On Saturday, March 9th 2019, the Faithworks’ SALT Kentucky team left bright and early for Harlan, Kentucky. We were blessed with safe travels and ease crossing the border. We arrived at our destination around 7pm and were met by our coordinators and hosts, Pete and Stephanie.
We settled in, explored our home for the week and attended an orientation meeting with the staff and other participants. We ended our day in worship, and headed off to bed, excited to the week to come.
On Sunday morning, we attended Harlan Baptist Church and were treated to a potluck lunch following the service. This was a wonderful opportunity to socialize with the congregation. After lunch, we explored Harlan, visiting a look out point and continuing to get to know each other as a team. We had the opportunity to visit some wild horses and a waterfall as well, all while enjoying warm, sunny weather.
Monday morning it was off to work! We were divided among 4 worksites. Our jobs for the week included working on decks, porches, and staircases, constructing bunk beds for a shelter, demolition, removing nails from donated wood, installing doorways and most importantly, building relationships with the locals.
We were kept busy throughout the week and ended each day at Dairy Queen as a group. We were blessed with fantastic weather; much different than the cold Canadian weather we had left behind.
On Wednesday morning we spent some time at camp helping them prepare the grounds for the summer season. This included trail cleanup, raking leaves, cutting firewood, framing a mudroom, and painting a new welcome sign.
In the afternoon, we headed to Lynch, were we had a walking tour of Portal 31, an inactive coal mine. We ended the day in Kingdom Come Park. Here we explored a large amphitheater carved into stone, found a waterfall, and the boys spent time throwing rocks. We also had an encounter with a cottontail snake and participated in some group yoga! That evening we enjoyed a picnic dinner while watching the sun set over the hills of Kentucky.
Thursday and Friday were regular work days, and all groups were able to complete their work projects for the week. We ended the week with a reflective session hosted by the SWAP coordinators. We spent the evening sharing our highs and lows of the week and ended the night in a couple hours of worship. What a blessing to be able to sing praises to our Heavenly Father after such a great week!
On Saturday, 4:30 am came real early, and after cleaning the grounds we left for home. We made good time and were blessed with safety and good driving conditions. We were very thankful that we were able to cross the border back in into Canada without any trouble and were re-united with our families.
* Written by a partcipant