91-year-old longs for next mission trip Africa

Dorothy Lockett would like to take a second mission trip to Kenya, but at 91, her daughter won’t allow it.

Lockett’s first mission trip was to Kenya at age 83. She joined fellow church members on a weeklong trip to Nairobi.

“I had my birthday over there. I was 83 when we went … and 84 when I came back,” she said. “I knew they were going on a mission and someone asked me, ‘Would you like to go?’ And I said yes … so, I went.”

“They were talking about going back on a trip this year and I was telling my daughter. I said, ‘I want to go back to Africa,’ and she said, ‘You’re not going;’ because I’m 90 years old, I take medication, so she says I don’t need to go,” said Lockett before her latest birthday. “But if I had the chance, I’d go back again.”

During Lockett’s young adulthood in Meridian, Miss., she was a member of First Union Baptist Church. The church was occupied with the turbulent civil rights struggle at the time, she said, and not focused on international missions. Lockett moved to Sterling, Va., 17 years ago to live with her daughter Eldna Smith.

“But I think now if I were able, that’s what I would like to do, and I’m sorry that I couldn’t have done more,” she said.

Lockett said she enjoyed her missions work in Kenya. The group stayed in a hotel and had a driver for local transportation.

“There was a revival, we attended it and we went out … to minister in other churches there. They split us up and different ones went to different churches,” she said. “We worshipped with them. We worshipped with a church full of women one time. It was just like being in church at home. They were listening and participating, the music was just wonderful.”

Lockett doesn’t recall the trip being rugged, but she said a stranger helped her down a steep hill.

“We supply wells for them over there. And we went to this one place where there was a well and we had to go down a steep hill. But there was a woman that came to me … and she helped me down the hill and up the hill. She stayed with me the whole time I was there,” Lockett said. “And you know, we just kind of bonded. And … I bonded with [the driver]; his name was Peter. He was very sweet to me; he’d just take care of me.”

It’s important to take mission trips, she said, “to share Christ, just to carry the Word.”

“I just believe I am led by God to do things,” Lockett said. “Everyone is shocked that I get around as well as I do. But I do good for my age.”

— Diana Chandler | BP 

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