‘Church is an action, not a place’: Cincinnati church partners with Martin County mission

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Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 7:25 PM EDT
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INEZ, Ky. (WYMT) - A group of church members from Cincinnati gathered in Inez this week to be part of an ongoing mission in the mountains.

Appalachia Reach Out is working with Crossroads Church as part of its Work and Witness Teams program, some members tutoring students in the area, some volunteering at the ARO Thrift Store, and the rest working to freshen up the Collier Center.

“If we’re going to be the hands and the feet of Jesus, being Christ’s love in action in our community, then we have to partner,” said ARO Executive Director Dwayne Mills. “Not just with folks here in our community- which is extremely important- but also folks from all over the country that are looking for short term mission trips.”

The Crossroads crew uses missions like this as part of its “Go Trips,” as they seek to reach people across the nation and beyond.

“Church is an action, not a place,” said Crossroads member Brent Hodge. “We really believe that the way we can engage others and show God’s love is through getting out- going.”

Mills said the partnership was perfect, since ARO’s team desire to serve, learn, and grow coincide with those of the church.

“Because you can make a difference and I think if we begin to invest in our local communities, we’ll see a great difference,” he said.

The team is one of many ARO is planning to work with this year, kicking off what Mills expects to be a busy time of teamwork, fellowship, and giving back to the people and places of Martin County. He said the crews usually get as much as they give, leaving the area with a new idea about what the region looks like, an invigoration that only comes with being part of something larger than themselves.

“How impactful it is for them because if this can happen in a community like Martin County they definitely can take what they’ve experienced here back to their community where they serve,” Mills said.

Hodge said he will be taking back of piece of Martin County when he leaves, happy to be able to leave behind a labor of love for the people he’s met in the mountains.

“To be a part of the efforts that are going on in this community to really bring a building back to use to be sort of the heart of the community,” “Communities that we live in reflect the heart of the people there.”

Everyone involved said they encourage others to be part of making an impact, offering a helping hand to neighbors in need- even if it means a three hour trip to make it happen.

If interested in joining ARO in a team project, or volunteering on an individual scale, you can contact Mills through their website.

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