Our Kentucky Adventure

I am dragging just a bit today, having just returned last night from our brief but intense mission trip to southeastern Kentucky. It was a very good experience. God led us and provided for us at every turn. He stretched us – got us out of our comfort zones – to rely upon Him to do ministry. We learned a lot.

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A few miscellaneous thoughts and observations:

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•?I was incredibly proud of our team. They worked very hard. They fully engaged in whatever we were doing. They never complained and were intentional to be encouraging to others. They allowed God to use them and as we served alongside each other we bonded big time – the unity and laughter was so enjoyable! Our team included: Dawn Anama, Phil Beneda, Ray & Jamie Demich, Lynn Diers, Brion Kendzora, Judy Kristan, Bob Kuzmanic, Kris Milashus, Jim & Su Ray and me.

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•?We were serving in Harlan, a small mining town that has been devastated by unemployment, poverty and substance abuse. These folks are used to a hardscrabble life. Many have lost fathers, husbands and sons in mining accidents. There is a palatable sense of hopelessness and despair.

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•?Harlan is definitely in the Bible belt so there is no shortage of churches – over 500 in Harlan County – but most are very small – averaging 10-20 attenders on Sunday mornings. The churches are fragmented, isolated and seem to have little impact on their environment.

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•?We spent two mornings building relationships with folks at an adult daycare facility. There was a wide variety of people there including the physically / mentally disabled and the elderly. When first walking in it was pretty intimidating and overwhelming – but quickly we discovered that they were just people – lonely, hurting people in need of a kind touch, a listening ear and a warm smile. They ended up blessing us more than we blessed them!

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•?Afternoons were spent helping to rehab a local church. We did a lot of interior painting – the before and after photos were dramatic! Bob and Phil constructed new exterior stairs to the second floor doorway – those stairs will be standing even after the building collapses!

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•?We took time to read God’s word. We prayed together. We had awesome times of sharing during our team debriefing meetings. We sensed God’s presence and his working in and through us.

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I’m sorry you missed it – it was a fantastic trip. In 2010 we are hoping to schedule at least one, if not two, adult mission trips. Such experiences are life-changing. I hope and pray you will join us next year!

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Thanks so much for praying for us. Plan to join us this Sunday, October 25 as we share a few of our stories in our worship services.

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Peace,
?Dave

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