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Nazareth Farm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My heart races as I approach the rickety old bridge at the entrance to Nazareth Farm, a Catholic-run farm deep in the Appalachian Mountains in the town of Center Point, West Virginia. This summer I had the opportunity to journey with eight of my close friends to help the impoverished people of this area by roofing, painting, and insulating their homes.

I left for this trip with many fears and apprehension about the people, the work, using an outhouse and being away from home. But, returning home a week later, I feel that I grew both spiritually and mentally.

Over the course of the week, in addition to working we were given a lot of time to think, pray and talk which I took advantage of. It was great to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and see how others live. When I think of the people I helped in Center Point, the first words that come to mind are beautiful, loving and sharing. Mrs. Goodman, for example, was a wonderful elderly woman whose house needed painting. Her home was large in size, much like her heart. She reciprocated our work by preparing a wonderful lunch of chicken pot pie, sweet potatos, green beans, baked beans, homemade apple sauce and pineapple cream pie. This was the best meal we had all week. It was rewarding for Mrs. Goodman to see us enjoying her meal. But it was also rewarding for us to see our job finished.

This trip to West Virginia was an opportunity of a lifetime. I had the chance to learn how other people in our "wealthy" country live. For one week I drank water that smelled like sulfur, used an outhouse, bathed in a creek, didn't talk on the phone and had no radio or television. This taught me a lesson that I will never forget: be thankful for what you have and always remember those who are less fortunate. I will never forget the people of Center Point. I recommend that if you do ever have the opportunity to do missionary work in our country, jump at the chance; you won't regret it. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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