First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg WV Mission Trip
Event Location: Raysal, West Virginia

19 students in grades 9-12 participated in the trip to West Virginia, along with 7 adult leaders. We stayed at Refuge Church in Raysal, WV. This church is known locally as the “hub” for providing food, clothing, baby items, and furniture to those in need in their community. We quickly realized that without cell service and wifi stability, people in Raysal stop by the church to see who is able to assist with their needs. We took down a lot of phone numbers and heard a lot of stories of heartbreak and destruction to their homes. One woman’s home was struck by lightning. She provides a home for her grandchild and daughter who live in a hollow at the bottom of the mountains surrounding Raysal.

We brought materials and tools to build or re-build 3 decks and ramps. This took up the bulk of our time. However, we also assisted with cleaning lawns, organizing a baby pantry, and stocking shelves. The town was generous to us and we saw people in some of the worst living conditions that we had ever seen this side of the ocean. Students interacted with homeowners, roaming dogs, and community children. They even allowed us to set up an evening of fun for families. Students danced with kids, played games and made tasty treats, like popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. At this event, the leader of Refuge Church was handing out boxes of cereal and items from their food pantry to local parents and grandparents.

We utilized the curriculum by splitting it into 9 sections for morning and evening reflections. Through the use of a drop cloth, we drew a person to document those unseen, those we refuse to see, how and where God sees us, and so much more. Students really understood the curriculum you provided. It blew us away. Students enjoyed reading scripture together and answering questions that moved their hearts to be sheep and know their shepherd’s voice. They prayed over each other and listened to each other. They walked away changed. Thank you for your financial support and incredible curriculum. (Also, the SWAG.)