A Presbytery of Geneva West Virginia Mission Team comprised of volunteers from Park Presbyterian Church in Newark, First Presbyterian Church of Geneva and Corning First Presbyterian Church recently traveled to Summersville, West Virginia.
Team members included Fritz Aude, of Geneva; Paul and Jeanne Salisbury, Karen Watson and Curt Richardson, of Newark; Derwin Nelson, Frank Hamm and Ken Baer, of Corning; and Dee Wickman, of Rochester. Sue Kirby, of First Presbyterian Church in Asheboro, North Carolina, joined the team in West Virginia. The team was housed in Summersville Presbyterian Church.
West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy Workcamps Inc. planned and coordinated the team’s work. Work can include home repair and reconstruction, deconstruction, playground restoration, parks cleanup, stream bank stabilization and vacation Bible schools. WVMAW is supported by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Synod of the Trinity, Presbytery of West Virginia, churches and individual donations.
The Presbytery of Geneva mission team is one of 40-80 volunteer groups coming from churches of various faith traditions as well as from colleges and universities. The cost for a weeklong mission experience is $250 per person.
The team’s mission work involved home repairs on two homes and installation of a deck and ramp. The homes are located near Birch River, West Virginia, where flooding occurred in June 2016. The team also installed drywall and painted two new showers at the host church in Summersville, West Virginia.
Trip coordinator Paul Salisbury said the two residents receiving the home improvements were unable to accomplish the needed work. Team members were rewarded with hugs of appreciation for their efforts.
WVMAW site supervisor Tim Stewart is responsible for reviewing applications. He conducts interviews and home visitations as part of the process to identify those most in need.
Salisbury said the work trip provides the opportunity for discipleship by partnering with those in need due to natural disasters or poverty in areas of West Virginia. He added the decrease in the demand for coal has caused coal mines to close, resulting in economic hardship for many West Virginia residents.
Presbytery of Geneva plans to return for another week of mission work in September.
For information, visit presbyteryofgeneva.org.