We will serve in several communities in need around Bluefield college – in Virginia and West Virginia, working alongside churches from both states. Churches will have opportunities to connect to local ministries where they can invest year-round.
We will focus in the Route 1 corridor – an area of great need an potential for community development as part of a new redevelopment initiative the county has adopted.
The story of when the mission trip came home begins with a trip that fell through.
Impact Mission Camps partners with local associations and groups of churches to bring students to a locality where people need home repairs. We equip the youth to help ensure those homes are safe, warm, and dry.
While most of our churches and camps are in Virginia, students often want to go as far away from home as possible.
We had a group from far eastern Virginia register for a camp in Abingdon in the far southwest. This was a solid 6-hour trip, so the kids were pretty excited.
But fairly late in the game, the host school let us know they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. In the scramble to find a suitable host, we ended up moving camp all the way across the state: about 6 minutes from the church in eastern Virginia.
They had already planned their summer around participating during that particular week. None of the other weeks or locations would work with their church schedule. They faced a dilemma: go to camp in their hometown or do something different altogether.
Fortunately, this group chose to serve at home for that week. They were full participants: sleeping on air mattresses a few short miles from their own beds and working in their own community.
The kids grumbled a bit at first. As the week went on, they started talking more and more about how crazy it was that this need was so near their own homes, and they’d never noticed. At the end of the week, they all agreed they were glad they’d decided to serve so close to home. But they were also glad that the next year, they’d be able to go somewhere else.
A year later, that same group came back to camp. This time, they are about four hours from home. One of the kids from the group walked up to me and said, “Hey, Glenn, do you remember me?”
In the most polite way I could, I said something like, “I saw 1,000 people at Impact last summer – of course I don’t remember you.”
He said, “I’m Patrick!” as if that would clear up everything for me. When he saw my blank stare, he said, “You worked on my house last year!” The other kids from his church walked up, and one of them put his arm around the kid and explained everything to me.
These kids had worked on the home of a kid they went to school with. During camp that week, they had gotten to know him. And they made sure that Patrick knew they were there to have a relationship with him – not just work on his house.
Through this new relationship, they discovered how much he had to contribute to their group – and to their community. The next year, because they had invested in more than just his home, he was ready to go to camp and do the same for other people.
At the end of every week, invariably, someone asks
“How do we keep this excitement going year round?”
A lot of times, I’ll tell them that story.
Maybe your next mission experience needs to happen at home.
That group was able to see need where they had never noticed it. They were also able to see the people they served as, first and foremost, people. People who have as much to offer to their church as their church had to offer to them.
It’s usually much easier to see a need when we go away than it is when we are at home. This is why it isn’t really about keeping the excitement of the week.
It’s about keeping an open mind, open heart, and open eyes to see opportunities and see people. And to see the opportunities and the people at home, too.
Glenn Maddox is the Missions Mobilizer and Director of Impact Mission Camps for the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va (WVIR) – The group Impact Virginia is partnering with the Fluvanna County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to work on 11 different homes in the coming days. This project is bringing 200 teens from around the commonwealth to the county.
Coordinator for Impact Virginia, Glenn Maddox says the people they serve typically can’t make those repairs themselves because of physical disabilities or financial hardship. “Our goal when we go into an area is to identify people who are in need, and our goal is to ensure that people are safe, warm, and dry, so we find people who need a repair to their home.”
Groups will head out to the 11 sites at 8 a.m. Monday to begin work. They expect to be finished by Saturday.
POCAHONTAS, VA (WVVA) “It’s such a great opportunity. I love it, it’s one of my favorite things to do.
For Impact Virginia staffer Mikayla Clarke, volunteering and getting kids from all over Virginia to come along is the highlight of her summer.
“I feel like it just really opens up the kids eyes to what they have and what other people don’t have,” says Clarke. “It really just bonds them with Christ a little bit more and it’s just great to see that bond and them just actually enjoying that work. It doesn’t seem like work when you’re out here.”
Others who are working with Impact Virginia this year couldn’t agree more.
“Kind of just like an indescribable feeling,” says camper Hannah Royal. “You just feel so great for what you have just done, just there is no other feeling.”
The crews have been out here working in the hot summer sun all week long. And even though it’s hot the campers agree that the results are definitely worth it.
“It’s satisfying,” says camper Nathan Simpson. “You’re still of course tired but you can rest assured that the people have been helped.”
The crews traveled from all over Virginia to help those in the Tazewell County area. One of the homes the crews are working on belongs to cancer patient Viola Dudley. While she is getting treatment in North Carolina the crews have fixed her staircase and put a new roof on her house. Her nephew, Larry Dudley says it means the world.
“I think it’s very good,” says Dudley. “Like I said it’s a blessing but for them to do that on their time when they could be enjoying the summer. They’ve been in school for 3-4 months but then still they took the time out to come and what makes it so good is to fix somebody’s house they don’t even know and never met. But they’re doing it like it’s their house.”
STAUNTON [News Leader] – Terri Ellinger carefully navigated the foot-deep holes in her front yard as she handed two planks to one of the teens working on a wheelchair ramp Wednesday morning.
“Be very careful,” said Lee Warren, one of the coordinators for the project.
“I am, I really am,” Ellinger replied.
The Staunton woman has limited mobility and spends most of her time in an electric wheelchair. Not having a ramp to her trailer, she has been mostly trapped in her home, Warren said.
Thanks to Renewing Homes of Greater Augusta, Memorial Baptist Church in Staunton and Impact Virginia — a one-week construction mission undertaken by youths from Baptist churches all over the state — Ellinger will have a way to get in and out of her home by the end of the week.
Read the rest at NewsLeader.com.
By Jeff Say, Daily Progress
Diane and Richard Banks received a fourth wedding anniversary gift they’ll never forget.
Crews from Impact Virginia swarmed the Banks’ house putting a new roof and a new deck on the home just off Sperryville Pike in the town of Culpeper Tuesday.
“This is the best anniversary present I could have ever gotten,” Diane Banks said.
One of several projects taking place through the county sponsored by the Shiloh Baptist Association and the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, Impact Virginia is a program where youth, ages 14 through 18, perform needed construction projects under the supervision of a qualified contractor.
Karen Butcher, of Impact, was the assistant crew chief while her husband Paul directed the volunteers. She said all materials are bought by contributions provided by the more than 200 volunteers or is donated by local businesses.
Each volunteer pays $275 during the week-long mission trip. Butcher said there are 168 kids involved and, with adults, the number is around 220 people.
“It is our way of giving back,” Karen Butcher said. “We’ve all been so blessed. It’s so rewarding and it’s good for the kids. Our teenagers are learning to help others, to get involved with missions and to get involved with the community. They need to learn that and be taught that.”
Read more at DailyProgress.com.