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Caring in Coal Country

A team of 11 students set out to the hills of Appalachia for spring break.

The group, led by MVNU Director of Admissions Tracy Waal, went to Charleston, W.Va., and served one of the poorest regions of the country, the Ohio River Valley.

Over the course of the week, the group worked with Mountain Mission crew members Matthew and Frank

“The Tank.” These two men impressed the group with their brute strength and passion for other people.

“[We] assumed they would use tools, but they had something else in mind — in about four short minutes they had torn [a] drywall structure down with their bare hands,” sophomore Spencer Chajkowski said. “Besides being incredibly strong, these two had a great passion for the outreach that they were participating in, and they were able to keep a really positive vibe whenever they were around.”

While experiencing the unique culture of coal country, the team found that God has a personal, unique calling for each of their lives.

“I learned to be open to wherever God wants to use you to serve,” Chajkowski said. “Don’t

be afraid to listen to where God is calling you. If God wants to shine through you, He’ll open the opportunity.”

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