After interning for two years, Dezo Desauguste is now a co-pastor at the First Baptist Church in Red Bridge.
“Now I am official,” said Desauguste with a smile who hails from Haiti.
Desauguste originally dreamed of becoming a doctor. “I wanted to open a center for children, where I would help children who didn’t have parents, and teach them good hygiene, and some of them could live in the center,” she explained.
“My dream was, and still is, for my country to be a better place,” she continued. “My slogan is, I want Haiti to be a place to live, not a place to leave.”
Several visiting missionaries, including a couple from Lawrence and a couple from Oregon, decided they would help make her dreams come true.
“So I moved here with this huge, gigantic dream,” Desauguste continued.
She attended Johnson County Community College and took two years of pre-nursing. Then she was accepted into Avila University, where she quickly learned nursing was not for her.
“I couldn’t watch the videos, I couldn’t stand the blood. I didn’t like giving shots. Even the fake wounds, I couldn’t look at them,” she said, remembering the first two weeks of school.
That’s when she started talking to Pastor Steve at First Baptist Church of Kansas City.
“I told him how I was struggling, that I didn’t think I could do nursing,” she recalled. “He asked me to tell him my dream. I told him what me dream was, and asked me if I ever considered getting a masters in divinity. And I was like, divinity? I’m not into stuff like that. I don’t want to be a pastor.
“And he was like, the dream that you have, I feel like you have all these gifts already.
So I went home that day, and I felt at peace, a peace that I did not know existed.”
She then scheduled an appointment with Central Baptist Theological Seminary, whose president was a woman.
“In my country we don’t have women pastors,” Desauguste explained. So she entered St. Mary’s and became an intern at First Baptist.
“Because of the love of the people of this church, because of the leaders letting me do things and take action, because of that I fell in love with the church, I fell in love with ministry. And that’s my story.”
Desauguste began a young adult outreach ministry with international students during her internship.
“I take them out, show them the town, introduce them to American food, the American culture. Because I myself came here as a student years ago. Before they feel something, I already know what it is. I’ve been through it.
Pastor Dezo is co-pastor at the First Baptist Church in Red Bridge. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.