Appalachia Service Project
Mill Creek Parish has been recognized for participating in the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) for over 35 years.
This ministry sends teams of adult and youth (completed 9th grade) into Central Appalachia to make homes "warmer, safer and drier" for needy families.
ASP's vision is that substandard housing in this area will be eradicated and that everyone who comes into contact with this Christian ministry will be transformed. Teams are assigned a work
project, eat, sleep in the same group center, begin each day with devotions and end with an evening program so naturally are drawn closer together. Participants are involved in monthly meetings
starting in January and fundraising. For more information, contact the church office at 301-926-9024 and visit the ASP website athttp://www.asphome.org.
Read below to learn more about the light of God.
There has to be darkness
in order for light to shine: although it would have been best if this disaster had never occurred, people's best came out. When you looked on the streets there were strangers helping each other,
offering free food and water, comforting each other, and being there for each other. – Maria Bushby, ASP 2016
Mill Creek Parish ASP Team Aids Flood Relief in West Virginia
As the Mill Creek ASP team was making final preparations to head out to West Virginia in late June 2016, we received a call from Walter Crouch, the President/CEO of ASP. He called the day after
terrible flooding devastated large parts of West Virginia, placing 44 of the state’s 55 counties in a state of emergency. Walter was requesting that our team relocate to the heart of the
flooding in Greenbrier County, WV. The town of Rainelle was home to an ASP summer center that had been flooded with water, mud, and debris.
Each day, we drove 45 minutes from a neighboring ASP center, through the National Guard checkpoint, and past devastation beyond anything we had ever seen. The streets were lined with the
contents of stores, churches, and people’s homes – everything waiting to be hauled away.
In order for ASP to continue serving the community for the rest of the summer, our first task was to muck out and bleach the center and outdoor showers to make it safe to house volunteers the
following week. Youth and adult alike immediately jumped to work Monday morning, wading through mud, digging trenches, and salvaging ASP materials and equipment. Lots of squeegeeing,
sweeping, and bleach later, the center was back in working order, ready for fresh volunteers to come in the following week and resume ASP home repair projects.
Also throughout the week, crews took turns providing emergency assistance to flood victims. Equipped with water, Gatorade, and sandwiches, Mill Creek members provided “hospitality” through
listening ears, open hearts, and hugs to people in the community. We helped clean out damaged homes by moving appliances and destroyed possessions to the curb for pick up, but more importantly
showed flood victims the love of Christ.
This was not what one would call the “typical ASP experience.” While a few roofs were closed in and some repairs were made to the center, the majority of our work was not home repair.
Instead, we comforted people, shared sandwiches, and cleaned up a lot of mud. And this was exactly where we were meant to be. This week of service was more rewarding and moving than could
ever have been anticipated. God sent us to Rainelle, WV to be His hands, to renew our faith, and to show love to those who needed it most. – Lindsay Luhn, ASP