So for the next five days, I’ll be in Vanceburg, Kentucky visiting Glenmary Farm with some students on an alternative break trip. We’ll stretch ourselves a bit on the trip and go without some of the basic amenities that we are used to, so that we are in solidarity with the poor and also appreciate what it means to give people some dignity back when they are deprived of certain things.

One of the things that we won’t have in Kentucky is internet access—GASP! Or a cell phone. But no worries, dear readers, I have pre-loaded some posts for you for the coming week to reflect with me on things that I don’t doubt that I’ll be thinking about.

There’s also no shaving on the trip for us guys…so I’m sure I’ll be itchy after Wednesday–I haven’t had any facial hair since high school (Take a gander). So I know you’ll all await snapshots of my mug and I’m also sure my facial hair will have more shades of gray in it these days.

We get one shower for the week. I’m banking on Thursday or Friday. I’ve packed my baby wipes and extra deodorant.

But mostly, we’ll be concerned about the poor on the trip. It’s not about us after all, but rather the people that we serve. When I was in college a bunch of my friends went on this very trip to the Appalachia Region and they came back changed people. I hope for the same for all of us who will be attending.

So keep the students and my colleague Ed Koch and I in your prayers. You will also be on ours. And pray that I miss my wife terribly…I know I sometimes take her for granted and we won’t be in contact at all for the next 5 and a half days–it’ll be a real struggle for both of us.

And of course, pray for the people of Vanceburg–who are in great need. May they be comforted by our work and may we see the face of Jesus in each one of them. Amen.