Category Archives: Appalachia17

Appalachia – Friday & Saturday – 3.30.18 & 3.31.18

Friday, March 30

We woke up bright and early and were ready to kick off our last day of working on the work sites. I was working on Mrs. Jennifer’s worksite and today we had to finish de-shangling the other side of the roof. We almost finished and the groups that come to Red bird next week will finish this job so that the Smiths can enjoy having a roof that does not leak. I feel so accomplished to have worked on a roof. This is something that was scary at first, but it was so much fun and a place where will be able to remember so many memories that took place. Even though it was raining, we still had a great day. We had the best leader, Donnie, and we are so sad to leave him. This week Jesus has been shown to us in so many different ways and we can not wait to come home and tell all of to our family members back at home. I was so glad I was to go on this trip.
– Lily King 10th grade

Tonight the entire camp joined together for worship and story telling time. It was very interesting to hear the other group’s stories and experiences throughout the week. Red Bird Missions has impacted so many lives, and not just of the people we helped, but also of the helpers. Personally, through listening to the different people’s stories I realized that you don’t know everyone’s full story. It was very cool to see how Red Bird has impacted so many helpers and campers. There was a short message near the end of worship and we all took communion. It was a great way to end Good Friday. I am so thankful for this opportunity to come to Red Bird Missions and help the community. We tend to forget that there is tremendous poverty in America. If I could describe this trip in one word it would be, eye opening. God has a plan for everything, and there was definitely a reason I was placed on this trip. I wouldn’t trade this week for anything. ~Chloe Collins 10th Grade

Today we finished up at our worksite finishing up with glueing the floor down and nailing the trim. Then we went to lunch at Stevie’s Place and came back to the camp. After we got back to camp some of us helped unload the work van while another group helped clean the bus. While helping unload the van I crushed my finger under 3 pieces of plywood and it turned blue but only for a few hours. At dinner we had pork and potatoes and they were pretty good – then we went up to the worship service at 7:30. During this service we sang and shared stories and observations that we had throughout the week. After that we had devotions and shared personal stories that we had throughout the week and it was a wonderful thing to listen to some people who were so humble. This week was an amazing experience and I would do the whole thing again in a heartbeat.
– Catie Sander 10th grade

Saturday, March 31

Today we finished our trip to Appalachia. We started our trip home by leaving at 4:30 AM. It was a little hard to get up that early for everyone, but it was worth it to get home earlier! Although we didn’t do much today, I had lots of time to reflect on my trip to Appalachia. The theme of this week for us was “unexpected light.” We had many unexpected lights shown to us this week. We have had the amazing opportunity to help out a family in need with everyone chipping in and getting to know a great leader with a great testimony. We got to unplug from all of the stress that life brings and got to experience God’s grace and blessings through ministry and fellowship with one another. This week was such an impactful and eye opening week that I for sure will never forget! -Mary Andrew 10th grade


Appalachia – Friday – 3.31.17

Our last day to serve in Appalachia and it was a great day!  Just a few words:

From Meg Vo:  Today is the last day to finish our projects for the work camp, it went wonderfully. Our off-campus team finished the ramp and the new floor for Baxter and Marilyn, they both looked fantastic and marvelous even though they were not completely perfect. To think about the whole process that we had been through for the whole week, it is actually pretty impressive that we managed to finish the projects without any much trouble. We had a lot of fun, and while we were putting the food back in the freezer where it was supposed to be, Evan decided to make a “train” passing through the food with Caitlyn was the last person to rearrange the food in the freezer. It was fine until Coach King started joking around and made us pass the food faster. It ended up with a huge pile of food on the floor and Caitlyn was really confused. After we finished with everything, Marilyn told us to wait for her cookies that were being baked – they were exceptionally delicious. One thing that made my heart really warm and fuzzy was how Baxter and Marilyn expressed their thankfulness by writing us a thank you poem to everyone on the team. It had been a long week and to be honest, my first Spring Term with NCCS, which I was not very eager to participate in the beginning, changed my perspective about America and opened my eyes with a whole new experience that I could never forget.

