Appalachia 2010 Update #1

Appalachia 2010 Update #1

Today we hit the work sites for the first time and accomplished more than we could have ever hoped.

The Deck Crew tore down a covered porch, cleaned up, and built the foundation for the new porch and arrived home by 2:30! Amazing! This team was led by Chris Wolschon and Jeff Johnson. For me the best part of this crew is that they invited Ethan in and he worked all day! He went without me and served alongside everyone else. He was covered in sweat and dirt from head to toe. This proves again that Appalachia is one for families!

The Siding Crew, led by John Crissman, is siding a home on top of the hill. It’s beautiful! There is not a single tree to obstruct the view. That’s right, no trees. The sun beats down and takes every ounce of energy from the team. Yet, they prepped the whole house and sided about a quarter of it!

The Drywall Crew, led by Jim Gee, has insulated an entire house and is ready to hang drywall from floor to ceiling. The kids who served there were broken hearted over the living conditions of the family they are serving. This is the first time that we have worked inside a home and it brings a new dimension to their understanding of the poverty that we are dealing with.

The Project Worth Crew, led by Julie Folkert, Polly Siecinski, and Melissa Rose, served 16 kids today. Since it was the official Independence Day we faced a curve ball immediately. There was concern that nobody would come! The kids began trickling in around 10 on Kentucky time. By lunch there were ten and after lunch the number grew to 16. We are expecting twice as many tomorrow.

The best story of the day came from Julie Folkert. She was asking kids to come up with a story. One little boy said, “I ain’t got no story.” The little girl next to him said, “Tell her about your blisters!” He said, “Well, I went out ridin’ the horse for too long and got blisters.” Julie held out her hands for his and asked to see them. He responded, “Ma’am they ain’t on my hands!” Julie decided it best NOT to see the blisters!

What hit me today is that people from Grace Chapel are on mission together all over the countryside. When I arrived to the Deck Crew, Grace Chapel was there on mission. When I arrived to the Siding Crew, Grace Chapel was there on mission. When I arrived to Drywall Crew, Grace Chapel was there on mission. When I arrived at Project Worth, Grace Chapel was there on mission. These kids and adults are embodying the DNA and dream that Doug and I have for our community. It was beautiful!

I challenged the kids and adults tonight to remember that this is the reality when we return from here, that wherever a member of Grace Chapel is, Grace Chapel is there on mission.

Prayer Requests:
Pray for one of our vans. We have a flat tire and another tire leaking. We are working with Enterprise to get it fixed but this is difficult with the limited phone coverage and being in such a remote location. We believe that we have a solution worked out but we won’t really know until it is done.
Pray that 13-15 year olds will show up to Project Worth tomorrow. Over lunch we want to do a “Coffee/Doubt” style lunch with them. This could be a significant outreach over the course of the week.
Pray for Alan Fisk as he is the General Contractor for all eight locations this week. He has to make many decisions every day that directly impact around 100 people.
Pray for the unity of the four churches: Grace Chapel; Fellowship EPC in South Lyon; First EPC in Cedar Grove, WI; Hope EPC from North Carolina.
Praise God for the kids that are on this trip. They have open hearts and servant’s hands. God is on the move and we are seeing Him at work.
Pray for me as I preach from Isaiah 53 this week.

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