The church mission trip team had a spectacular mission trip to Nicholas County, WV, during the week of 12-16 August. Team members were Russell Low, Steve Bossung, Jeannette Tabb and George Tabb. We were a small team but extremely effective and efficient. Russell Low brought his much in demand skills as an electrician to the table and the rest of us brought our strong backs and enthusiasm.
There is so much need in Nicholas County that it is difficult to know where to start. We worked on three locations.
- The first location was located outside of Cragsville. Residents needed to have their electrical service upgraded. Russell’s skills came in quite handy there. A new service cable was run from the meter box to a new panel box on the inside of the house. This was not an easy task, but Russell made it look easy. While he was doing that, the rest of us insulated their attic and did major repairs on their deck. Willy helped and suggested ideas that were instrumental in the successful completion of the deck work. We spent the better part of two day there with them. At the end, the group decided to give the family the $600 that the church gave to us to use where needed. It was the right place to put the money as one had just found out that he has colon cancer and had to travel to Morgantown for tests and treatment. They both cried and he said, “I love you guys.”
- The second place we went was a newly installed trailer on Crupper Neck, also near Craigsville. Another group had visited there earlier and had installed a handicapped ramp for access to the home. Our job was to install a metal roof over the porch area of the ramp. Our, work leader, Tim Stewart, did a great job in sharing his vision of how the roof should be constructed and helping us to get the job done in the right way. We spent less than a day there getting the work done.
- The last place we visited was a trailer near Mt. Nebo. The resident had lived there since April without electricity, without water, and with dangerous holes in his flooring. Again, Russell’s skills were greatly needed. He and Greg Flannigan (our work leader) ran a new service cable from the meter box, under the trailer, and to the panel box on the inside. It was a big job that took lots of effort and again Russell’s talents came through. While Russell was involved in his work, Steve repaired the water line into the trailer. Again, it took lots of effort, but Steve did a great job and got the water service restored to the bathroom. While these two jobs were going on, Jeannette and I added new flooring to the hallway and the kitchen area where the floor had fallen through. The resident now has power, water and hot water, and his floors have been repaired. We left it better than we found it. Lots more needs to be done to the place but that will be taken care of in September when another group comes in to tackle the job. After Russell completed his work at the trailer, he also completed some electrical upgrades at the Summersville Presbyterian Church.
I believe we all had a great time except for Steve who got stung by a hornet on his eye on the first day and Jeannette who ended up with poison ivy. Steve got his revenge on the hornets and Jeannette is well on her way to healing up from her poison ivy. Seriously, it was a good time for all of us and I believe we all came away with a sense of just how lucky we all are. It was a pleasure to get to know our fellow church members a little better. Doing something for others that they cannot do for themselves is a significant and positive thing. We all came away tired and dirty but glad we went.
In my opinion, the church should continue our work in the Nicholas and Webster County area next year. Even though we had a small group, we accomplished some significant things and made a positive difference in people’s lives. God be praised for the accomplishments and the differences made.
George E. Tabb, Jr.
Mission Team Member