Profile 2019: Meet Felicia LampkinBy BRYAN DAVIS PUBLISHER,
Felicia Lampkin has always been an ambitious person.
But that ambition is rooted in a deep faith that has been tested and strengthened over the past year.
When she was 19 years old, she set a goal to become a homeowner. The next year, she went to the bank to apply for a loan, but because she had to be 21, she did not qualify for a mortgage.
The bank was so impressed with her credit history and the fact that she was working two fulltime jobs, they did an in-house financing loan, and she bought her first house.
“I still have that house today,” Lampkin said.
By the age of 25, the Leflore County native was buying and flipping houses throughout the Delta, including Indianola’s Southgate subdivision.
Today, she is a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty, and she has her own real estate investment company. She is also the owner of Body Works & Tan in Indianola.
With a steady income from her real estate ventures, and the flexibility to come and go as she pleased, Lampkin chose to go on multiple mission trips in her spare time.
In the mid-2000s, she traveled to Ghana, West Africa, the West Indies and Honduras.
“I knew it was going to be something I was destined to do for the rest of my life, but I never thought about starting my own mission,” Lampkin said.
That was until the spring of 2018, shortly after she faced the most difficult and painful period of her life.
In December of 2017, Lampkin and her siblings were preparing for their annual tradition of celebrating their mother’s (Mary Lampkin) birthday just after Christmas.
On December 8, however, Lampkin rushed her Continued From Page 9
mom to the emergency room for the second time in a week.
After a scanning her chest, doctors delivered shocking and devastating news.
Lampkin’s mother had Stage 4 Lung Cancer.
Mary Lampkin was diagnosed in early December, and by January 28, she was gone.
Three days before her death, Lampkin said her mother suffered a stroke. Throughout those 72 hours, Lampkin said she remembers her mother repeatedly asking for water, but due to her condition, she could not drink liquids. Those pleas for water would stick with Lampkin in a profound way.
“I’m a very strong person, and I’m a very spiritual person,” Lampkin said. “I believe in God and miracles. I believe he opens doors, but for some reason, when my mom passed in January, I was really struggling.”
Lampkin said she could feel herself sinking into a deep depression during the month of February.
“I could not shake it,” she said. “I found myself going into a depression, because it was such a shocking death.”
By the end of February, Lampkin knew she needed something to jolt her out of her depressed state.
On March 9, she said something came over her, and she said, “I need to go on a mission trip. I need to go to Africa.”
A Sign From Above
Lampkin already believed with conviction that she needed to go to Africa, but she was still awaiting direction from above.
About 15 years prior, Lampkin said she went on a mission trip to Ghana, and the chaperone’s name was Mawuli. The two had lost touch since the trip, but as she was searching for direction for her next mission trip, Lampkin said she received a Facebook friend request from someone named Mawuli.
It turned out it was a different person altogether, but the new Mawuli happened to be a missionary in Ghana.
“I said, ‘oh God, this can’t be possible,’” Lampkin said. “This is nobody but God.”
Mawuli did a number of things to help the people of Ghana, but he was particularly invested in helping the people in some of the most remote areas find clean water to drink.
He traveled the country, giving out aqua tablets, which only killed 50 to 60 percent of the bacteria in the water, Lampkin said.
Then she said she remembered her mother, and her cries for water, and she knew then what she had to do.
Lampkin contacted Mawuli and asked if anyone was drilling wells in these remote areas.
“Within two weeks of that conversation, we had contracts drawn up, we had contractors, and they had started drilling our first well,” Lampkin said.
There was one thing Lampkin knew she wanted to do.
“I wanted to drill a well in honor of my mother, and I wanted to go there and do a blessing of the wells ceremony in her honor,” Lampkin said. “I wanted to give life to the living and give something she couldn’t have.”
Soon after that, one well turned into five wells.
“From March 9 until May 9, we had built five wells in 60 days,” she said. “That was only by the grace of God. We never had any problems or issues. Everything just fell into place like clockwork. I know for a fact, it was nothing but divine intervention.”
By May, Lampkin was ready to make her journey to Ghana.
She arrived and traveled nine hours into the most remote area of the country. Then, she and her guides traveled by dirt bikes another three hours into the wilderness.
And it just so happened that the day she finally arrived at the wells, it was Mother’s Day.
Since that trip, she has formed a new nonprofit, Lampkin International.
The organization has drilled 14 wells and repaired broken boreholes for remote villages in Ghana. They have also established over twenty hand washing center, donated hand washing materials, school supplies and personal hygiene items to over 17 rural schools in Ghana.
“We’re Going to Build a School”
During her two-week stay in Ghana, Lampkin had also arranged to meet with a member of parliament and visit 13 schools.
There was one school in particular that weighed on Lampkin’s heart.
It was literally a grass shack,” she said. “It was basically a shed with leaves on the side.”
Lampkin asked the school what its greatest need was, and they said a chalkboard.
She happily gave them the money for the chalkboard, but there was more to it than that.
Some of the classes were being held outside. They would nail the chalkboard to a tree, and students would sit below and learn.
“I said, ‘we’re going to build a school,’” Lampkin said. “I was like God pierced my heart and said ‘you’re going to build a school.’”
Lampkin committed to sponsoring the school.
“I didn’t know how I was going to get the money, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God said, ‘you’re going to sponsor this school.’”
After that, she met with the member of parliament, and he agreed to help sponsor the school.
“If I feel like something is going to happen, I just act on it, and I depend on God to help everything fall in to place,” she said.
At the start of 2019, the cinderblock school was nearing completion.
Lampkin said she plans to go back this spring to help finish the school and build more wells, but this is just the beginning for Lampkin International.
While she does plan to help build another school, her primary focus remains bringing water to one of the harshest regions of the world.
“That is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life,” she said.
Lampkin said she is also looking to buy land in the remote area, so that she can build a mission house that will allow more missionaries to come and stay for a long period of time.
Lampkin said several churches, individuals and organizations in Sunflower County have supported the "Project Drink to Live" and "Project Health School" missions.
They include Bell Grove M.B. Church, Melvin Matthews Pastor; First United Baptist, Clifford Wilson Pastor; First United Baptist, Herman Cole Pastor; Mt. Pleasant M. B. Church, Harvey Green Pastor; Higher Heights, Gary Perryman Pastor; Greater Springfield, Pastor Mark Buckner; Unity Fellowship, Pastor Orlando Franklin; I Am My Brother’s Keeper, Pastor Glenn Donald; Priority One Group, Nicole Watkins; A & H Painting LLC, Dr. Walter Rose; Indianola Wal-Mart and Perlie Simpson.
Anyone interested in supporting Lampkin International,USA 2019 missions in Ghana, West Africa and Johannesburg, South Africa can mail donations to The Health Network, P.O. Box 631 Indianola, MS 38751 or contact Felicia Lampkin 601-906-3366 or 662-887-9464. firstname.lastname@example.org