For one nurse, carnival ministry is personal
    September 22 2015 by Chad Austin, BSC Communications

    Many people find it hard to believe Dori Deddo is a third-generation carnival worker.

    Deddo literally grew up in the carnival. That’s how her parents and grandparents made their living. For a while, Dori did too, before becoming a registered nurse.
    Now the western North Carolina native uses her nursing skills to minister and serve the carnival workers whose lifestyle she understands so well. When they learn she worked the carnival just like them, they’re usually at a loss for words.
    “When I tell them, they’re just in shock,” Deddo says. “They think, ‘You’re just a nurse that’s been raised up in this wonderful family,’ but I wasn’t. I was one of them.”
    Deddo is one of thousands of health care professionals who volunteer their time on board the mobile medical and dental buses that provide free and much-needed care to underprivileged patients across the state each year. The mobile medical and dental ministry is one of many ministries made possible through financial gifts contributed each year to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).


    BSC photo by K Brown
    Dori Deddo, left, and Dr. Ray Dunkelberg work together during the North Carolina Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.

    In 2014, more than 4,600 patients received free medical or dental care through the ministry. In addition to physical care, patients receive spiritual care, as well. Many other volunteers, including pastors, counselors, chaplains and lay leaders, serve alongside the medical professionals on board the buses, sharing the message of hope found in Jesus Christ with the patients.
    “To be able to give back is the whole reason I’m here,” Deddo says. “To show Jesus’ love.”
    Deddo has volunteered for several years on board the medical bus during the N.C. Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, located near her home in Pisgah Forest. Several of North Carolina’s Baptist associations organize outreach efforts during fairs and carnivals that come to their regions each summer and fall. Baptist associations also receive a portion of NCMO contributions each year, which go to support local missions activities like the fair ministries. Often associations will coordinate the use of the medical and dental buses while the fair is in town. Use of the medical and dental buses is coordinated through N.C. Baptist Men, also known as Baptists on Mission.
    For Deddo, this ministry is personal. She describes the carnival lifestyle as a big homeless population that is a gypsy-like caravan that goes from town to town. The hours are long and hard. Fair workers often can’t afford health insurance, and most carnival companies don’t provide it. She relates to the workers because she’s been in their shoes.
    “This ministry is important for me because I was actually raised on the carnival,” Deddo said.
    “I want to be able to give back and show some of the carnival workers that they could have a better life and maybe go and do more, and in turn serve others as well.
    “I never dreamed that I would be standing here today on this medical bus providing care to some people that are in need.”
    Deddo said she is thankful for the individuals and churches that give to the NCMO and make this type of ministry possible.
    “When you support the NCMO, you have an impact in ways you never could have imagined,” Deddo said. “This ministry changes lives.
    “Jesus tells us to go out and love people. That’s what we’re doing.”
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – To learn more about NCMO, visit


    9/22/2015 12:52:03 PM by Chad Austin, BSC Communications | with 0 comments
    Filed under: carnival, Dori Deddo, North Carolina Missions Offering

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