1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us to do everything for the Glory of God. Well, yesterday I got the chance to get a little muddy, wet, cold, and stinky! AND I can say that I enjoyed every minute of it. I was working with a group to clean up a site where the roof had been replaced. So all of the shingles, plywood, tar paper, and aluminum were on the ground. We had plastic we would throw these on and tie up to throw in the truck. It rained the entire time we were there and I'm pretty sure Donna (our vans name) smelled something gross when we got back. This house we were working at was situated back in the hills, there was an older lady there and what looked to be her daughter brought her child over and they sat on the porch as we worked. As we finished loading the truck for the day they were asking to keep the scrap tin and aluminum, anything they could use in the future or take to scrap for cash.
Being back in the hills is a majestic place to be. You can see mountains all around you, everyone seemed to know everyone, and they all worked together. I could see this sense of community when the father of the child took over a pot to either get water or boil it at the neighbors house to fix the son a bottle. That neighbor could have easily turned him away but instead she welcomed him in.
As the day went on and we cleared the stuff from in front of the house, the rain picked up but so did my energy. By the time we made it to the dump I was on a mission and was tossing Rusty bags to throw off the truck. We were working together for the common good of another family. This small task I was able to be a part of really made me feel like I was doing something that mattered.
While I sit and wait on grades to come in, I can't help but to feel as if they are insignificant to the work I have the opportunity to do here. This work is done to give back to an area that has given so much to me. I love the mountains, I love Kentucky, and I love the people here in Appalachia. This trip has just begun and can feel my spirits lifted, knowing that people who need help are getting it, and that people do care.
I also got to speak with the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hazard, we are staying at their mission cottage and while getting the password to the internet we got to talking about Hazard and the sense of community the people have. She has been here 9 years and says that people think she's crazy, but she is serving the God who has called her to be here and work here. The church is starting renovation in August to better accommodate the groups that come in to work with HDA (housing Development Alliance) since they use their facilities. What a wonderful way to serve not only the community in Hazard by allowing people to stay there, but providing an opportunity for all to see the work of God in those who give of themselves to do things in the area.
I hope I have many opportunities to come back and serve the area.
We will be working on a new construction the rest of the week, and I look forward to seeing the progress we make, to God be the Glory!
Peace from the misty mountains of Kentucky!