From Julia Phillips:  Today I sat on the floor of a room for hours doing nothing but laying tile and then glue, and then more tile, and then more glue. I was instructed to let the glue sit for about an hour before putting any tile down, which meant that I had quite a bit of down time to reflect on the day and even on the week. Coming into the week, we had a goal to renovate a space that would become a commercial kitchen. We worked really well as a team, finishing a majority of our project quicker than Red Bird anticipated. This was huge because it meant we were able to do a little more than what we originally thought. As a senior, you want all the “lasts” you experience to be a really big highlight. For me, this week was more than I really could have hoped it would be. I’ve learned a lot about myself this week. I’ve learned a lot about God’s faithfulness in every situation, and that He is always on time. I’m walking away from my last spring term, with new friendships, with a new perspective on what it means to serve others well, and with a hope for what my life after graduation looks like. And, I’m walking away with the memory of everyone sitting around a fire singing Good, Good Father, and then promptly playing duck, duck, goose, which was really great!

From Erica Milbourn:  Today I was tiling in a room all day. The only reason why it took so long was because we had to wait an hour after laying the glue before we laid the tile down. As I entered the week of spring term I was filled with a lot of doubt about being the only freshman on the Appalachia team. I didn’t really know anybody going into the week and because I am a freshman I’m not necessarily considered “cool.” Fortunately, by the end of the week I have made many friendships that I hope will develop into close relationships. My experience at Red Bird has also made my faith with God much stronger than it was before because I no longer have labels on what I and others are. My favorite memory of the trip has to be all the interesting facts I learned about Aunt Nellie (aka Ms. Speck). I am very blessed to be able to on this trip and I hope I get to go again.

All in all, this team serves well!  We were assigned tasks and we worked hard to meet our goals.  The off-campus team built a ramp (moving the existing stairs, cutting lumber, digging holes for the posts, and screwing everything together according to plan) and repaired a kitchen floor (cutting out rotting joists and replacing with new wood, nailing down plywood, and installing vinyl flooring).  The on-campus team prepped a room for a new commercial kitchen (tearing out concrete walls & cabinets, prying up old tile, repairing holes in the wall, painting, putting down new tile, putting in new ceiling tiles, and constant sweeping).  But the physical work was just a part of what God did on the Appalachia Spring Term trip.  The Gospel was shared, hurting people were prayed for, new friends were made, praise songs were sung, hearts were lifted, and people were loved – all to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I have been overwhelmed by this team. These students play hard and serve harder.  So many people in other groups commented as to how amazing our kids are – so polite and respectful, friendly, hard-working, fun – just a few words that others have specifically come to me to let me know they really noticed a difference in our kids. In other words, this team “Loved Out Loud”!!! Some are tired, some are sore, and some are ready to come home, but we all gave God the glory!

~ Cassie Carr, Appalachia Team Leader

Appalachia – Thursday – 3.30.17

Today was another fantastic day at Red Bird Mission!  We had beautiful weather and were able to accomplish quite a lot of our projects. In one of our devotions, we talked about being like-minded and this group is definitely united in our purpose – to “love out loud” by showing the love of Christ through word and deed. One such experience occurred with Chloe Go and Evan Ross speaking with a young man at Red Bird Mission who is here with a church group. What started as an everyday conversation turned into a gospel conversation. We don’t often think about the fact that God may have specifically placed Chloe and Evan on this team in this place by that fire pit to specifically speak to this young man, to share Christ with him. So pleased that they stepped out in faith and were prepared to speak truth in love. A seed has been planted and we ask that you join us in prayer for the harvest!

From Caitlin Hudson: Today we finished the ramp and we got the floors down. After finishing the ramp, I started talking to Baxter about four wheeling and his life. We talked about his kids and grandchildren, and how he learned how to cook and he taught Marilyn how to cook. He and Marilyn decided to make us food as a way of saying thanks for the work. So after finishing the ramp, we ate lunch on their porch and talked. It was a lot of fun just sitting on the porch, eating, making tons of jokes, and talking about Doritos commercials. I had an awesome conversation with Marilyn about her life and how she studied to be a nurse in Pennsylvania and she helped out in a hospital in West Africa. We also talked about her son who she adopted in West Africa – hearing her tell this story was so amazing. It was amazing seeing how God worked in that adoption. When we were finally done with lunch we cleaned up and got back to work. Right now, our main goal is to put railings on the ramp and tiles on the floor in the kitchen. We had a lot of leftover stuff from taking off the floors so we had to go to the “junkyard” to throw it all away. Well, Andy decided to take out Betsy the sledgehammer, and start destroying everything in that yard. We started with a door and then we started tearing up boxes. I had no idea how relieving demolishing wooden boxes could be, then we packed up and went back to the camp.

