NEW ALBANY, Miss. (BP)–A mission to Honduras turned deadly July 26 when the brakes failed on a vehicle carrying volunteers down a steep mountain, killing one and injuring at least 15 in the ensuing crash.
The volunteers were part of a group of 20 — including teenagers, college students and adults — from First Baptist Church in New Albany, Miss.
“They took large amounts of medical supplies with them, and they were there to do as much as they could with medical work and dental work and whatever there was a need for,” Paul Sizemore, student minister at FBC New Albany, told Baptist Press. “They were going there to do Bible distribution, Vacation Bible School, construction, various things that were needed.”
Sizemore refrained from giving specific details about the accident and the status of those involved until family members could be contacted. He said the weeklong trip was the first international mission trip the church had taken in several years, although they’re frequently active in missions within the United States.
Sizemore encouraged Southern Baptists to pray for the individuals who were injured and for their families and for the family of the person who was killed.
“It’s just tragic for them. You know the possibilities of things happening, but when you get down to specifics you just don’t know,” he said. “These folks were just eager to work and do what they could to help. And when something tragic like this happens, you just can’t understand what the families are going through, anticipating trying to get their family members back. The family who lost their loved one, they’ll have very specific things that they’ll have to work through.”
The church’s pastor, Malcolm Pinion, accompanied the group on the trip, so he is ministering to those involved, Sizemore said.
“They’re all together as a team right now, so he’s able to be with them,” Sizemore said. “I’m very certain he’ll do a wonderful job.”
FBC New Albany was planning to hold a special prayer service July 27 for the victims and their families, and details were being worked out to fly the injured back to hospitals in the States.
“When we know more about when they’ll be here, we’ll try to meet those needs,” Sizemore said.