Covenant United Methodist Church

Changing Lives with Jesus

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ASP 2013 Reflection - Claire Schneider

July 10, 2013

This was my second year going on ASP, and I was so excited. Ever since last year, I couldn’t wait to go to more places in Appalachia. But, when I found out we were going to Virginia, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed. I was stuck in my own little world, and (from the places that I had seen of Virginia) I couldn’t imagine where there was need or where ASP would be able to help. But, I pushed that thought away, and got more and more ready for the trip.

Our homeowners’ name was Mr. Dye, and he was an older gentleman, who was very private and quiet. He was basically trapped in his house without a safe exit. My group consisted of Greg and Glenn (the group leaders) and Jess, Mike, and I. Our project was essentially to build an addition onto the back of Mr. Dye’s house. When we got to his house on Monday, we were pretty shocked at the conditions. His house was on the side of a giant hill, and he didn’t have many close neighbors. The roof was leaky and in bad shape, the floor was unsteady in some places, and he also did not have a working bathroom. T was our project; to build an addition that would be turned into a bathroom. This was a shock for me because it really opened my eyes. I couldn’t understand how someone in Virginia (of all places) didn’t have a working bathroom. I realized that this whole time I had been looking, but not really seeing. I wasn’t seeing things clearly, I guess I had this fuzzy picture painted in my head of how things were, and God really opened my eyes and I saw the need. I saw all these families and people around me that ASP was going to help and that I was going to help, and it really touched my heart…and made me more sure than ever that we were going to work as hard as we could to get this addition done.

We encountered some difficulties on the site. Before we could rebuild the back portion of the house, we had to clean out everything that was in the room first. And, that room, was basically full of trash. Bags of household trash, kitchen trash, empty milk jugs, old mops and dirty clothes, everything. It was really hard to work in that room, because of the shape of the room (it was pretty long and narrow), and the environment, the smell…it was really hard in the beginning. But we pushed through with help from Greg and Glenn and soon we were laying in rim joists and the joists that the floor would be supported on, and doing all kinds of measuring and nailing. Jess and I are pros at putting in nails now! We had to figure out a way to jack up the back corner of the house because it was weight bearing, and we needed to safely slide the rim joists under it. That way the walls and roof could be nicely supported. It was a little challenging but, all in all, God helped us get through the week without any major problems, which was a blessing. It was nice to have another group from the center, but from a different church was working on the front of Mr. Dye’s house, building him a wheel-chair ramp/porch. That was fun because we could bond with another group, tell stories, and share tools.

Overall, this week was amazing. My group was wonderful, and we really bonded and completed a good portion of the addition. My “Radical Reversal” moment this week was when it all hit me, and I saw the need. I realized that yes, there is need around us at home, but there is also need in places you wouldn’t think, like Virginia. I now know that there are always going to be people I can help. That we can help, all around us. And that God wants us to understand that we should always be looking for people to serve and to help, and we should then help those people. Whether it’s just to bring a little love into someone’s life, or to go to Appalachia and fix some houses, it’s the right thing to do and it’s what God wants us to do. One week of service with ASP is great, it’s fantastic, but there are 51 other weeks in the year to serve God and others. And I definitely learned that this week and will carry it with me for the rest of my life. This week was just super awesome. Thanks.

~ Claire Schneider

Previous Callers

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