Barnes Mountain, KY, has found a home in the hearts of ten young men and women (and their adult chaperones) from the West Mission Area. Our week on the mountain began on June 12 as youth from St. Michael’s in-the-Hills, Toledo and St. Timothy’s, Perrysburg joined hands in a prayer circle, seeking God’s protection for safe travel and effective service among the people of Appalachia.
Building on a six-year relationship with St. Timothy’s Mission Center, a ministry of the Diocese of Lexington, missioners rapidly engaged in a week filled with diverse opportunities - installing underpinning and pipe insulation beneath Miss Nellie’s mountain home, building two caskets for mountain families, repairing and painting mission center playground fences, offering a day camp for mountain children, and replacing floors in a previously-abandoned manufactured home being “recycled” for residential use. There was also group worship, reflection, a morning exulting in God’s creativity at Natural Bridge State Park, and the requisite splash in nearby Cathedral Domain’s pool.
So what exactly does one get when she combines power tools, young teens, cooking in teams, and a new culture?
Here are some insights gleaned from missioner journals:
Being educated doesn’t mean that you’re smart – and lack of education doesn’t mean that you’re not!
I saw Jesus through the people on the mountain. I saw him in their optimism, friendliness and their ability to make something out of nothing.
I’ve learned to not judge people based on the number in their bank account, but by their love.
I take home the understanding that not all stereotypes are true.
I relearned the basics of my faith and rediscovered in part, why I am Episcopalian.
I saw Jesus in the independent spirit of the people of the mountain, the community bonds that held them together, the ability of each member of this team to pick up the slack of another, the kind nature of Father Bryant [mission center director], the peaceful awakening of the mountain.
Once again, we thank the Bishop’s Annual Appeal and our diocesan family for their support of the summer mission through youth mission trip grants. To access a brief video about the mission trip, go to https://youtu.be/rAbCoAGJf_s or visit sttimsky.org for more information on St. Timothy’s Mission Center on Barnes Mountain.