Viewfinder: Church Youth Celebrate Outreach
Cannon youth celebrated their return from the Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Program) with a dinner in the Cannon Church fellowship hall.
Mountain T. O. P. is an interdenominational nonprofit outreach program that serves the people of the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. This region is one of the most impoverished in the nation with the average household income at only $13,500 per year. One out of 5 students pass basic skills competency tests in school. The area suffers from geographic isolation and lack of economic growth.
Mountain T.O.P. youth and leaders spend a week in the area attending to the needs of the people of that community. Services offered include home repairs, building sheds and porches, clearing brush from yards, and building wheelchair ramps. The program seeks to serve residents of this area of Appalachia focusing on four areas of needs. These are the physical, the emotional, the social and the spiritual. At the same time, the program seeks to develop the growth in faith of the youth that volunteer for the mission.
As the students spoke about their trip, they universally spoke of how much they got from it. Yes, the service trip was hard work, but participants said it was worth it.
"The trip is awesome," said Brooke Freeman. "You meet new people and really test your faith outside of your comfort zone."
Leader Roy Robinson said that the trip is rewarding beyond the services they perform for the people of Appalachia. For the church group, the greatest part is witnessing the spiritual growth of the students above and beyond anything that they are doing for the people of the community.
For more information on Mountain T.O.P. please visit their website at http://www.mountain-top.org/