Hey ya’ll. I’ve had a lot more going on that I have ever anticipated. I’m a school bus driver and been on a summer route a bit, but more than anything else, my wife and I were planning a mission trip to Kentucky to deliver food and supplies to families that lost the only viable income from coal companies pulling out of the hills.
I’m back from there now and the ministry I work in has me mowing lawns for folks who can’t for one reason or another. Mostly elderly and single mothers who can’t afford to pay some else to do it for them. I also mow the church lawn, which is about three acres. And then there is my own yard as well that I have to mow as well.
This post is written to summarize the trip to Kentucky, though.
We left for Kentucky on Sunday morning, July 7th. We arrived there late in the day, just before dark. We set up our living quarters in the church and pastor’s home for the week. There were 34 of us from my church. Kingdom Culture Church from Richlands, NC is a very God centered church with the motivation to help people see Christ in this earth.
Monday morning we sorted the huge trailer load of clothes, canned goods, toiletries, shoes and such. A group of us struck out for Lexington in three trucks, including myself to buy food such as pinto beans, rice and such other things. We spent the majority of the day there and came back with over $3000 worth of goods.
That evening, I came into the church and laid down briefly, but God kept spurring me to get up and do what was needed for the evening after dinner. So before dinner I found some help and we started putting about two to three pounds of beans in freezer bags from the 50 pound bags, so we could distribute portions to each person, family or group equal amounts. Others saw what we were doing and started doing the same with the rice. We had 18 to 20 50 pound bags of each to divvy up. We got everything bagged and organized to go out the next morning.
Tuesday morning we load up with hygiene items in bags, can goods bagged up and the dry beans and rice. We load up in our five trucks and vans with all 34 of our people and start out. Our pastor said for those of us who are inclined to do so to perform security measures for the rest of the crowd, so I’m a CCW holder. There were about five us armed. The areas we go to are full of drugs, drug dealers and even drug lords live in the area.
The second stop we got out and had about four or five ram-shackled mobile homes. Only one actually looked livable. Still, as I stood in front of the deck while the rest delivered food, I noticed a nice healthy marijuana plant growing right in front of me that was about chest high. On the way back to the trucks a group of women found a woman strung out on drugs in an old shack. They tried to trade food for her loaded syringes, but she was not giving up her drugs. It was so sad.
I’m summarizing, so not everything I saw is written here. But one other place we stopped was a house with nine children being taken care of by one woman, who had taken them in because their parents were on drugs. In her side yard was a van with tarps on sticks off the side of it where a woman and her son were living in. Neither place had power or running water. This was the case with many places we stopped.
We had to bring our own water in bottles and jugs, since the water in the area is contaminated with coal particles that has seeped into their water supply. Over time drinking it would make one sick and if bathed in over time would turn your skin blue. Most every creek and river we saw ran so muddy it was not clear any where I looked except down the hill behind the church and still it wasn’t totally clear.
We had church services on Wednesday night and Thursday night at another church where a young girl in a wheel chair rose up and walked for the first time in over a year from a disease that had taken away her ability to walk.
We visited an area by a river where homeless were living. We fed them, cut hair and rendered first aid to one who had been assaulted the evening before. There was so much there that I don’t have time to write it all down. I’ve already cried while writing this over the pictures I’m going to put with this post.
We also visited a homeless shelter for adults, boys and another a home for girls. In all it was a very busy week. I wish I could write it all down here, but I am getting emotional about it. I know I’m going back again. This time with my wife, who was unable to go because her daughter in law was having her baby that week.
Saturday morning we left very early and I got home before one in the afternoon. I was glad to get home, yet my heart aches for those we left there is those hills of Kentucky.