“Mom, I never knew that this existed right here near our house!” Kara Kimbrough quoted her son as they drove to a Mission Discovery project site where senior high students were working on a rural home off Clampet Hollow (pronounced Holler) Road near Westmoreland, TN.
Charles Jr., and Kara had both been on Mission Discovery mission trips to Reynosa, Mexico and built homes in the poorest part of town, but never they imagined that withing 35 minutes of their home in Hendersonville, there was a part of Tennessee marked with such poverty. Here screen doors drift on one hinge, windows are patched with rotted plywood, and there is exposed insulation from leaks in roofs, and paint bubbles in the blistering hot Tennessee humidity.
Charles Jr, and Kara returned that evening to Camp Mission Discovery to find the same stories that surfaced during their trips to Mexico. Stories of how, in hard circumstances, there was the light of Christ. There was even hope where hope seemed not to be due, but hope none the less!
This summer, groups from all over the United States will come to our camp in Westmoreland. They will experience all the good things a regular summer youth camp offers and the opportunity to leave a little something behind. But maybe, just as important, is what these groups will take home with them: the ability to see need in their own communities and how they can make a difference there.