From Carter Guarino:  Today was probably the most fun day for me. We continued to reinstall ceiling tiles and paint. Chloe and I both got more paint on ourselves then we did the wall but that’s what happens when you’re committed. As the ceiling tiles were put in I came up with the idea to write our names up inside the ceiling. So a couple of us decided to write our names on duct tape and leave them up there for the next person to see. After we ran out of things to do we went and helped move things at the community store – from walkers to headboards to even a sink or two. Zach and I made a couple of supply runs with Coach Mike in an old truck we refer to as “the swagger wagon”. It isn’t much of a truck but it has lots of character. It barely makes it up the hills, the AC only works on the highest setting and the tailgate will come off if you step on it but besides that it’s perfect. The weather was beautiful today and the room for the kitchen is really coming along. We should finish up the tile and a couple other things but from the looks of it we should be finished up tomorrow.

It has been so fun to see this group bond, encourage, laugh, and learn this week – love this team!!!  And for the record, NEVER play “what are the odds” with Corrin Cadle!


Appalachia – Wednesday – 3.29.17

Every Wednesday, the staff at Red Bird Mission takes the day off – their only day off of the week – so all campers have a “Fun Day”.  A few of us got up a little earlier to take a tour of Red Bird Christian School where the motto is “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”. Training Christian Leaders with an excellent education is their focus and it was great to see this school thriving in this community. Our tour guide Tim was very interested in their students getting to one day go out into all the world to share the love of Christ like our students during Spring Term.  After the tour, the whole team boarded the shuttles and made our way to Cumberland Falls. God provided an amazing day full of sunshine and warm temps for our visit to this beautiful area. We hiked down to Eagle Falls – an appropriate place for a gaggle of NCCS Eagles to enjoy. Nothing like hiking with a group of teenagers to make this lady feel her age.  I do believe ibuprofen is in my near future 🙂  We had such a great time just being together.  We stopped for dinner and then stopped again for ice cream before driving the winding roads back to camp.  I thought for sure that the kids would want to hit the beds from exhaustion – I was wrong.  Lots of energy and laughing as a crazy game of spoons and Ninja occurred, followed by the discovery of a “giant lobster”  (aka crawfish) walking down the road.  One of the boys bravely put it back in the creek. We are all looking forward to getting back to serving tomorrow – we are determined to complete the tasks we have been assigned and to “Love Out Loud”.  Until tomorrow…..

Cassie Carr

Appalachia – Tuesday – 3.28.17

We woke to a rainy Tuesday morning, but this place is still beautiful!  After a pancake and bacon breakfast, we broke off into our 2 teams to continue on our projects. The on campus team painted and laid tile in a side room in the commercial kitchen.  Corrin Cadle and Eli Thomas served in “Commodities” – a ministry of giving out food boxes to local families.  The off campus team made great strides in building the ramp and repairing the kitchen floor for Marilyn and Baxter, an elderly local couple.  

From Samantha Collins:  Today I worked on the ramp. We got a lot of it done to the point where they can walk down it. We still have to put the bottom part of the ramp on and do some touch ups. Kendall and I were in charge of the water kiosk. This is where people around or in the community can come and get clean water and talk about how important it is to have clean water and how to keep the water clean. We learned that they have city water and well water. The story behind the well water is: women would come to the well to get drinking water, but they wouldn’t know what that water really has in it. There would be bacteria and bugs in it and they wouldn’t think anything of it and just drink it causing them to become sick. We were talking to Mr. Baxter’s wife and she was saying how the community had been affected by the pollution and bacteria and what she saw in the water. She said she saw people’s sewage or septic tanks being drained into the water stream near their house. She also saw people driving by throwing trash in it and just leaving it dirty. Not too long ago a group came by and they cleaned it all up and made it new again and made another way for their sewage to get to where it needed to be. What the kiosk does is basically filter the water and make it clean for them to drink. Luckily they had both well and city water so they didn’t really need it. Another cool thing was when Baxter came and brought me some mint tea that they made with the mint they grew in their backyard. The mint came from two different places; Pennsylvania and Ohio. He said his daughter brought him some so he planted it and it grew all across the huge field they have in their backyard. So when he wants to make some tea he just grabs some mint from the back. The one from a friend of his in Ohio sent him it in the mail. He said, “it wasn’t as good but it sure makes the yard look pretty.” Baxter and his family are such a sweet family and I’m so glad I got to meet them and help them.

