This year, Christmas Eve services will be a little different at Doylestown United Methodist in northern Ohio. Besides the Christmas story, the Rev. Carl Dulin, his wife and son will share their story with the congregation that provided hundreds of coats to children in Armenia. “Coats for Carrie’s Kids” is a mission that’s healing the Dulins and their church family. Reed Galin explains.
(Locator: Southern Armenia)
“God loves you.”
The Rev. Carl Dulin: “The children react as if you’re Santa Claus and it’s Christmas. I’ll say, ‘Are you ready to get some coats?’ And they’ll go ‘Yeah!’ ”
Christmas presents came early to Armenia. Eleven remote villages. Coats, hats and boots for 400 children. Time for celebration!
This was the fifth mission for “Coats for Carrie’s Kids.” It started with tragedy in 2003.
The Rev. Carl Dulin, Doylestown United Methodist Church: “It began when my daughter was hit head-on in a traffic accident in Uzbekistan.”
Patsy Dulin, Carrie’s Mother: “Carrie’s Coats got started sort of as a way for Carl and I to get over our grief.”
Carrie Dulin was as a missionary in Armenia working with kids in orphanages and schools in the rugged mountain communities.
Voice of Patsy Dulin, Carrie’s Mother: “Carrie mentioned to us several times that some of the kids out in the villages just couldn’t even go to school because they didn‘t have coats and boots.”
Voice of the Rev. Carl Dulin: “She told me that the buildings weren’t heated. So, when it got so cold, kids would stay home because they could stay warm in their beds.”
Benjamin Dulin, Carrie’s Brother: “It’s a good way to honor my sister because she spent six years of her life there.”
(Locator: Doylestown, Ohio)
Carrie was baptized, confirmed and memorialized at Doylestown United Methodist in Ohio.
Loretta Langguth, United Methodist Women: “It was a trying time for us when the tragedy happened to Carrie.”
For years, the United Methodist women in Doylestown sewed hats for the mission trips.
Kay Villers, United Methodist Women: “We really, truly enjoyed knowing that we were helping some of Carrie’s children because we considered them a part of Carrie.”
Carrie’s father bought coats and boots locally and altogether, Carrie’s friends and church family donated 22,000 dollars.
Patsy Dulin, Carrie’s Mother: “I think Carrie would be very proud of us. In fact, I know she is because she’s with us when we’re over there.”
The Rev. Carl Dulin, Doylestown United Methodist Church: “I’ll tell you a story. There was one kid left there and there were no coats. It was just like God was tapping me on the shoulder. And so we gave him mine. The mayor said ‘Everybody’s going to see him in that coat, and he’s going to remember you.’ I said, ‘Well, let them remember The United Methodist Church.’ I could just feel Christ’s presence. And that’s a wonderful feeling.”
Carrie’s dad would like to return to Armenia next year, if his health permits. He is in remission from cancer. To learn more about Carrie’s Coats, you can contact Doylestown UMC at 330-658-2224.
Posted: December 22, 2010