Doug Mowris Memorial Highway

I got some great news last week. State Representative Parke Wentling, formerly of Greenville, proposed legislation to name a stretch of Route 18 in Doug Mowris’ honor. Two years ago, I wrote a tribute to honor U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Doug Mowris. Doug was killed in Afghanistan on January 29, 2004 while trying to clear an ammunitions and weapons cache in Afghanistan.

The House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1411 June 14.

This bill would rename a section of State Route 18 between State Route 322 and the Crawford County/Mercer County line in West Fallowfield Township as the Staff Sgt. James Douglas Mowris Memorial Highway. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. I certainly pray the Senate passes this bill. Doug was such a great guy. When I think of him my eyes fill with tears.

Doug was my cousin’s best friend’s brother. He used to swim in my parents’ pool when his sister, Beth, came over. He was fun and outgoing. He used to toss my little sister, Amy, and I into the pool in a huge arc. He also did the best cannonball jumps.

One afternoon a wasp stung my leg as I dried off after swimming. Doug swooped me into his arms and carried me into the house while I wailed. Mom rubbed a baking soda paste on my leg as Doug watched. I remember him pacing. He was beside himself. If you’d like to read more about why Doug is so special to me, read my column on from November 2, 2015, titled, “Honoring Veterans.”

It’ll be comforting to see signs reminding me of Doug between Hartstown and the Crawford-Mercer County Line. He deserves this honor. He was a gift to the world.

Fallowfield United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School wrapped last Friday. Each year we challenge kids to donate to a charity. It’s so fun watching them empty their piggy banks so they can win the boys-versus-girls giving challenge.

This year’s recipient is missionary Janeen Aspden, who works for Starfish Kids in Haiti. Starfish Kids works directly with the Emmaus Fellowship of Churches. They collaborate with about 30 schools throughout northern Haiti. Children attend school through sixth grade. Secondary education is available in some schools. Children attend church and school regularly. The schools also provide meals for students. For some children this is the only food they get. Starfish Kids are sponsored for $25 per month, which pays for their education and books.

Janeen grew up in North East, Pennsylvania. She attended Grace Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher. One year she went to Haiti on a short-term mission trip to Grace en Sion Church and School. While there she saw how many children need sponsors so they can go to school. One year later she quit her job in customer service at a bank and worked for 10 weeks with Starfish Kids. God used this trip to confirm that this was where she is meant to serve Him.

If you’re interested in learning more about Janeen or Starfish Kids, visit One Mission Society online or search Starfish Kids Haiti.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!