Appalachia Service Project Links
ASP has a tradition called “The Warm & Fuzzies Wall.” Volunteers decorate a brown paper bag with their name on it. Through the week, everyone is encouraged to write down notes of affirmation and encouragement and place them in the bags. I decided that my handwriting is too sloppy for handwritten notes. More importantly, I wanted to share these affirmations not just in person, but with everyone. I want the whole world to know what an incredible group God brought together to make this week an amazing blessing and a wild success! What is written below is what I shared in person with each team member after our final day of service in Hinton, WV.
Katharine: your enthusiasm and courage to do ASP last year and then bring the idea to St. Luke and convince us to take this trip is the reason why we are here today. You were also very helpful in giving us all an idea of what to expect along the way.
Gillian: along with Katharine, you showed that “girl power” isn’t just a slogan or a novelty. It’s simply who you are and what you do: jumping gladly into the middle of whatever job needs done and doing it well.
Sam: in addition to being a great member of the team, you did something very special: you became a real friend to the boy living at your work site. That will have an impact that lasts just as long as the repairs done to his house.
Jamie: every time I looked, you were busy working. Every time I heard you say something, it was funny and made your team stronger. Every time we played liar’s dice, you were the best player at the table.
Dave: what a fantastic balance of focus and humor you brought to both the work site and to our trip. Always on task, but always with a smile (or smirk) to go with your sly sense of humor.
Gary: you led your team both by example and by equipping. The next step in the project was always clear, even when it meant crawling under the house in the mud to make a plan. Every time a task came up, equipping a youth team member was a priority.
Elizabeth: you were at the center of the relationship-building that happened with the family your team worked with. We know them better and care for them more because of the conversations you initiated.
John: just like at St. Luke, you were quick to step in wherever there was something to do: for both of our teams, for other teams, and as the barbecue grill master for half of Hinton, WV. You brought a smile and a connection to every person we encountered along the way: the volunteers, the families, the ASP staff. Even the guy at the landfill.
Steve: your focus on excellent work at the house coupled with fun and bumpy free-for-alls in the van made for a memorable, satisfying and successful week for Team Nutty Banana. You always put in the extra effort and also helped your team faithfully reflect on their experience.
Amani: in addition to working on your team’s house, you also did a great job of taking care of a little boy who was hard to keep up with. Sharing your iPhone with him to play games made a huge difference.
Kim: your compassion for the family you met in Hinton is deep and very real. It was evident through both your concerns and frustrations as well as the ways you responded personally as you really connected to them over the course of the week. Your work leading up to this week was fantastic and your investment in both the youth of St. Luke and the people of Appalachia has been show both by your words and your actions.
Miranda: every time I saw you on the work site, you were hard at work. You were focused on doing a good job and now there’s a little girl who has a beautiful new bedroom.
Mason: you showed great leadership during the week. This was most obvious when you volunteered to lead the dinner prayer for the entire group and when you started recruiting everyone to come back next year for more ASP.
Natalie: you were dedicated and creative in getting the job the done: from digging a trench to painting to cleaning up the tools. You were always there when needed and ready to help.
Michael: I can’t imagine how many times you heard your name yelled by a certain little boy that never ran out of energy and always wanted all of yours, too. You were also the greatest partner in leading songs for evening gathering and morning devotions. How happy was I to play music together? As happy as someone who just saved a lot of money by switching to GEICO!
Robby: this trip happened because of your hard work. Every detail came together just as it needed to. You have challenged St. Luke to embrace traditions of service that will equip young disciples to become people that know how to serve. We have found a good one in ASP!