By Gordon Wesley
In 1994, an angel of God in the form of Bert Jones, a retired Air Force pilot, invited me on my first Appalachia Service Project (ASP) trip. During closing on our last day at the center that first year, I felt God’s presence telling me that this is what he wanted me to do. I came away from that trip with a new purpose. The following year, no longer burdened with first-year anxieties, I had an even better trip and found that I really enjoyed interacting with the high school youth on that trip.
My experiences those first two years on ASP led me to become a sponsor with our junior and senior high youth on a regular basis. It has become a regular and important part of my life. I look forward to seeing our youth on Sunday evenings, in worship, and on youth trips. I find it so intriguing to watch them make the transformation from an older child into a young adult. It is something I have not experienced personally because I have no children of my own, but I get to watch it unfold over and over again, kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, though on a much longer timescale.