As the groups come in, the employees and long-term volunteers at Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) receive the blessing of renewal. It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of these people who have given of their time and talents for a week to help those in need. They work with CAP crew leaders on houses that need repair that is beyond the ability of the homeowner.

Each day they go out excited to help and come back tired but uplifted. Uplifted by the spirit of those they are helping, uplifted by the Spirit of the Lord as they do God’s will and uplifted by the knowledge that they are helping those in need. But some also come back conflicted. The kind and generous spirits of those they help contrast sharply with their circumstances and make them question their own faith in their lives.

Would they have the same faith if they were living here under these conditions? It takes a humble heart to understand what is here and respond with words and actions that encourage those in need. Mission trips change hearts when the poverty we fight is overseas, in another country and not in our own backyard. Mission trips to Eastern Kentucky change the lives of those helped and change the lives those who are helping.