I spent most of last week in Columbiana County (the spot on the map where Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all meet), with one of Kent State University’s Alternative Spring Break initiatives.
I was put on a team to help maintain a city park in the town of East Liverpool, which has been struggling with poverty in a pretty major way ever since the closing of a couple steel mills back in the late-1970s and early-1980s.
We learned some new things about poverty in the process. I enjoyed the renewed discipline of physical labor: picking up litter, raking leaves, clearing brush and branches from a storm-damaged trail (and our efforts even earned us some press in the local newspaper!). And our team enjoyed the relational time that our all the various volunteers were able to spend together at night.
All that being said: It’s good to be back in Kent! We’ve got a sprint-finish to the end of the Spring Semester at the University (just five weeks remaining), and I’m eager to see what God will do through it all.