From Eli Thomas:  Today, our group started painting the walls in the room we were working on, but Corrin and I were chosen to help out with commodities. We grabbed boxes and crates of prepared packages for older people that needed food and drinks. This went on from 8:45 till our break at 12:00 for lunch. Near the end of our donating, a girl named Alice came and told us her husband had a stroke and is experiencing amnesia and after that, was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She said that he has no memory of his own children, which is really heart breaking and hard to deal with. As a group, we all grabbed hands and prayed over her and believe that God has a great, big plan for her husband and family.

After we finished up work for the day, we enjoyed volleyball, basketball, and dominoes (crazier than you would think). We are headed to a time of devotions around the fire – if we can find dry wood – and then off to bed.  Looking forward to a fun day at Cumberland Falls tomorrow.


Appalachia – Monday – 3.27.17

What a fantastic first day of service!  One team went to an off-campus site to rebuild a kitchen floor and build a ramp for a local elderly couple.  The other team stayed on campus to begin preparations for a community commercial kitchen.  Let’s just say, we have some awesome servants!!! Our students are truly “loving out loud” as they hammer, saw, glue, chip, and sweep for the glory of God, but more importantly, getting to know and talk with the people that we are serving.  

From Chloe Go: Today, I got to meet Tara while I was packing boxes to give out to the community. She lives about 15 mins away from here and told me she was on a program here where she helped out this camp, and in return, they helped her. Prior to this, she was without a job for 3 years and was in a really rough spot in her life. I didn’t get her whole story but she just told me some things that had happened in her life and how she was living now. She has no transportation, no baby sitter for her 4 year old son, and on top of that she had to take care of her father most of the time. She also said that she can’t let her son out of the house by himself and that there always had to be someone at the house for fear of their neighbors. It was amazing to hear all of what she was going through and made me realize how blessed I am to be able to just walk out of my house without having to worry about my safety. I told her I would pray for her.  That really stood out for me today because it was a way to see into the lives of the local people who lived here and how different it is to my everyday life.

From Kendall Byrd: While I was working on building a ramp for this elderly couple, I began to start a conversation with the man. His name is Baxter. I asked him about his property and how pretty I thought the land was when he began talk about his profession. Since a large majority of the economy in the area is coal mining, I asked him if he worked for the coal mine. He told me he had never worked in the coal mine, rather he would consider himself a handyman doing odd jobs for the people in the area. He explained to me how he hated laziness and that he feels happiest when he is out being productive. Later he told me how he had a lease with the coal company for his house which was $10 a year for his piece of property. He uses his property to grow his own food for him and his wife. Later I began to reflect on the conversation that I had with Baxter and it helped me gain some perspective. There are many people out there who are willing to do anything to keep a living. So as a result they build up an incredible work ethic and drive that I truly admire, considering this man must be in his 70s and probably not as limber as he was when he was young. He still helped us out with our project and seemed to be full of life and energy. I believe that Baxter can be used as a symbol for us to replicate to become more like Jesus Christ, who had an amazing work ethic despite being one of the most hated individuals of his day.

After a great day of work, students still had enough energy to play basketball, volleyball, play cards and make new friends with other teams from Michigan. We have had a little bit of rain today, but from the laughter coming from the other room, no spirit has been dampened!!! Soon we will turn in for the night, looking forward to serving tomorrow (and Tuesday is ice cream night)  🙂


Appalachia – Sunday – 3.26.17

Our first day was spent in traveling to the great state of Kentucky.  We were expecting to drive in the rain all day, but God graciously provided a clear, dry day!  Such a blessing on the curvy mountain roads.  After a fast food dinner, a couple of wrong turns, and lots of singing in the girls shuttle, we arrived at Red Bird Mission in time for some ice breaker games (Ethan Masson made it all the way to the finals, cheered on by our team chanting “Ethan, Ethan”), a brief history of Red Bird Mission, and awesome worship in song and Word with the other groups serving this week.  We spent some time with just our group focusing on Philippians 2 and the attitude of a servant.  Currently I am listening to lots of laughter and some crazy card games.  Work begins tomorrow and we are so excited to “Love Out Loud” as we serve the community of Beverly, KY.

Cassie Carr
Appalachia Team Lead