Richardson Plowden’s Baxter Participates in Mission Trip to Africa
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., August 7, 2012 - - Joy is an IDP or an internationally displaced person in Nakuru, Kenya. She and her family were forced to flee their home in Kenya for fear of violence and death related to tribal disputes following the 2007 national elections. Because Joy and her family have not crossed over international borders, they are not protected by international law or eligible to receive many types of aid. The people living in the IDP camps have no electricity, running water or sanitary facilities. Joy and her family’s story is one of the many reasons why First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach visited Nakuru as part of a 10 day mission trip to Africa.
Douglas C. Baxter, an attorney at Richardson, Plowden & Robinson, P.A. was one of 30 participants on the mission trip. One of the main purposes of the trip, says Baxter, was to distribute and provide training for the use of water filters at two IDP refugee camps.
“Clean, running water is something we all take for granted in the U.S.,” says Baxter. “The people in Kenya are not as fortunate. We were warned repeatedly to avoid consuming the water, even to keep our mouths shut while showering. The 100 water filters we brought to these camps have the potential to provide clean water for up to 2,500 people. That is an incredible contribution we can feel good about giving to those living in what we would view as deplorable conditions.”
Despite these conditions, Baxter says the people in these camps are filled with love, joy and compassion. Yet their situation and the violence in their country have kept them from leading productive and healthy lives. “Each IDP is fighting for his or her chance to earn an education and to give their family a better life,” says Baxter.
Most afternoons the group also visited a school located at one of the IDP camps and engaged in activities with the students. The group gave more than 200 textbooks to the school, which educates nearly 500 Kenyan children each year. Also, the church group attended a joint service for ten local Churches in the Nakuru area, where they provided a meal and distributed food to 175 families from the Churches.
“To say this trip has positively impacted my life is an understatement,” says Baxter. “I developed friendships and memories that have greatly humbled me. I have a new appreciation for the way we live our lives back home and the fact that true happiness does not necessarily come from the stuff we have. What we received from the trip and from the people in Kenya greatly exceeded the little that we gave.”
Baxter is a defense trial attorney with Richardson Plowden in Myrtle Beach and has more than 25 years of courtroom experience and success. He and his family are active in their church, First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach. Having gone on smaller trips within the United States, Baxter hopes that this is the first of many mission trips he can make to other parts of the world.
About Richardson Plowden
Established in 1973, Richardson Plowden Robinson, P.A., is among the 20 largest law firms in South Carolina, with more than 30 attorneys in offices in Columbia and Myrtle Beach. A full service law firm, Richardson Plowden has more than 25 practice areas providing legal counsel to local, state and national clients. For more information, visit www.RichardsonPlowden.com.