The Athens, Ohio mission trip team is just days away now from our week of service at Good Works Inc. in the rural Appalachian foothills.
We’ll gather next Sunday at the Huntersville campus for the 9:30 service, then pile in and off we GO. Up I-77 into West Virginia, a left on US-33, and on to southeast Ohio.
We are eight adults and six kids who’ve been looking forward to this for months now. From our first meeting in March at the home of our team leaders, T.J. and Bethany Haycox, we’ve been praying for the people we’ll meet at Good Works and for each other.
Good Works provides biblical care for the poor through a homeless shelter, a long-term residential care community and other ministries. Please visit www.good-works.net for more information and photos. And check back here for updates all week. We’ll be doing a lot.
Not “to do something for Jesus.” But because of what Jesus has already done for us.
Because of His grace, we’re free to look away from ourselves, and instead look up to God and out to our neighbor in service.
Jesus said it clearly: Love your neighbor as yourself. With special service and attention for the poor – no matter where they may be. In John 20:21, Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” We go to serve others, as Jesus serves us. We go to model His love to the world.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another region of the country that fared worse during the Great Recession than Appalachian Ohio. Even before the downturn, in 2005 an estimated 31.5 percent of Athens County’s population was living below the poverty line as jobs in manufacturing and coal mining have all but disappeared.
It’s a proud corner of America with hurting families desperate for hope. Men and women out of work and at their wits’ end. Children sad and confused. They need to see and hear the gospel. They need someone to love them like Jesus.
The harvest – the need – is plentiful in Athens. But as Jesus says in Matthew 9:37-38, the laborers are few. Missions are about sending out workers into the harvest.
God sent us a Person and a Book (which testifies to that Person) in order to gather to Himself a people for his glory. In these days, He sends goers near and far.
He’s sending us to Athens.
Pray for us please and we’ll holler when we get there.
- Jeff Nichols
P.S. Help send more workers into the harvest. Please prayerfully consider a contribution to the LFC “Many Hands, Many Feet” campaign. Thank you.