High School Youth Mission
Eight high school youth, a young adult and two adult mission co-leaders arrived in Hurley, Virginia on July 16, returning for the second summer to work a week with Hurley Community Development deep in southwest Virginia coal country. For over two decades, this non-profit has assisted impoverished members of the community with home repairs, improvements and light maintenance. In just a few days, our mission team repaired and sealed tin roofs, installed exterior steps, repaired kitchen plumbing, raked and leveled concrete, and added decking for homeowners unable to perform the work or afford any help.
We nourished our own community with daily Compline, with missioners taking turns leading, and competitive card games and conversations. More than that, we met, supported and loved the members of the community for who we worked, letting them know we cared about their comfort, safety and health, and engaging in a ministry of presence that transformed those served and missioners alike.
It was rewarding to all of us to help, but the growth of love and respect we felt for each other as we worked and played together was spiritually the most substantial part of our trip. Our team took a bit of R&R on the route home, overnighting at Claytor Lake State Park again, and this tremendous affection for each other manifested itself in a long and joyful night of puzzling out a 3-D jigsaw together by flash light. We can't wait to do it all again.