Greetings, Dear Mission Of Hope Friends;
We are so blessed to have Ginger Forbes and her Mission Of Hope Volunteer Team at Christ Covenant P.C.; here in Knoxville as Friends. They have once again this year been “A Beacon Of Hope”; for the folks they are so privileged to serve in a very rural Appalachian Community; of Southeast Kentucky. What joy and smiles they bring each time that they go…And they get the biggest blessing of all for being willing to go.
Please enjoy this Farragut, TN Press article; about their recent Mission Trip.
CCPC institutes ‘Hope Academy’
Kim Johnson, Correspondent – Thu, Jun, 30, 2011
Many local churches participate in Mission of Hope’s Christmas and Back to School drives, but Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church takes its service one step further.
CCPC members spent the week of June 6-10 in Kenvir, Ky., a small town in Harlan County, where they spent their mornings cleaning the local elementary school and their evenings teaching life skills classes to the community.
Ginger Forbes, CCPC’s Director of Children’s Ministry, said the church instituted its Hope Academy under the umbrella of Mission of Hope as a way to make their service to the people of Kenvir a year-round ministry.
“We were partnered with this school, Black Mountain Elementary, through Mission of Hope in 2000,” Forbes said.
“In 2007 we talked about some things we could do over the summertime. I met with the Parent Council at the school and asked them what types of activities they would like to have and they said, ‘We have lots of small churches in this community and we really don’t need another vacation Bible school.’ They said, ‘We need you to teach us. We need you to teach us basic life skills or things that would help us better ourselves,’” she added.
What began as a small project has grown in the last four years to a week-long mission and this year involved a team of more than 35 CCPC members and their families.
“We began very small the first year. We began with teaching some very basic classes, such as introduction to computers, basic finance, health and hygiene, budget cooking and those types of things and it was very well received in the community,” Forbes said.
This year, to help make the trip more family oriented, the group began cleaning the school, which helped incorporate younger children.
“During the day we arrive at the school at about 9 a.m. and we work until about 3 p.m. doing cleanup around the school. We clean desks and lockers and windows. We do all the things that the teachers do not have time to do,” Forbes said.
“It was geared toward things that were family oriented. We are trying to get more and more families involved in missions and coming outside of their own community and reaching out to other folks,” she added.
The life skills classes are offered to students sixth-grade and up, as well as adult community members. While the adults are taking classes, the younger children are kept busy as well.
“We have a children’s program and we offer crafts and games and Bible teaching during that time,” Forbes said.
“Also, for the second year we had the Tyler Duke Foundation Baseball Clinic,” she added.
Tyler Duke, a CCPC member who played baseball for Farragut High School, passed away two years ago at the age of 21. His parents, Stan and Lisa, set up the foundation in his name.
“Tyler was very involved in missions and his father, Stan Duke, came up in memory of his son and brought some helpers and worked with the kids on baseball skills,” Forbes said.
CCPC has forged a relationship with the Kenvir community that Forbes said has been very rewarding.
“Appalachian culture is not one that opens up to people very quickly. They are a very private and very proud people,” she said.
“They hear a lot in Appalachia of, ‘Oh I want to help you,’ and then people show up for a week and never come back, and that is where a lot of disappointment and reluctance to open up comes from.
“So we have gone back consistently three to four times a year over the last 10 years. We know the children; we have seen them grow up and we get to see the progress that has been made,” she added.
For more information on CCPC, visit www.christcov.org
Thanks for all each of you do…To help extend True Hope in rural Appalachia.
Emmette Thompson, Executive Director – Mission of Hope