Appalachia Service Project
Westminster sends teams twice a year to work in the area in and around Jonesville, Va., repairing needy families’ homes to make them warmer, safer and drier. This year, the spring trip will be during Guilford County Schools spring break, and will include an optional day of fellowship cycling the Virginia Creeper trail, followed by two days of service in flood-ravaged Ranielle, WV.This four-day “Alternative Spring Break” trip is perfect for families. The accessibility of ASP trips makes them a great first-time mission experience, and a meaningful service opportunity close to home.
2017 ASP Trips
This year’s Alternative Spring Break trip offers two highly rewarding experiences – biking the Virginia Creeper Trail and repairing homes in the town of Rainelle, WV. Together, they provide a close-to-home mission experience that is perfect for families, or for people with limited time.
The spring team will spend the first night in Abington, Va., then ride the Virginia Creeper Trail the next morning. The scenic 17-mile bike ride from Whitetop to Damascus, Va. is mainly downhill and appropriate for beginners.
The team will then drive three hours to Rainelle, WV, where a flood in the summer of 2016 destroyed 90 percent of homes in downtown and killed five people. Last fall, our longtime partner Appalachia Service Project launched the “Rebuilding Rainelle” project, working to rehab homes that could be saved and building new ones for families whose homes were ruined. While much progress has been made, the needs are still tremendous.
Westminster team members who served in Rainelle in October found the experience extremely moving, and were amazed by the seriousness of the devastation and the plight of the people there. For two days they worked side by side to rebuild the floor, install plumbing and a new shower and put in insulation, plus they also had the opportunity to learn about the community and the challenges in this already needy area.
“It is difficult to put into words the pure joy I felt,” Elizabeth Pearson said, reflecting on the experience. “This experience will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Dates: Intergenerational Alternative Spring Break Trip, April 8 or 9-11; fall trip, Oct. 5-7
Type of Work: Appalachia Service Project is a home repair ministry that builds relationships, faith and servanthood while working to make homes warmer, safer and drier. No special building skills are required. Participants must be at least 14 years old (parent or guardian must accompany minor.) The spring team will serve in Rainelle, WV, and the fall team will serve either in Rainelle or in Jonesville, Va. Learn more at www.asphome.org
Cost: Alternative Spring Break trip includes an optional first night of R&R and a ride on the Virginia Creeper Bike Trail. Total cost for the trip is $255. Westminster will subsidize $110 so the cost to each participant is $145. This covers most meals, lodging at a church, transportation, building supplies, bike rental and shuttle. For those not wishing to bike, the cost is $90. Participant cost for the fall trip is $90. Fundraising by working on Westminster’s Missions Celebration is required.
For Spring 2017 application, click here.
For Fall 2017 application, click here.