A Life-Enhancing Experience

Submitted by bstephens on Fri, 06/17/2022

CAP is celebrating Father’s Day with a story about two fathers who came to volunteer with their sons in Appalachia.

A man living in Eastern Kentucky is taking care of his wife who is sick. She is in a wheelchair and has regular doctor appointments he drives her to but getting her to the car was a challenge. He had to carefully roll the chair down porch steps, then push her down a short gravel and dirt path through the yard to get to the car.  

On a typical rainy spring day in Eastern Kentucky, families from Frederick, Maryland, saw the challenge the husband faced as the mud covered their shoes, gloves, and pant legs while they worked to construct a new deck and ramp for the man and his wife. With this new addition, the wife would have safer and easier accessibility in and out of her home, with the ramp stretching across the small yard to the car. 

“Without works, faith is dead,” said Josh Greeves, a member of the group who came to volunteer with Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Home Repair Program. “I look forward to when we get to put our faith into action, and we get to take steps to help a community. People may be able to get help other ways, but it would probably take longer. We can come out right now and start doing the work and get things done.”

Before coming to CAP, Josh had learned woodworking from his grandfather and learned about building and working with tools with his dad, Matthew, who joined him for the trip to Appalachia. While this was Josh’s first trip to Appalachia, Matthew came to volunteer at CAP with his daughter in 2019 and enjoyed the experience. He looked forward to when he could come back to volunteer with his son.

“I like being able to work with my kid knowing that he is growing up and it won’t be that much longer that he will be hanging around dad,” Matthew said. “I’ve made it a point to love Jesus and to love people to the best of my ability. Coming here to CAP is just a really good way to be able to do that.”

On the same worksite, Demetrius Robinson had the same feeling getting to work along his son, Xavier, on the ramp and deck. He had come to CAP with his two older sons in the past.

“This is a real-life enhancing experience to help people that sometimes can’t help themselves,” Demetrius said. “My biggest takeaway is to remember to keep serving. You can’t judge people by where they live or how they live. Everybody needs help. We should be reaching out to each other all the time no matter where we are.”

Like Josh, Xavier has experience learning from and working with his dad on similar jobs. “We have worked near home a lot,” Xavier said. “Rather than me learning how to do stuff from him now, I see him teaching other people how to do the same things he taught me. These are very important skills to learn. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. You’re working and helping someone, but you’re also learning.”

Because of volunteers and mission groups, whether they be family, friends, or just like-minded people, CAP is able to serve and meet the needs of children, their families, and seniors in Appalachia. “Come, experience this,” Matthew said. “It will be the best week of your life just coming and spending time down here serving people, loving people, and receiving that love and appreciation back from them.”

Father's Day 2022 from Christian Appalachian Project on Vimeo.

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