Appalachia Service Project 2015 – Washington County, VA

From June 28 – July 4, 2015, 18 volunteers from St. Luke Lutheran Church spent a week serving with Appalachia Service Project.  They traveled to Washington County, VA and did work to make 3 homes safer, warmer, and drier. This page is headquarters for updates throughout the trip and will remain as an archive of this important mission.


Saturday, June 27 – Packing Day

The ASP team and their families met at St. Luke for a cookout and packing of the vans. Heavy rains brought the cookout indoors, but the vans were packed and the team will be ready to go in the morning.

Sunday, June 28 – Travel Day

5:40am – Everyone met at St. Luke, said goodbyes, prayed together, and were on the road by 6am.

3:30pm – The teams arrived at Rhea Valley Elementary School in Meadowview, VA. Sleeping quarters were set up in the gym and the team met volunteers from other churches, including St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church from Perkasie, PA!

Monday, June 29 – The Work Begins

The three teams headed out to meet the people they will be serving and to begin work on their projects. All 3 teams reported a successful start to the week, including good experiences with both their work and their new friends. Team Belted Galloway finished the last corner of siding on the outside of their house, picking up where previous volunteers finished last week.

The St. Luke team enjoyed ice cream together Monday evening as they shared stories about their sites.

Tuesday, June 30

Another great day! Team Longhorn tiled two bedroom floors and primed the roof, which will receive covering on Wednesday. Team Belted Galloway all had a turn using the circular saw as they prepared the back of the house for siding. They also removed the framing from a tub that will be replaced with a larger shower that will be more accessible. They enjoyed sitting on the porch while having lunch with their family.

From Team Pineywoods: Pineywoods has made great progress over the past couple of days. On our first day, we met our family, a couple with three kids. Their trailer home needed repairing and painting in a new nursery and a new floor in the girls’ bedroom. The Pineywood People (a.k.a. Tommy, Natalie, Katharine, and Philip) have sang a capella nonstop at the work site, on the road,  and even while cleaning the showers. The experience has been eye-opening and enjoyable. Piney Woods has been a blessing for all of us. Whoever assigned us to this home was listening to God. The family is so comfortable with us there, as we are too. We are putting in a new floor and painting a nursery and kitchen wall and building relationships with God’s love.

The evening “culture night” program featured Ms. Debbie, the principal of Rhea Valley Elementary School, who delivered a deeply inspiring talk about Appalachia, “her kids” at the school, and the great good that she has seen done by ASP volunteers.

Wednesday, July 1

Another great day!  It began with rain again, but cleared up by the time we were ready to head out to our sites.

Banded Galloway sided the back of their house today. They also removed the old tub and framing for it. “Our family invited us to sit and have cantaloupe with them. What a lovely way to end the day — sitting with folks on their porch enjoying the late afternoon!”

Team Longhorn put SBS roofing material on half of the roof today. It has a VERY strong adhesive  backing and after the learning curve  it went down well. It is kind of like wrapping the roof in a waterproof membrane. They finished cutting the tile in one room and a 3/4 of a 2nd room. The children are getting much more comfortable with the team; it seems their favorite target to tease is Amani. Using donations from home, we were able to purchase an egress window for the children’s bedroom at the Team Longhorn home.
The evening gathering included participation in a prayer walk. It was a nice reflection time. Then it was of to try out the OTHER ice cream shop right near the Appalachian trail.

Several of our youth decided to sit in on the staff meeting, which gives them the chance to consider spending a full summer as an ASP staff member.

Thursday, July 2

Day 4 was a little wet but still productive! Team Longhorn worked on the roof until the rain started, then moved inside and finished the floor in the girls bedroom. They then started  replacing the drywall in the bathroom.

From Team Belted Galloway: the new shower tub and framing are done as is all of the plumbing! We worked on waterproofing between the siding and the eaves. We ended the day on the porch with our family enjoying some watermelon.

From Team Piney Woods: We finally saw our efforts turn into a floor! Katharine, Natalie, Tommy and Philip spent hours installing luan flooring on top of OSB flooring on top of stronger joists and braces to support the floor. That was 4 days of effort and the result is a nice flat floor that is ready for VCT floor tiles. We will do that job tomorrow, Friday our last workday. We have been truly blessed to spend this week with our family of 5 and they had so much fun at dinner tonight playing with us on the elementary school playground. We have spent great days with them in their trailer home singing, reading  and of course playing and I would add sharing God’s everlasting love.  Mr and Mrs Gilbert are so proud of our crews’ endless energy and all of our St Luke’s(18 in all on this trip). You cannot imagine just what an impact you will have as an ASP volunteer until you get down here and just do it. Your hands doing God’s good works.

The evening featured the ASP picnic, which included ASP staff members agreeing to hair cutting, pie throwing and hair dyeing as they celebrated fundraising success. The day ended with the St. Luke ASP tradition of liars dice!

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