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Uniontown Baptist Church member takes first missions trip at 78comment (0)

March 22, 2007

By Alicia M. Atcheson

According to Betty Mayton, a member of Uniontown Baptist Church in Cahaba Baptist Association, you are never too old to make a difference.

The 78-year-old grandmother of three recently traveled to a town near Diriamba, Nicaragua, on her first missions trip.

Mayton, a retired nurse, joined Uniontown Baptist Pastor Lee Tate and a 15--person team from First Baptist Church, Minden, La., in January to do medical missions work in the Central American country.

"This was something I’ve always wanted to do, but circumstances had prevented it in the past," Mayton said. "When my preacher said something to me about it, I guess the Lord was preparing me because I immediately said I wanted to go."

The team members, ranging in age from 24 to 80, treated nearly 2,000 people in medical clinics held in four locations during their four-day stay.

They shared the gospel with each Nicaraguan who received medical treatment, resulting in 543 professions of faith.

They also presented the gospel to more than 500 children by making Jesus bracelets, which are composed of colored beads with each color representing a portion of the gospel story, with each child.

Mayton officially became a nurse in 1949 after completing two years of on-the-job training at Rush Memorial Hospital (now Rush Foundation Hospital) in Meridian, Miss.

She married in 1951 and in 1953, joined Uniontown Baptist, where she and her husband raised their three children.

She said they faithfully gave to the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings for years in support of missions.

"Oh, giving for missions was always important to us. I just never knew that I’d actually go on a missions trip myself," Mayton said. "Our pastor is very missions-minded, and he has made me more aware of missions. He took our youth to Malaysia last year. That made me more aware of foreign missions and reawakened an interest in me."

At the clinics in Nicaragua, Mayton, along with another retired nurse, age 80, checked the locals’ blood pressure.

Other members of the medical staff examined the men, women and children for illnesses and distributed medications.

Mayton said the trip impacted her in many ways.

"It was very gratifying for me to be able to help these people," she said. "We saw people who had so little of this world’s goods, so much less than what we have in this country.

"We went to two different sites where no one had indoor plumbing. They seemed fairly well nourished, though, but I think their diet consisted mainly of beans and rice."

Tate said the dedication of Mayton and the other retired nurse should show all Christians that they are never too old to go on missions.

"God’s heart is among the nations, and He tells us to go. If that’s what He thinks is important, we sure better regardless of our age," Tate said.

Mayton said she hopes to continue traveling on missions trips and would like to do missions work in the United States as well.

"You know, I thought I might have been too old to do this but I wasn’t," Mayton said. "Sometimes you need to just get your traveling shoes on and go."


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