August 6, 2009

In July, my family and I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a life changing mission trip with our church, Washington Baptist, to Jonesville, VA. Twenty adults and seventeen teenagers and children were able to make the trip. Jonesville is a small, sleepy little town with approximately 700 residents. Jonesville is not an affluent part of Virginia, and some of the residents are in financial crisis after having been laid off from the coal mine that has closed down. Driving through this town will make you feel like you have stepped back into the 1960’s.

 The Washington Baptist group held Vacation Bible School at Jonesville First Baptist each morning for a week. After lunch each day we went to the Chestnut Grove Assisted Living Home to do crafts and sing. Each evening we hosted Cola Wars for the teenagers in the area. We were able to reach out to their community with Bible study, fellowship, and games. We also had seven men in our group who went out to repair homes in the community. Some of these houses would be better described as shacks in our vocabulary. It was really an eye-opener to see that people live in such poverty.

Before our departure we were able to leave behind items that had been collected in advance. We had collected two classrooms full of clothing, household items, books, videos, and canned & boxed food items to be given away to those in need. Thank you to all the Eastern associates who donated to this cause.

Vicki Coker
Greenville, SC