By Rev. Cathy Stone
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth.
Each summer our high school youth travel to Appalachia to serve through the Appalachia Service Project (ASP). This is the 38th year FUMC-Austin has sent one or more teams to ASP. ASP repairs homes for low-income families in rural areas of Central Appalachia. The goal is to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need, while offering transformational experiences for families, volunteers and staff.
This year we have 10 youth and 6 adults going to Knox County, Kentucky, serving with ASP June 16 – June 27. This group is preparing through regular team meetings, selling stock, learning and practicing building skills, decorating boxes to pack in, and prayer. This trip is funded through the generous giving of this congregation with the purchase of ASP Stock, as well as donations from friends and family of our youth. We appreciate any help you can give to support this transformative mission opportunity for our youth.
We also ask for your support through prayers. Please pray for safe travel; for loving, supportive, harmonious relationships among the members of the team; that we all remain healthy; for safety during construction activities; for warm and loving relationships with the families we meet; that each member of our team will grow in their relationship with Christ and their understanding of the world God loves; and that God will be glorified in every word and action during the trip.
ASP is important to me because I really enjoy helping people. We create a special bond with the families we help when we are in Kentucky. I also enjoy traveling with my friends at church, and I enjoy making little stops in fun places along the way to our destination.
ASP is the Methodist church to me. I was fortunate to go in my home church as a youth, at FUMC Austin as a youth sponsor, and now as a more mature adult member of the team. In that sense, it represents my Methodist life. It also represents the church in another way to me-people coming together to do God’s work together by bringing our gifts and graces to the table, finding the best in ourselves and each other. I am so excited to be part of this great undertaking again this year with our youth.