I didn’t know that when I left for Appalachia in East Tennessee that I would be working with the same church that had literally saved my family. I don’t mean in the spiritual sense; I mean that they took us in when we had nothing. My dad’s company had gone bankrupt and our papers to live in this country had expired. We had no place to go and they helped us find a way. They gave my mom a job working at the church so that we could attend their school and also provided enough income to survive on what my mom and dad were both making. That first year we survived on $8,000 for a family of six and it was only because of this church. So needless to say it was a tearful reunion to see people who hadn’t seen me since I was a freshman in high school. That week I got to lead other high school students as we reached out to the poor, the weak, and the needy. It was a strange time warp getting to watch these high school students make hugh impacts in the lives of those who are just like me 15 years ago. It was an unnerving and heartbreaking drive into my old neighborhood to see those who have not been able to pick themselves up and need a hand. It was however, also incredibly hopeful to see Adventures in Missions do what is continues to do around the world – give real aid and hope to those who (just as I once did) need it the most.
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