September 27, 2010

Late this summer I had the opportunity to join 49 other members from Springhill Baptist Church on a mission trip to Gary, West Virginia. We completed home improvements and led a Vacation Bible school. We were blessed to have many skilled craftsmen with us to lead the 6 construction teams which served 6 families. Our work ranged from painting, laying flooring, and patching holes in walls to adding/completing additions including roofing, insulation, sheetrock, electrical, and siding.

Gary was once a thriving, prosperous coal mining area. Today it is an area of great poverty and need. One of the homes we worked on had 2 bedrooms and was shared by up to 14 people at any one time, mostly grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of the owners. Of all the needs that I saw, it seemed that the greatest need is hope. I believe that through the time we gave, the work we did, and the Word we shared with them we were able to spread hope in Gary. They saw that not only do we care for them but more importantly God cares for them.

In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus tells us that we are to serve the downtrodden, those who cannot repay us, and we will be blessed. It was truly a humbling experience, and a time of blessing to serve these people in need. It is a great experience to see God’s faithfulness to His Word as He blesses us as we bless others. I am grateful that I work for a company that recognizes the value of this and allows us the opportunity to serve others.

Chris McKinney
Jacksonville, FL