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Malakoff Rotarians welcome three CR graduates

The Malakoff News of Malakoff, Texas

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One speaks of experience running faith-based charity in Uganda

MALAKOFF Malakoff Rotarians for several years have been benefactors to both Malakoff and Cross Roads students, including leadership training and scholarships. That reflects the close connection of the two communities.

During the club's weekly luncheon Tuesday, Jan. 6, three Cross Roads High School graduates were in attendance.

Mark Ferrell, a 1996 Cross Roads High School graduate who also attended Malakoff schools, told the club Tuesday about his efforts in the African country of Uganda to free chil-dren from impoverished and dangerous conditions.

Known by most folks in this area by the first name of Boog, Ferrell is a member of Texas A&M University's Class of 2000. While at A&M, Ferrell was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He is the son of Mark (Sr.) and Rosemary Ferrell of Cross Roads. He has taught school and coached in the area, worked as a youth minister at First Baptist Church of Malakoff and has been involved in the local real estate business.

Ferrell described the vicious cycle that has left Ugandan prisons overflowing with children of any age imaginable. Much of the time, their imprisonment stems from minor infractions like stealing a bicycle, and can end up into an indefinite stay well beyond any just punishment. Many are there, too, because of Uganda's dysfunctional justice system where there is rarely if ever a speedy resolution to a case. For others, there is no other place to go but prison, through no fault of their own. Ferrell's goal is to break that cycle.

"It's up to us as enlightened servants to do something about it," Ferrell said.

Ferrell and his wife Florence were selected by Atlanta-based Sixty Feet to direct operations in Uganda, where they lived from July 2013 until Aug. 2014. The organization's mission is bringing hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa in the name of Jesus Christ.

By the time the Ferrells left their stint directing Sixty Feet's Ugandan operations, there were 55 employees, a medical team, a resettlement team, child vulnerabilities were being addressed, home lives were better, and government policies were changing.

"It was working," said Ferrell, who also noted successful Rotary efforts in Uganda. "I've seen all your hard work and thank you," he said.

Also present as Rotary guests Tuesday were Wendy Spivey, who was introduced by program chair and county commissioner Scotty Thomas as his office manager at the Precinct 1 county office in Malakoff. Spivey, a Cross Roads High School graduate, is married to Jeff Spivey, a Malakoff High School graduate.

A third Cross Roads High School graduate guest was Ariel Humble, daughter of Rotary member Doug Humble. Humble graduated from Texas Christian University in 2013. The elder Humble said his daughter was in the process of shadowing his daily routine so as to enter her father's profession, health care facility administration.

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Original Publication Date: January 9, 2014

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