Amazing Clergy: Karen Lyons Brings Commitment, Enthusiasm and Encouragement to Haiti Mission Trip
With a conference appointment on June 20, 2013 as Associate Pastor, Rev. Karen Lyons fell right in step with the St. James United Methodist Church, Alpharetta Haiti Mission Team.
Her new appointment positioned her as the clergy team member for the planned August mission trip. So with a rush on to get all of the required immunizations, meds, and paperwork done, and also with much prayer, Rev. Lyons and eleven others embarked on their mission from Atlanta to Port-Au-Prince on August 17th.
The missioners then proceeded to a rural village, Titanyen for a week of reaching out through Mission of Hope-Haiti (MOH). Mission-of-Hope provides central Haiti cities and villages many services and medical care through world-wide volunteers. During this week, the focus for the St. James missioners was to work with the MOH Mobile Clinics. Medical clinics were mobilized by trucks into two villages during the week, Sources Matelas (pronounced sus matla), setting up at the Eglise du Nazareen Church, and in Cabaret, hosted at the Bethesda Church.
Rev. Lyons’ clinical pastoral experience, years of parish experience, and enthusiasm made her work for the week one of commitment to nurturing the children particularly and also praying for all. There was much opportunity for praise and worship during the week, as well as prayer and devotion.
Her presence in prayer was powerful as she moved among not only the Haitian Mobile Clinic recipients, but also as she stood in the gap for the MOH Staff members and volunteers and the St. James team members. Working alongside the Haitian Pastors who spoke English and translated the Haitian Creole, Rev. Lyons and team members prayed with hundreds of Haitians; the medical team estimated that a little more than 700 patients received healthcare during the week. Moreover she canvassed and coordinated with the MOH Pastor for needed assistance for one of the Haitian MOH clinic staff whose father passed away two days before the team was to return. Rev. Lyons’ commitment, enthusiasm and encouragement was exemplary and a reminder that “God gives and entrusts His work to the eyes, hearts, hands, and feet of those who accept the call to serve.”
Rev. Lyons received her Master of Divinity degree from Emory University, Candler School of Theology and holds Certifications in Christian Education and Clinical Pastoral Education. Until this most recent appointment, she served from 2005 as the Senior Pastor of Cliftondale UMC. Additionally, Rev. Lyons serves on the United Methodist District Board of Ordained Ministry, the District Nominations Committee and on the Strategic Church Growth Roundtable. She is also a Board Member of the Women, Theology & Ministry Program at the Candler School of Theology.
Her work now at St. James offers the congregation much expertise in Congregational Care as well as Women’s Bible Study and other ministry areas for which she is responsible. St. James UMC, where Rev. Michael T. McQueen is Senior Pastor, is recognized in the North Georgia Conference as one of the fastest growing congregations in Alpharetta and the annual conference. The church provides missioners for two international missions’ ministries yearly to Haiti and Kenya.
(Submitted by Eleanor C. Brown)
Photos: (Top) Rev. Lyons sorting donated items and medications on the first day at Mission of Hope. (At left) Rev. Lyons comforts a child whose mother is waiting for Mobile Clinic prescriptions to be filled.