Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mission Trip to America?

Creola's house was falling apart. The West Virginia mountainside was literally sliding into it. And her sewer line wasn't working. She needed help and graciously received it when Toledo First missionaries to America, Keith and Charlene Barr, intervened through the SWAP organization [which stands for Sharing With Appalachian People] that they are partnering with in the coal mining area of McDowell County.
Today, a strong retaining wall is holding the mountain back. A new bathroom and bedroom has been added. And thanks to Toledo First members Dave Case and Shawn Flack, who along with five others spent last week in West Virginia, Creola has sewer again. Though there is no Adventist church nearby, Creaola has started attending another one for the first time in years. Click here to see Shawn's pics on Facebook or scroll below to see a few more of my faves.
The SWAP House is a former coal baron's house from 1911. Keith and Charlene live here and host groups as large as 49 in this house that serve the Appalachian community year round. The concrete veranda and walls needed reinforcement as did the footer supporting the garage. Mindy kept us happily fed and Gail and Barb thoroughly spring cleaned this entire ginormous house on the inside while Larry fixed the fencing for the goats and prepared the veranda for more concrete. During some down time, the mayor of historic Bramwell—once home to 19 millionaire coal barons and their families—gave us a personal walking tour of the town and beautiful homes. Where I finally found a bumper sticker to add to the roof rack. I wanted one that said "West Virginia Mountain Momma" based on the line from the John Denver song Country Roads, but alas, had to settle for a simple WVA. Who wants to go next spring?

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