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06-03-2013


North Carolina church volunteers with Mountain Outreach

 


High-schooler Travis Davis traveled to Williamsburg, Ky. from his home in Mocksville, NC to lay two home foundations for University of the Cumberlands’ Mountain Outreach ministry.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — “They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:48, Bible, NIV.

Every Mountain Outreach house begins with a firm foundation, as Jimmy Bowles well knows. Since 2001 he has spearheaded a group of men from Green Meadows Baptist Church in Mocksville, NC, bringing them the 6 hours northwest to Williamsburg, Ky. where they build block foundations for the homes that MO builds during the summer.

 


This year Bowles’ team of 11 rose early on Friday, May 31 and began laying blocks, completing one foundation by lunchtime and the other by dinner. Sweat pouring from their brows, pausing at times and looking out on a breathtaking Appalachian view, the men were so adept at their work they seemed to be doing a minor household chore…perhaps because they do it so often. Not only have they laid the MO foundations for several years—laying the foundations for all of the homes at Taylor Meadows in the Cane Creek community—the group also travels to Honduras once a year and builds small homes. At home they head a ministry building handicap-accessible ramps.

Green Meadows Baptist Church fully supports its men’s group and Mountain Outreach, sending clothing and money for MO’s food and gift programs throughout the year. Bowles’, affectionately called “our daddy” by one of the workers, spoke mindfully about the significance of the homes being built by MO and its impact on the community, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the foundation-laying.

Travis Davis—17 and entering his last year of high school—bent low, scraping gray globs of cement from the blocks. He never paused from his task when asked if this was his first trip with the church group, and he didn’t say much, but when he said “yes” he wore a happy sincere smile. When the group returns at the beginning of summer 2014, it won’t be a surprise if Davis is with them.

Mountain Outreach is a student-led building organization that has been nationally recognized for its work: The Acton 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; President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light; University of the Cumberlands is ranked as one of the top schools by Washington Monthly because of the service its students provide to the community; and the University continues to be placed on the President’s “Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll” in recognition of our students’ commitment to community service. This is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for dedication to community-based service projects.

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; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit www.ucumberlands.edu.