Church groups from out of state ‘reach out’ to Martin County alongside Appalachia Reach Out

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Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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INEZ, Ky. (WYMT) - Appalachia Reach Out is following its namesake this week, reaching out to the Martin County community with service projects around the area.

A volunteer group of more than 70 members is working in the area, divided between projects- from continued work on the historic courthouse, to home repairs for families in need- working to spread the mission of ARO.

“It’s something that Christians are called to do. To go and serve,” said Mitchell Leach with Hudsonville Reformed Church. “To serve locally- so, maybe that’s just in your own church- but also to reach out and to go outside of that.”

The group, comprised of three churches from out of state- two from Michigan and one from Virginia- is full of teens who are excited to be serving others.

“You’d think that they wouldn’t be up for doing hard labor like this, and skilled stuff, but they love doing it,” Leach said.

One group spent Tuesday working on the Kingfisher Trail at the Collier Center, freshening up the outdoor space for the community to enjoy.

“just to watch them give of that is really inspiring and our hope is that they realize that these are same things that they can be doing in their community as well,” said ARO Executive Director Dwayne Mills.

Some of the members on site said they pan to take ideas they saw in Inez- like the fitness areas along the hiking trail- into their own communities. Leach said he is glad their path led them to ARO.

“There’s something about what God does when He calls us outside of our comfort zone,” he said. “We love ARO. We love what ARO is doing and we want to be a long-term partner with them and see them succeed. ‘Cause they’re here every day. And whatever we can do to see the work that they’re already doing continue and to grow and to help the people here.”

Mills says the partnerships are all part of the program’s continued efforts to help the community shine inside and out, while bringing others in to be part of the growth.

“Our mission is really just to bring these teams in- let them see how we engage community,” he said. “It’s not that they’re coming into ‘little poor old Martin County’ and just helping us- because we’re in this work 365 days a year- but they come in and help support the work that we’re doing.”

The current visitors bring ARO’s mission group count to 15 since January and Mills said there are several more mission groups on the calendar for the coming weeks, with plans to see at least 25 teams flow through the Kentucky mission this year. You can follow ARO’s work here.

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