The summer after I was in Eighth Grade, I took a trip with my youth group. We’d been planning for over a year, fund-raising and working toward that goal of renting a cargo van and taking off from our sleepy New England town and heading to parts south for a week.
We were participating in a service project for a family in rural Tennessee. Our particular job was to install sheet rock and new floorboards in their home in the Appalachian Mountains, which was way off the beaten path.
To say it was a life-changing experience for me seems too trite, too pat. My world view, one I had been developing as a kid who had lived on three continents by the time I went to Tennessee, was modified once again. Poverty wasn’t limited to the slums of Sao Paulo, or any big city for that matter. It was clearly here too. In the States…The “Land of Opportunity”...
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