ASP Team Works in Flood-Ravaged Town:

Pictured, back row, from left: Will Hare, Alex Roth, Lincoln Roth, Robert Scheffler, Jack Tunkel, Lachlan McCarty, Nathaniel Griffith, Yannick Ibrahim. Second row: Julia Kahn, Thomas Bartell, Matthew Heim, Catherine Kenney, Rich Kahn. Third row: Sydney DiStase, Dan Bartell, Christine Shungu, Mary Jo Kahn. Not pictured: Skitch Matson, Matthew Ireland, and Kieran Ireland, Connor Langdon, Alex Lenart, Andrew Lenart.

With hammers and saws they work in Appalachia, then return to share their inspiring stories about making homes warmer, safer, and drier. For four decades Princeton United Methodist Church has sent teen and adult volunteers to work for the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

Rainelle on the day after the 2016 flood

This year’s 23-person team will go to Rainelle, West Virginia. Founded as a sawmill town (the sawmill is gone now), it was ravaged by flash floods on June 24, 2016. At least 200 people from the 1,500 people in Rainelle had to be rescued, and residents fear that it will become a ghost town. ‘Here is a video. “It looked like a war zone,” said a state trooper.  

Skitch Matson, youth pastor, leads the team along with Mary Jo and Rich Kahn, Christine Shungu, Robert Scheffler, Matthew Ireland, and Dan Bartell. Don’t miss this inspiring worship service on Sunday, July 9, at 10 a.m.

ASP is a Christian ministry, but it is open to those of any faith. It aims to inspire hope and service — instilling compassion for other people and a fresh appreciation for one’s place and purpose in the world. Preparation was an eight-month process that included learning Appalachian culture and raising funds with an auction dinner and Super Bowl hoagies.