How local residents are trying to turn pain into purpose

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:13 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been a week since a car hit five people on Olive Road while they were praying over a person hit by another car.

It happened right in front of the Purpose Center.

Now, those involved are trying to redirect their sorrow into action to make the community a better place. Their goal is to help others find purpose in tragedies.

“As we were praying, I heard someone say, ‘hey, he’s not stopping. Oh, my God’,” said Devron Mitchell, Purpose Center CEO.

By the time Mithcell looked up, it was too late.

“Next thing, you know, we were all hit by a vehicle. I literally flew about 10 feet through the air,” he said.

That’s when Yannick McKie got a call no one wants to answer.

“I got a call from my assistant telling me that I needed to get here right away,” said McKie, Chosen Church pastor. “I pulled up, and unfortunately, what I pulled up to was, you know, very traumatic.”

McKie still remembers what was going through his head.

“Pandemonium. Just being honest, a little bit of fear and worry and concern. What happened? How did we get here,” he questioned.

Raising the next question, where do we go from here?

“We had conversations about pausing the program,” he said.

But his team wouldn’t let it happen.

Mitchell added, “I had a choice of either I could lay down and be injured, or I can crutch my way here and push myself on a scooter to make sure that the doors were open, and the kids could come in and be safe.”

They hosted training for men looking to become mentors, changing one life at a time with purpose.

McKie said: “This was a great opportunity for us to be the example to show them what it means to embrace pain and transform it into purpose.”

The center says while they are both physically and mentally in pain, they are all lucky to be alive and more determined to keep pouring into the kids they see in their after-school programs.