LOUISA, Ky. — Not knowing much about home improvement projects might seem like a reason not to go on a mission trip, but a group of Lehman Catholic High School students were up for the challenge.
At the end of July, eight Lehman students spent a week at the Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center in Louisa, Kentucky. The focus of the group’s work was to support the ongoing efforts of the mission center by helping with home repairs for local residents and following up with previously helped families. For example, they replaced windows, built a new deck, replaced a door, installed a new bathtub, and replaced floors.
“Going to Appalachia was one of the best experiences I’ve had. From helping out the people to just getting to know them, hearing their story really made me think,” said Lehman student John-Henry Frantz. “You grow up all your life knowing about poverty in the world but you never really experience it. The trip has helped reopen my eyes to this knowledge of poverty and makes me want to help out more in any way I can.”
In addition to Frantz , other students who made the trip included Ellie Scott, Janell Gravunder, Sidney Chapman, Eli Baker, Isaiah Winhoven, Travis Thornton, John-Henry Frantz and Jacob Schmeising. The Rev. James Riehle, religion teacher and LCHS pastor, and Leah Bertke, Interact adviser and science teacher, organized the trip.
The Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center was founded in 1991 by the Rev. Ralph W. Beiting to minister to and to help the impoverished people of Eastern Kentucky. Some of their outreach programs include summer camps for youth, in home services/home repair, disaster relief and emergency housing.
The writer is a junior at Lehman Catholic High School.