It was a great experience, and we had a great team. In fact, the center staff (four college students who run the Leslie County ASP Center all summer long) said that our group was the best they'd had all summer. What a great compliment to our churches and our awesome youth!
While we were at ASP, we interacted with other youth groups, did chores around the center, and (most importantly) worked on a house. We were working for a wonderful lady named Geraldine, whose monthly income wouldn't even pay my rent. While we were replacing the bathroom floor and installing siding among other things, we spent a lot of time talking to her and learning about her life. We also met some of her sons, and one of her grandsons (he became a favorite of ours). We learned that Miss Geraldine had been living on $250 a month for about 2 years, and that one of her sons died in an accident on the other side of the mountain last year. We also learned that her sister-in-law is a doctor in the community, and that she would love to see the ocean (we invited her to visit us).
We saw from talking to the family how much poverty there is in that region. Most peoples' homes are put together from whatever they can find, and in whatever fashion they can manage. Because of this, many of the home fall apart and often people cannot afford to repair them. But we were also amazed at the connection people have to their community there. Family and neighbors are very important to these people.
For me, the biggest blessing was getting to the know the youth better, and seeing how they reacted to the experience. For a shy person like me, it takes one on one time like this to really start learning about people, and I am totally in agreement with the center staff, that Christina, Marta and Frank are amazing. I am also incredibly thankful for having Deb and Terry to guide us through this experience. I still can't really drive a screw very well, but I can hammer as long as the nails are in the floor and not above my head.
God is truly doing awesoeme things in our community. :-)