Building Hope

Participants on the mission trip to Henderson Settlement

Last week, on the Appalachia mission trip, we worked at building.

All 36 of us (did I count right?) ages seven and up, mostly from FUMC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, formed teams and worked in different locations around Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky.

On our first day, we didn’t know it, but we were building hope.

The Henderson Settlement signWe found out that hope can be in short supply in Bell County, Kentucky: Over one-third of residents (36%) live in poverty. Of the 136 families on Henderson’s “helping” list, the average household income is $12,864. Hope desperately needed here.

So we built! Adding skirting and siding makes for a warmer, more pleasant looking house. When your home base transpires, you feel hope.

a crew of kids puts on skirtingThe team works at siding

We mucked the barn (a more agreeable home for goats and for goat-workers!) and dug a trench to help fix someone’s water problem. A little bit of hope, restored.

Mucking out the goat barnA crew digs a trench for a water line

Kids and adults, painting, posthole-digging, persevering in spite of setbacks… Working side by side…

Engaged in hope-building.

Painting & beadboard installation crewtrenching pair

Working in the greenhousea team works at building a corral

Spreading gravel, counting soup labels, transplanting seedlings, trenching…

God through his Holy Spirit, working among us, spreading hope.

Open quote mark And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.  Romans 5:5

And amazingly enough, in the midst of all of our work, we also had fun! Friendships flourished!

playing a board gamethe finale of the MYF Benediction?

Enjoy the slideshow below.

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Join us next year!

Photo credits:
Taken by members of the mission team and by Henderson Settlement staff. Used with permission.

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