Fourteen individuals met in Manchester, Ky., on July 24, 2022, for the first mission trip hosted by AdventHealth Manchester since COVID. Team members hailed from Spring Meadows Church in Sanford, Fla., north Georgia, and North Carolina, and included five who were not Adventists. The goal was to work with the Healthy Home project addressing needed improvement to home environments, resulting in better patient outcomes.
David Watson, AdventHealth director of plant services (also Clay County 911 director), had arranged two projects for the group. Work progressed on the first project for three days with increasingly torrential rain impeding scheduled work. On Wednesday night, eastern Kentucky experienced catastrophic flooding. Thursday found Watson and his team rescuing homeowners, and clearing the roadways of trees and other obstacles to get to homes devastated by flood waters.
That evening the group said a special prayer for Watson as he prepared to resume work to help flood victims. He may not have known everyone impacted, but the loss of life and property was personal — family and friends were suffering, and he needed to do all he could to help them.
In spite of the challenges, the team made significant repairs to an old mobile home for a widow who was so pleased with the results, she asked for help for neighbors. They also built a wheelchair access ramp for an elderly couple with health issues.
During the week, some team members worked closely with Tom Kyser, Manchester Church pastor, doing Vacation Bible School (VBS). Spring Meadows Church members and team members provided school supplies for VBS attendees and neighboring children.
Afternoons found team members organizing furniture in the new church school location, painting interior walls, pressure washing exterior walls, dismantling a fence, and weeding the school’s playground area.
After working together for a week, a unified team departed for their respective homes with the struggles of Manchester’s people and the devastation indelibly etched in their minds. The team is praising God for taking them all safely to and from Manchester; and, although the mission trip is over, Manchester and its environs are never far from their thoughts. They hope to help them rebuild.
Carolina | November 2022