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October 13, 2016 • Headline News
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Versailles couple founded missionary
Hurricane impacts family from here

Wanda Burnett

Hurricane Matthew was the headline news last week as it began to swirl in the Atlantic, hitting islands and coming up the southeastern seaboard of Florida, impacting several state’s coastlines. No one watched the progress of that storm more than a Versailles couple. Standley and Joyce Taylor’s oldest son, Ken and wife Andrea, have co-founded a large medical ministry in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mission of Mercy Ministries was in the path of the oncoming storm and Ken was there. The facility attends to the spiritual, mental and physical needs of those in Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They provide medical care for several orphanages and assist with sponsoring children to go to school by donations made to their ministry, according to Andrea. The senior Taylors have always been mission-minded, and while they knew God would take care of their loved ones, a mother’s heart still beats a little faster

Missionary Ken Taylor and Haitian childrenSUBMITTED PHOTO
Missionary Ken Taylor wraps his arms around the Haitian children.

“When you know they’re doing what God wants them to do, you don’t worry as much,” Joyce noted. Still, she called a women’s group she teaches at the North Vernon Nazarene Church, and said, “Ladies, you need to pray!” Ken said the hurricane did not directly hit their ministry, but impacted the lives of staff there and in the surrounding areas they serve. They did receive winds and rain. “This was a total monster we didn’t expect,” he noted. “The death toll stands at over 900, but, there will be so many more,” he noted as he told of outlying areas where Haitians are still living in makeshift homes after the earthquake more than six years ago that devastated much of Haiti. A team of 27 doctors from Canada was working at the facility when the hurricane rolled through

Police were quickly able to mobilize teams to go out to some of the hardest hit areas. Ken told about Copa Airlines, a Cuba based airline and US Air Force planes that taxied down the runway on both sides of the Port-au-Prince Airport on October 7, coming together to bring relief to the stricken area.”I am proud to be an American and to see how we always come to the aid of the world in times of need,” Ken said. He and his wife now have dual citizenship in Haiti. It might seem like a long way for a Ripley County boy who graduated with the 1981 class at South Ripley, but, Ken said he knows they are right where God wants them to be.

Ken noted that Haiti has lost at least 75 percent of their main export crop, bananas, and the other food sources they count on to live. Livestock drowned as the massive waters roared through villages destroying even the bridges to reach people in need. Two cities were reported completely destroyed not to mention the outlying areas where the damage has not been fully assessed. Haiti has battled cholera from the effects of the earthquake and the Taylor’s know this will be a concern once again. While Versailles will always be home to Ken, his heart lies with the Haitian people, who are in such desperate need.

“Our mission is not about us,” he emphasized. “It’s about Jesus first.” He said he now understands what it means to live by faith. He and Andrea do not take a salary from the ministry and he said when the relief planes touch down he witnesses the supplies being directly taken to those in need. The 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry can use additional funds now to relieve just a portion of the misery of the people there.

To see a child’s eyes light up or watch an elderly person be able to receive much needed medical attention, is what keeps the Taylors going. “It’s all about them,” Ken noted. Tax deductible donations may be made to Mission of Mercy Ministries, 17 Lake Link Dr., Winter Haven, FL 33884, or visit and click on the donate button. You can also find out more about the ministry online. Absolutely 100 percent of the donations go to the people, according to the Taylors, who said it feels good to tell a sick person their bill is paid in full by people who love the Lord. “It changes lives,” Ken said, concluding, “It’s about love.”

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