-James Osborne, News Editor
Coming to Lakeshore Park at the Reservoir on September 14 is the obstacle course Wet and Wild for Hope. This event is a fundraiser by the Jackson organization Restoration Hope which helps fund charities in Sweetwaters, South Africa to help orphans and young children. Teams of 10 people will compete against one another in the obstacle course.
According to the Restoration Hope website, Sweetwaters, South Africa is the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. One out of every two children are infected with AIDS, there are 6,000 child-headed households, it is the country with the highest HIV death rate, and there is poor education and lack of role models, extreme poverty, and rampant abuse. The goal of Wet and Wild for Hope is to raise awareness and tell the story of Restoration Hope while reaching a goal of $75,000 to help support six mentors and five caregivers working in Sweetwaters.
One of the main organizers of the Wet and Wild for Hope event is Katherine Saucier, a Mississippi College graduate student from Pascagoula, Miss., majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. Saucier is living out her dream job of helping African orphans and raising awareness for their needs. Saucier has been a graduate assistant in the Communication Department office, and this is her second semester to teach a class, Professional Communication, on campus.
“I think Wet & Wild is an opportunity for anyone to take a part in what God is doing throughout the world,” said Saucier. “Without even leaving the city, students can have an impact on multiple lives in Sweetwaters, South Africa. The teams are made of 10 people. It’s perfect for clubs, tribes and organizations!”
Saucier graduated from Ole Miss in journalism with an art minor in 2012. After getting her Bachelors degree she went on a mission trip to South Africa and worked with the International Mission Board for a semester. She worked with a media team to help tell the story of the mission work and also worked with a hospice organization. “I had known for a while that I wanted to work using media to tell the story of orphans in Africa but I didn’t know exactly how,” said Saucier. While on the mission trip in South Africa she decided to come back to the states and find a way to help African orphans and tell their story state side.
Saucier decided to continue her education and come to Mississippi College. When she started at MC in 2013 she applied for a graduate assistant position and along the way found out about the job at Restoration Hope. “I was going to go to Career Services for their help with finding a part time job, but I found out that morning that I got the graduate assistantship,” said Saucier, “but since I had the appointment with Career Services I went ahead and went to discuss long term goals.” Tricia Daniels was filling in at Career Services that day and asked Saucier about her dream job. “I said I really want work with orphan ministry stateside and communicating and telling the story of the organization. She told me about two organizations in the Jackson area and one was Restoration Hope,” said Saucier.
She was excited because Restoration Hope helps in South Africa where she had just returned. “I had no idea there was an organization doing exactly what I wanted to do in the country I had just gotten back from,” said Saucier. She applied and was able to start volunteering with the organization and worked full time this past summer and will work full time again after she graduates in December.
With working at Restoration Hope, Saucier has learned what it is like to have several responsibilities and roles at one job. She has been organizing Wet and Wild for Hope, working on their website, making brochures, and involved in many other areas.
“It’s really cool to feel that you are exactly where God wants you to be,” said Saucier. “It’s not always easy, but it is being faithful in little things. I feel the Lord is teaching me to be patient and trust Him even in the little things.”
“I’m exactly where I want to be,” said Saucier. “I believe it is never me making a difference but it is always Jesus Christ. I heard someone once say ‘I’m just a little pencil in the hand of God.’ He doesn’t need me, but he uses me, and it’s cool to be a part of that.”
To sign up for the Wet and Wild for Hope obstacle course or to learn more about Restoration Hope visit www.restorationhope.org.