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Cumberlands student spends summer vacations working with Mountain Outreach and strengthening her relationship with Christ


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.- It’s the middle of summer vacation for University of the Cumberlands’ senior Ranessa Warwick. Instead of taking it easy before the start of her final semester, she is volunteering her time to work with Mountain Outreach. With the temperatures and humidity at constant highs, it is not always an easy commitment, but after a four-year relationship with the program, Warwick keeps coming back for more.

“I enjoy everything that is involved with Mountain Outreach, even getting up every morning at 7 a.m. during our 10-week summer program,” she said.

The summer construction ministry is just part of her involvement with Mountain Outreach.

“I have participated in Mountain Outreach every semester except one,” said Warwick. “Big projects are held on Saturdays [throughout the semester].”

The projects may include building a wheelchair ramp, building a deck or replacing shingles on a roof.

“Before Mountain Outreach, I had a little bit of construction experience,” she said. “I learn something new everyday. To learn something and then apply it towards God’s will is an amazing blessing.”

Warwick’s dedication to the program brings her the opportunity to obtain more than hands-on knowledge.

“I have learned to rely on God for everything, whether it is picking up trash or putting a roof on in 90 degree weather,” said Warwick. “Mountain Outreach has really helped me know the Lord’s love through patience and flexibility.”

Since her start with the program, Warwick’s time with Mountain Outreach continues to be a joyful experience.

“It brings me complete joy when I see [new student workers] swinging a hammer or getting on a roof for the first time and they never thought they could have done it,” she said. She recommends the program to people “interested in being completely in God’s will and who want to learn something new everyday.”

While she is unsure of what her involvement with Mountain Outreach will be after graduating this fall, Warwick is confident that she will continue using what she has learned from the program.

“I have complete and total faith that God will place me where I am needed the most,” she said.

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Ky., is a private liberal arts college in its 118th year of operation. Cumberland offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, nontraditional programs for busy adults.