Appalachian Dream Center Hosts Alabama Church

By , March 6, 2002
It was a blessed day when thirty men and women arrived from the Fairview Church of God in Alabama. Breakfast was waiting on them and the fellowship was tremendous as time was spent thanking God for their safe journey. This group was particularly eager to get to work. Immediately following breakfast, the Fairview group loaded into vans and headed toward Madison, WV.
In Madison, the house to be worked on was that of a widow of the former pastor. They had served the Madison Church of God for many years with distinction and now the house was in need of much repair. This group of men and women went right to work removing the old roof and preparing for the new. Some of them started removing trees that would later be cut and used for firewood. Others were busy cleaning windows and doing yard work. It was a sad but beautiful sight. Sad that this widow had no one to turn to for help with routine maintenance work, yet beautiful to see strangers from another part of the country come and share their knowledge and skill to improve her life. What a blessing from God!

When they returned to the Appalachian Dream Center that evening, a few started painting our kitchen area while the other surveyed the next day’s project. This project involved the house of an eighty-two year old man and seventy-eight year old woman, married for all of their adult lives. Their thirty-one year old granddaughter and two great grandchildren had moved in to try and help take care of them. Their living conditions were appalling and the few that surveyed it came away in disbelief. When they returned to the Dream Center and explained what they had seen, everyone could hardly wait to get to the house so they could start to work.

This family was living with a dirt floor that became mud when it rained. Animals could walk into the house from the gaps between the walls and the floor. The first job was to give them a concrete floor. While some of them took on this task, others were fixing the holes in the roof that was rotting away. Others also noticed the hillside beside the house needed attention so the water would not run through the house. Before the day was done, the front stoop and door was also repaired.

Upon returning to the Dream Center after each day’s work, many had tears in their eyes because of the extreme poverty they had witnessed. Most people do not understand the pride, poverty and clannishness of mountain families. It will not allow them to leave their homes and property. About all that can be done is to change their environment around them to make living more bearable.

When the Fairview Church of God group was ready to go home, they had been touched by the people they came to help and touched by the hand of God as they helped others. Several wanted to schedule a return trip, while a few wanted to spend the summer at the Appalachian Dream Center. To say the least, the Fairview Church trip was a tremendous success and not soon to be forgotten.

Tim Burdashaw
Communications Coordinator

Anyone interested in donating finances or products or providing a corporate lead may contact:

Operation Compassion
David Lorency, President

114 Stuart Road, NE
Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312
423.728.3932 – Office
423.596.4200 – Fax

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