LETTER TO THE EDITOR: St. Matthews mission travels to West Virginia

To all of the Son Servants veterans,

Panther, WV has come to feel like home. Son Servants is a non-profit organization that organizes mission trips. One of the locations they organize a mission trip to is Panther, WV. Youth groups from all over the country come to serve those in Panther through Son Servants. Panther, WV is a small coal mining town about an hour from any outside connection, including a hospital. When St. Matthews goes to West Virginia, we stay in an abandoned school house, which is certainly humbling, yet our living conditions are still better than those of the locals. The people of Panther, WV live in squalor and poverty. Many of the coal mines that employed so many in Panther have been shut down and have left many of the people with no jobs and no hope for the future. While on the mission trip, we work every day from eight in the morning until three thirty in the afternoon repairing homes and building relationships meant to weather any storm. While the mission trip is constructed to help the people of Panther, I find that the experience helps the volunteers as much as the locals. We leave them with safer homes and hope, and the people of Panther leave us with priceless memories, and for some, a face to face experience with God.

Anna Ervin

Darlington, SC

Author: Stephan Drew

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