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07-04-2011


Mountain Outreach Summer Program in Full Swing

 


Members of the 2011 summer Mountain Outreach team help build houses for the people of Appalachia. Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.

Williamsburg, Ky. Every year since 1982, when the program was first established, student volunteers from University of the Cumberlands (UC), with the help of local churches, lend their services for the summer to the Mountain Outreach (MO) program. The program is designed to help the Appalachia community by building homes and making repairs to homes for those in need.

The selection process for the MO summer team is open to all students who want to apply.

“Students’ are asked to pray about the position and seek God’s leadership for their lives,” said Mountain Outreach Director Marc Hensley. “At the same time I am praying for God to assemble His team.”

Applications are released for the summer team after spring break so that as many students that desire can apply. Once all the applications are in, the students are interviewed for the positions. During the interview process applicants are informed about expectations including Christian values and character, and are given an accurate picture of the stresses and strains both physical and emotional of the summer program.

“I hope I did not choose anyone and that God chose them; I am but a man that relies upon the grace and will of God and I strive daily to follow His leadership for my personal life as well as for the Mountain Outreach Program,” exclaimed Hensley.

One student volunteer said, “Mountain Outreach demonstrates the love of Christ to the community. It allows students to live out the mission of the college.”

The student volunteers taking part in the program this summer are:

Danielle Keith (Morrow, OH), Cory Fleenor (Williamsburg, KY), Nathaniel Whitaker (Salyersville, KY), Stephanie Florence (Paris, KY), Ashleigh Collard (Shepherdsville, KY), Jeremy Heming (Bowling Green, KY), Jonathan Bowman (Williamsburg, KY), Amy Roberts (Winchester, KY), Nicholas Irvin (London, KY), Riley Perkins (Augusta, GA), Tomas Clark (Shelbyville, KY), and Brandon Byrd (Williamsburg, KY).

During the summer students learn a lot about construction techniques, but also logistics, coordination, and how to deal with multiple age groups. They also learn what it means to be a vital part of a team, the joy of helping others, confidence, courage, how to manage stress, how to control emotions, how to be a better friend, son, daughter, brother or sister, leader, follower, student, witness, role model, confidant, listener, and speaker.

The MO summer team is involved in all stages of the projects from planning through completion. Students learn how to plan and follow through with that plan as well as what happens when there are complications. Students are not only missionaries but ambassadors both for God and the University; along with their academic education they will be inspired to be community leaders.

In addition, the Mountain Outreach Program facilitates all of the PCY (painting, construction, and yard work) on the mission sites for the M-Fuge campers while on the UC campus this summer.

“In my 6 summers here I have seen more miracles then most will see in a life time, the very second that I take my eyes off Him and look inward, what I have been blessed to be a part of will surely be gone as will be one of the most joyous and satisfying experiences of my life.”

In keeping with the tradition of the program, no experience is needed to be a Mountain Outreach volunteer—only a willingness to learn and to help others.

“I feel honored to be a part of Mountain Outreach,” exclaimed student Stephanie Florence. “The blessings we bring to the community of Williamsburg this summer is a true testament to God’s will. Through Him all things are possible.”

Some of the churches that are participating in Mountain Outreach this summer are:

Trinity-North Brooke Baptist Church (Cincinnati, OH), Weatherly Heights Baptist Church (Huntsville, AL), Hillcrest Baptist Church (Lexington, KY), Main Street Baptist Church (Williamsburg, KY), First Church of God (Williamsburg, KY), Mignon Baptist Church (Sylacauga, AL), Clinch River Baptist Church (Clinton, TN), Green Meadows Baptist Church (Mocksville, NC), First Presbyterian Church (Dayton, OH), Pine Lake Baptist Church (Jackson, MS).

Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.