Hubbardston missionary dedicated to serving Central Mass., Haiti dies

Marco Cartolano
| Telegram & Gazette

HUBBARDSTON — A Central Massachusetts missionary who devoted his life to serving poor communities each close by and in different nations, died Thursday. 

Scott Owen Lengthy, 53, died whereas making an attempt to recuperate from pneumonia and coronary heart circumstances introduced on by COVID-19. After shifting to Haiti along with his household to do missionary work in 2000, Lengthy and his spouse Tanya based Mission E4, a nonprofit para-church ministry primarily based in Hubbardston, in 2005. The ministry began youth and youngsters’s packages in Central Massachusetts, helped discovered faculties in Albania and Kosovo and labored on group improvement in Haiti.

Lengthy believed in serving to others to succeed so they might have the chance to make their very own influence on the world.   

“He had a mindset that each single individual had a necessity, whether or not it was bodily like the kids in Haiti needing to have bodily issues like education and meals and water and medical care, or it was youths that we had been working with domestically and realizing they could have psychological wants or religious wants or emotional wants,” Taran Lengthy, Scott Lengthy’s son, mentioned, “It was a extremely huge deal to him that, though all of us have wants, ever single individual has one thing to offer.”

Born in Salem on March 9, 1967, Lengthy’s mother and father had been founders of the Religion Alive church motion in Central Massachusetts. It was via church that Lengthy met his spouse Tanya once they had been youngsters, Taran Lengthy, mentioned. They married in 1988 in Sarasota, Fla.     

When Lengthy was 16, he was despatched on a mission journey to Haiti with the DeTellis household of the ministry New Missions. Taran Lengthy mentioned that the Haiti journey was certainly one of Lengthy’s first exposures to excessive poverty, together with going to Nice Brook Valley in Worcester on service and ministry journeys along with his father. 

“These had been two locations that he was uncovered to as a youngster,” Taran Lengthy mentioned, “Haiti and Worcester actually are two monumental items oh his coronary heart as a result of that is type of the place it began as a youngster.” 

In his twenties, Lengthy moved away from the church and targeted extra on his profession. He labored as a district supervisor for 27 places of work alongside the east coast and began a number of of his personal companies. Lengthy’s household was dwelling in North Carolina and Lengthy had little interest in going again to missionary work, however Taran Lengthy mentioned {that a} go to from the previous induced his father’s life to completely shift.

Lengthy’s mother and father requested him and his household to return see George and Jeanne DeTellis, who had been visiting North Carolina church buildings and speaking about their missionary work in Haiti. Taran Lengthy remembered that his father was tremendously moved by listening to concerning the continued poverty in Haiti.

“Listening to the tales concerning the youngsters and listening to the tales concerning the want, it simply introduced all of that stuff again from when he had gone as a youngster. He truly could not even discuss to George and Jeanne, he was simply in tears for the whole service,” Taran Lengthy mentioned, “He realized in that second, ‘there’s all these youngsters I’ve seen with my very own eyes, I’ve touched with my very own fingers and so they want different individuals. And why on the planet am I simply making an attempt to chase after the American dream and have a much bigger home and a much bigger automobile?”

On the age of 30, Lengthy determined to show over his enterprise to his accomplice and transfer his household to his mom’s dwelling in Worcester to rededicate his life to service and to religion. In 2000, Lengthy’s household took a visit to Haiti and rapidly determined to maneuver there to do missionary work with the DeTellis household’s group, New Mission. Lengthy ran all of New Mission’s faculties and his household ran the work groups of missionaries that will go into villages. On the time, Lengthy ran round 20 faculties in Haiti with about 7,500 college students, Taran Lengthy mentioned.  

In 2004, Lengthy felt the urge to return to Central Massachusetts to assist the communities he served along with his father. He began the youth and youngsters’s program D.E.L.T.A. Power Youth Group earlier than founding Mission E4 in 2005. The ministry additionally arrange a group middle in Nice Brook Valley a few year-and-a-half in the past, establishing a presence in one other space that deeply affected Lengthy. The ministry at the moment has round 3,000 youngsters in class with over 300 staff.

