and my feet in this world,” Crystal McBean said she needs to express her faith.
“I can’t just sit and throw money at a mission,” she said. “I need to be part of helping to build His kingdom on Earth.”
McBean is a member of Henderson Memorial Baptist Church in Farmington where her faith has grown over the years. “I’ve been there since birth,” she said.
When friends took a mission trip to La Romana in the Dominican Republic in the 1990s, she felt God calling.
“People said I should go, too, but I held back,” she said. “God told me to prepare to go next year and kept on calling.”
She will make her 21st trip in January as part of a weeklong medical and construction mission, building the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana.
McBean serves on a medical team that travels into the sugar cane villages. Some are an hour and a half away from the hospital, she said.
The team includes a doctor and pharmacist who treat families of field laborers living in extreme poverty, she said. Team members collect and bring all the medicine needed to La Romana. They also provide items like toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Last year, 200 people were seen in one day. The average is 500 to 600 during the week, she said.
In 2011, McBean and Lory Zamboni of Dryden Baptist Church began a local mission, Theresa’s Totes, which provides donated food for some Wilton children when school feeding programs are not available.
More than 30 totes are filled each month and left at the school. Administrators give out some each week, she said.
“God has provided. He always makes a way,” she said. “I have never worried about running out of food or money.”
McBean said her parents’ early deaths, within two years of each other, was the hardest time of her life.
“It was hard to go through. My faith sustained me and brought me through it stronger,” she said.
She refers to a quote by Vivian Greene, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … it is about learning how to dance in the rain.”
“There are plenty of storms in life,” she said. “We can get stuck there or step out in faith and learn how to dance in the rain with God’s help.”
Crystal McBean prepares to light the Advent candles at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church in Farmington. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)
Crystal McBean (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)