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820 Colonial Ave
Norfolk, VA, 23507
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2015 West Virginia Mission Trip

That's a Wrap!

Ashley King

Today our team departed from camp and made their way home!

We enjoyed a free day of fellowship and fun Wednesday canoeing the Cheat River and visiting Blackwater Falls. Over the 4 miles of river we jumped out at the chance for a swim break and many snuck water squirters in their boats to ambush other canoes.

Thursday was our last work day and it was wrapped up with satisfaction! All the teams completed the projects they set out working on Monday. Roofs were constructed and covered, decks were demolished, built and finished, rotten floors were demolished and re-built, sunken and unfit windows replaced and trimmed and so much more! Relationships were built and strengthened and the love of Christ shared. We grew thankful for not having cell coverage and a chance to connect through service and community.

Our trip ended with a fabulous community dinner where all of the FPC team, community members, Fisher Baptist Camp volunteers and World Vision staff came together to reflect on the week, hear each other’s stories and just do life together. And that's our challenge, our calling isn't it? To love Christ and love and live with one another genuinely, as brothers and sisters.

Love Your Neighbor

Ashley King

Love Your Neighbor

It’s our second day on our work sites and it feels like we’ve been here for weeks! We have completed projects at our homes and are trudging on in sweat and fatigue to accomplish the tasks set before us.

But today we were challenged by each other to not miss the people we are serving. To not let the business of work and our minds set on a goal to miss the chance at relationship with the people whom Jesus has sent us here to connect with.

Today I want to share with you personally, from my laptop to your screen. Yesterday and today I have been traveling to the 5 work sites to capture photographs of the trip, which may be the hardest job I have ever taken on with a mission trip. I can swing a hammer and enjoy working on projects, so missing that has been difficult.  But every morning, I spend my time with my team at our site and I have had the privilege of sharing a seat at Ms. Karen’s kitchen table where she has absolutely opened her home and her heart to myself and others. We have sat and talked about family, jobs, futures, sickness, health, hobbies, pets, men, church and God. She truly has become a loved one to me and through her the Lord has challenged me to see people as He sees them, through all the stuff, through any circumstances, simply as a beloved individual.

I can’t tell you enough how much of a blessing it has been to see our team of 37 and each of the individuals on it, working at their sites and ministering to the families who live there. We’ve made relationships that will last and continue to impact us as we move on from Weston. Alas, our work week is not complete. We are adventuring into canoes tomorrow to enjoy a beautiful free day and will wrap up with a hard push on Thursday at our sites. 

Exercise Your Faith

Ashley King

Welcome to work week in Weston! Today after breakfast and prayer, we broke into our 5 teams, met the families whose homes we are working on and followed them to their homes to begin work!

Our home projects are:

At Karen’s family home we are repairing and painting her tin roof, after trimming low hanging branches off of it, pulling out and replacing a broken window and attaching new fascia boards to hold new rain gutters. Karen is the sweetest, spunky lady you’ll meet. She opened her home, her fridge and her heart to us today.

Recently having to tear down her house, Diane and her husband are living in a very small home on their property until they can build a more permanent home. Today we already removed the old roof and installed a brand new one and began digging a trench that will house steps up the dangerously steep incline to their home. We’ll also start tackling painting the home’s exterior and hopefully building sturdy stairs to the second level of the property where the house lies.

At Connie’s home, where many of her grandchildren and their mother also live, we have begun sealing their leaky roof by rolling a coating over the entire surface (we had an entire family on the roof today!), fixed a leaky faucet, replacing their front door, adding porch railing, and demolishing an existing deck that is in disrepair.

Kelli is a single mom and her bathroom floor was on about to break through with one more step, so we began pulling it out and replacing it. The team already pulled plants that were against the home in order for the exterior of the home to be painted.

Meanwhile, VBS kicked off with a morning of VBS fun and then the kids took a tour of the work sites, bringing their team members snacks, water and praying for each family and home.

After working all day, we shared powerful stories of relationships blossoming and our hearts breaking for our sisters and brothers in more need than we could imagine. Our prayer is that the Lord knows them and is wrapping His mighty arms around them today, filling the needs that we cannot.

We had a short talk from Brenden, who works with a ministry that tours around the country speaking to youth about healthy relationships. But today he challenged us to consider the theme verse for our week, Micah 6:8- Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. Brendon spoke on all three points, but challenged us most to consider what it means to love mercy and how that reality would change our lives. How would our response to situations where someone deserves a certain punishment change as we love and show mercy? Challenge yourself to read and consider with us how the reality of loving mercy should change our actions.

And of course after all was said and done, one of our boy scouts built us a fire and we shared lots of s’mores. 

Greetings from Weston, West Virginia!

Ashley King

We made it! Today our team made their way from Norfolk to Weston, West Virginia. For some of our team it’s their first visit, and others a return home. This week our team will be taking on 4 service projects at community member’s homes and leading a vacation bible school at a local church.

After a little rest from the long, but beautiful drive, some nature exploring and moving into our cabins, we enjoyed fellowship over a delicious meal prepared by our hosts from Fisher Baptist Camp.

Our World Vision leaders, Chris and Ryan, natives from West Virginia, whose heart for this community has brought them into full-time mission work with World Vision, gave us an introduction to our week, our projects, World Vision’s community transformation model and most importantly the people of the community we will be serving.

So say a little prayer for our team to have energy, ambition and perseverance to make this short work week what the Lord intends it to be. 

West Virginia Mission Team Leaves This Sunday

Becky Lyle Pinkard

This Sunday, July 26th, our West Virginia Mission Trip team leaves for Weston, West Virginia. They will be working on a couple of home construction projects for people in the community, working alongside World Vision and facilitating a Vacation Bible School that will be open to the community. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for this journey.

Subscribe to our blog to follow their journey.