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Bethel Baptist Church Volunteers with Mountain Outreach


During the week of June 27 - July 1, several churches devoted time to building homes for underprivileged families. These volunteers consisted of adults and youth that bonded from numerous states throughout the country in order to help the construction ministry Mountain Outreach in Williamsburg, Ky. Bethel Baptist Church from Danville, IL, has been participating in these projects for half a decade and returns for another year of worship and ministry. The crew director of Bethel Baptist Church provides insight on the experience.

"You see the house at the beginning of the day, and you turn around when you start to leave and you see how much progress you've made," says the crew director as he glances over the almost finished home, "when you're just ministering to someone, you don't see so much of the physical results, and you don't know if it sticks."

The crew director says that the church has been building for five years and has constructed everything from the walls to the rafters of these homes. Presently, the house they are completing had only a floor and brick when they started, "There are only about three or four of us that actually have construction knowledge, the rest of us just ask what we can do and we have all gotten so much done," he says eagerly.

Although the group has had several building experiences the purpose has not faded. The crew director says the mission touches not only the volunteers in action, but church members back home as well, "They [volunteers] started out as a group of 10 and the next year we had more people, it got to where the people that couldn't come because of age or work would provide a donation." The crew director is hopeful of Mountain Outreach's purpose and the opportunity it provides for Christians, "This is one project that has been like a focal point that we gage other mission trips against. We wonder what else we can do; we hope God always has something for us to do."

The Mountain Outreach program started in 1982 when a local Cumberland student decided to show a friend through the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. The friend, who came from a middle-class family, was shocked to see the amount of poverty and lack of running water, electricity and sanitation. Deciding that something needed to be done the two students started helping others improve their living conditions, which formed what we know now as Mountain Outreach.