Clanton group plans trip to Africa

Published 1:58 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

As a child growing up in Clanton, Paula Kornegay never dreamt her life would entail working in the African mission field. In 2000, she and her husband, Barry, having missions experience with other countries, fervently prayed for God’s guidance of where they were needed most. With the help of the International Mission Board, they felt led and inspired to help the people of Tanzania. During their early mission trips to Mwanza and Geita , the Kornegays saw a large need in the community to help young boys that were often abandoned, orphaned and homeless.

“When my husband and I would visit, there were always groups of boys that would come to us and beg,” Paula said. “They didn’t have any possessions or anything. Seeing that made us ask ‘why is this happening?’”

In 2010, the Kornegays founded The Anza Imani Rescue Organization (translated from Swahili meaning “Beginning of Faith”). The nonprofit organization houses orphaned and homeless boys of Mwanza. It provides shelter, food and education while looking for a safe and permanent housing situation for their future.

In 2015, the Kornegays’ daughter and son-in-law moved to Mwanza to work full-time with the Anza Imani Rescue. While living there, they were able to learn Swahili fluently, complete construction of the orphanage and create relationships with the native people that help facilitate the organization during the year. The orphanage also currently houses 12 babies that are looked after by local mother-caregivers.

Beginning April 15, West End Baptist Church of Clanton will send a mission team of 14 people, led by the Kornegays, to Mwanza and Geita, Tanzania for 13 days. In cities that are largely without running water or electricity, the group will focus on hosting a conference that will provide training and encouragement to pastors from 200 regional churches. The mission team will also use their time to minister to local families and children, host an open-air crusade meeting and help support needs of the orphanage.

“We are fundraising to purchase Bibles to give to each pastor at the conference,” Paula said. “We would like each pastor to have three Bibles to take with them, so they can give them away. We need to purchase the Bibles in Africa so we don’t have to ship them and so that they are in Swahili.”

The mission teams’ fundraising goal for Bibles is $5,000.

The mission team is also collecting new or gently used: matchbox cars, 3-inch dolls, women’s scarves, reading glasses and small sensory toys for babies and toddlers. Other monetary donations are needed  to purchase solar powered flashlights, baby blankets, school supplies and conference expenses.

“My hope and my prayer is that young people will sense the call of Christ on their lives and will always believe that with God all things are possible,” Paula said.

West End Baptist Church will host an informative, educational meeting about the mission trip on March 12 at 6 p.m. The team will be singing in Swahili. The meeting is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Paula Kornegay at 205-230-8987 or