The ministry additionally grew to become curious about constructing faculties in Albania and Kosovo following a 2007 journey Lengthy took with Taran Lengthy and seeing firsthand the acute want inside the Roma inhabitants in these nations. 

Taran Lengthy, who serves because the chief working officer of Mission E4, mentioned the ministry was devoted to group constructing in all the areas that they served. The ministry goals for its work to be “holistic, sustainable and generational,” Taran Lengthy mentioned. The ministry needed to be holistic in getting concerned with all elements of life within the communities they serve, sustainable in having the construction to proceed on after Lengthy’s loss of life and generational in hoping that the influence they’ve on a toddler’s life will have an effect on their future and the futures of any their youngsters.  

Lengthy was devoted each in his function on the missionary and as a household man, Taran Lengthy mentioned. His selflessness and competence had been a few of his key traits. 

“He was all the time targeted on giving of himself to anyone that wanted it, even on the expense of his personal comforts and his personal wishes,” Taran Lengthy mentioned, “He was additionally extraordinarily competent, not solely being a minister and dealing on the church, however he was a particularly competent businessperson.”

As a father and mentor, Lengthy favored to share as a lot of his life as he may and he trusted his youngsters with critical duties, Taran Lengthy mentioned. In Haiti, Taran Lengthy remembered being tasked with main a lot older individuals via mission work when he was an adolescent.  

Tim Garvin, president and CEO of United Manner of Central Massachusetts, met Lengthy in March of final yr because the United Manner was organizing the Worcester Collectively Response Workforce to assist with any want created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They rapidly grew to become associates. When Lengthy contracted the coronavirus, Garvin started a every day e-mail correspondence with Lengthy that finally grew to become slower as Lengthy’s situation worsened. Whereas hospitalized, Lengthy’s household nonetheless handed alongside Garvin’s emails and Lengthy valued them all through his keep. 

“Scott is an amazing human being, Garvin mentioned, “In each single encounter I’ve ever seen him have, he introduced pleasure as his calling card, he lifted individuals up and he provided assist and encouragement. And in doing so, I feel it made him each an awesome chief, however additionally an awesome human being — the type of individual that all of us aspire to be.”  

Garvin mentioned he was planning on collaborating with Lengthy much more this yr and so they each had been excited to develop the attain of their efforts. On Monday, The Worcester Collectively Response Workforce’s every day assembly began with 5 minutes honoring Lengthy and his work. A platform to make donations to Lengthy’s organizations in his title was additionally arrange by Garvin’s community.

“On a private degree, my world grew to become lower than it was,” Garvin mentioned, “On knowledgeable degree and a friendship degree to Scott and his household and to the work of Mission E4, I instantly reached again to Taran and requested — what do you want, what can I do to assist.”

When contemplating the reminiscence of Lengthy and his service, Garvin recited the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy shall be carried out, on earth as it’s in heaven,” to commemorate Lengthy’s dedication to bringing the dominion of heaven nearer to earth. 

Taran Lengthy mentioned he had a dialog along with his father in December about finally taking up as CEO of Mission E4 in round three years, and now that timetable has to speed up. Lengthy’s household was anticipating his father to finally return dwelling and face a protracted highway to restoration, and his loss of life was surprising. As he prepares to tackle the function of CEO on a quicker tempo than anticipated with out the steering of his father, Taran Lengthy mentioned he desires to protect his father’s legacy. He associated a narrative from the Bible about Jesus Christ strolling on water and main his disciples via a storm.    

“I would like his legacy to proceed and I wish to know that he left a legacy, Him dying just isn’t the tip of his work.” Taran Lengthy mentioned, “I really feel like there’s all of those waves and all this wind and all this craziness, however that Jesus and God are saying, ‘simply step out and belief me and it is all going to be OK.'” 

Lengthy is survived by his spouse, Tanya; his mom,Beverly; his youngsters Taran, Morgan, Tia and Ariana; 11 grandchildren and siblings Randall, Patty, Deanna, Debbie and Jordan. Calling hours for Lengthy shall be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Miles Funeral Residence, 1158 Major St., Holden. Lengthy’s household asks those that want to proceed his mission to think about both making a donation to the Mission E4 Legacy Fund or to sponsor a toddler via Mission E4 in Lengthy’s honor. 

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