Soon after graduating high school from a small town near Savannah Georgia, I went on my first mission trip. The group and I served in Nassau, Bahamas for a week with an organization I had never heard of called, Next Step Ministries. From the first few moments of that trip I knew I wanted to sign up for a summer internship.

The next summer I ended up in Rosedale, West Virginia, where I served on staff for three months. Although it didn’t sink in immediately, I eventually realized how special this place was to me. After spending a semester in Swaziland, Africa, I was brought back to West Virginia and have been here ever since.

I lived in Rosedale full-time for two years. During those two years I experienced community in a beautiful way. Through huge victories in seeing close friends come to know Christ, and through little things like those friends pulling me out of the snow on many occasions, I was loved so well.

In the summer of 2016 a flood hit West Virginia, and one of the most affected places was within an hour of Rosedale. While friends, neighbors, and staff continued the work efforts in Rosedale for the summer, I focused on the flood relief and the effort to work alongside the people of Clendenin. After a few weeks of this, I realized the opportunity and need was great on a more long-term basis.

October of 2016 I moved from Rosedale to Charleston, West Virginia. While I miss seeing my Rosedale friends often, I am thankful for neighbors that are continuing to love neighbors there. For the next year my focus is on the flood relief, and whether it is in the capital city, or in a holler down the road, I’m thankful, as always, to serve in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.

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