Welcome to CCX,
The Missional On-Line Magazine!
In designing this magazine we had two people in mind: 1) the person who is interested or investing in our ministry in McDowell County, and 2) the person who loves McDowell County. Our hope is to deliver relevant and current stories from the front lines of what God is doing here. The great football coach, Lou Holtz, once said "Nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems, but somewhere in the middle lies reality." As residents here, we see times of discouragement where everything looks bleak, and as missionaries we get too enthused and think everything is awesome. During a recent interview, the Executive Director realized that he felt a burden to have answers for every question a person asks about our County. Why are things this way? What can improve the school system? How can jobs be created? What can be done about the drug abuse problem? Why do people stay or leave? What are the solutions? His honest answer to many of these questions is “I don’t know.” Obviously, he has ideas. Everyone has ideas! But the answers are far more complicated, and far more elusive. After 17 years of ministry in McDowell County we have grown to understand the issues and respond more effectively to the needs. But there are no silver bullets and no quick fixes. It will continue to take hard work and perseverance to turn the tide. By the grace of God, and only by the grace of God, we will turn the tide. Every month we will give you reasons why we believe McDowell County is worth our effort and worth your investment. Please enjoy the articles, pray for each person in the stories, and consider what part God has for you to play. May God bless you for your care, love, and generosity.
The Staff of CCX, The On-Line Magazine
Black Diamond Boxing held a public sparring event at Linkous Park in Welch during the annual Tug River Spring Fling.
Our Seder Dinner
was a celebration of the miracle of our salvation through the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb, Jesus, who paid for our sin and provides new life!
We have frequent book studies, and in general, we all love learning and growing together. This season we are studying together how to have difficult conversations to deepen our relationships and our understanding of others. So far we are enjoying it and recommend it highly!
With a warm smile and a glow about her, Beverly McDaniel, better known as "Miss Mac," welcomed us into her home to hear her story. Raised in Gary area, Number 2, she is the only one of her school mates that has stayed in McDowell County. Raised by her grandparents, she grew up in the church and spent most of her early years among adults. She learned to respect and admire those adults in her life and respected the rules she was brought up with. Her obedience was one of the many reasons why her grandparents adored her. After finishing high school she watched children as her first job, then transitioned into caring for the elderly. For most of her adult life she worked close to the county and only ventured out to Ohio for a few years before returning home.
She married later in life to Mr. Mac, and they spent five very enjoyable years together before he passed. This was around 2001 when the floods came, and sadly he battled dementia. Today she still lives in Gary, and we continue to treasure our relationship with her throughout the past 17 years we have known her. It has been a joy to provide crucial home repairs she has needed as mission teams serving with The Community Crossing have worked on her house many times over the years. Her reliance on God and His aid through trials has molded her into a woman who loves Jesus fervently, and we are so encouraged by her faithfulness. We are thankful to know this sweet woman of God!
“We make a living
by what we get,
but we make a life
by what we give.”
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
In some ways, S&S Catering is like any small business trying to etch out a piece of the market. There are entrepreneurs all across the country jumping into the pool of risk in hopes of making a living doing what they love to do. There are many factors to predicting success and that is why S&S Catering is different. Against all odds, Sherrie Belt has built her start up into a successful enterprise making S&S ("Sweet and Savory") dishes. Sherrie started S&S at a time when most 17 year olds are still in high school, playing video games and looking for a job at McDonald's. Sherrie grew up living with her grandmother, sister, and her aunt. Sherrie and her sister were homeschooled. Aunt Patty was her teacher in school and serves as her mentor and assistant in the catering business. One of Sherrie’s most difficult challenges was being dyslexic. If being young and dyslexic was not enough of a challenge, she started her business in one of the poorest counties in the country during a time of economic stagnation and population decline. On paper, S&S Catering would be a terrible bet except one thing: Sherrie!
The CCX director Jay Wilson has known Sherrie since she was 9 years old. As a homeschooling father he saw how she was struggling in school and suggested to Aunt Pat that they should homeschool. At the time Pat was the bookkeeper for the mission. Eventually Sherrie came on staff to work in the after-school tutoring program. Sherrie applied and was accepted in the CCX Youth Leadership Program and was an exceptionally hard working employee that summer. The reason S&S Catering is celebrating 10 years of being in business is because Sherrie is an overcomer. She continues to overcome as she has no "quit" in her. Today she is married to Dustin and has a beautiful and spunky little two year old girl, Annalyse. She has been a Parents as Teacher’s client and cheerleader for almost three years. Sunny and joyful, Sherrie loves her community and she loves Jesus. She is a bright spot in our our world. S&S is known for selling box lunches and for catering at meetings and events. Consistently she sells out her products at festivals and events. If you like salads or pepperoni rolls then S&S is who you should call. Going forward she hopes to move from the less predictable nature of box lunches, and more into catering. Regardless of what Sherrie decides to do, regardless of the odds against success, the mission will continue to support and encourage Sherrie in her life and business.
Check out more of Sherrie's fantastic work on Facebook!
It Takes a Community
Flossie found out she was pregnant just weeks prior to the most recent Parents As Teachers Community Baby Shower for prenatal mothers/fathers that The Community Crossing hosted in McDowell. As a first time mom Flossie had many emotions and questions as to what to expect. Do I have what it takes to be a mother? Do I have the things I need to provide for a small defenseless baby who will be relying on me for all his/her needs? Am I ready for this? Kasondra, Flossie’s Parent Educator, invited her to this Baby Shower and Flossie eagerly accepted knowing this would be her only baby shower for her child. We have all heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Parents As Teachers at The Community Crossing starts that community support for babies before they take their first breath. On March 17th The Community Crossing Parents As Teachers program hosted a baby shower for 10 expectant mothers/fathers in McDowell County. We rely on donations and sponsors to make this happen, both local and long distance.
"Everything was very insightful and helpful for first time parents! All the gifts and info were great."
-Flossie, Parents as Teachers' Mom
(Kasondra demonstrating swaddling)
Thanks to the donations, Flossie went home with a basket full of goodies such as a pacifier, teething ring, baby book to read to her child, as well as diapers and a brand new Pack and Play! Her baby will now have a safe place to sleep in her two-family home. Each family present went home with supplies filling their physical needs. Social connections with other prenatal mothers, Parent Educators and local agency representatives were made during the time at the shower, answering the question, “Where do I go for help?” Parenting is partly natural, however, it involves a lot of learning as well. At each shower the goal is to share research and evidenced-based information to help equip parents on the child-raising journey they are on. This time they learned about how to keep their baby safe while sleeping and how to keep their baby safe from 2nd and 3rd hand smoke. We would like to thank the community who made this shower possible. Thank you to our local donors, Unicare, Birth to Three, Aetna, McDowell Board of Education, and Big Creek People In Action Family Resource Center for providing a large door prize for each attendee. Thank you to our community from afar who supported this shower with diaper and baby item donations, including Mainstreet Church in Walbridge, OH, and The Car Club from Herndon, VA who sponsored this shower. For many women, like Flossie, this is the only baby shower they will be given. We invite you to be a part of their blessing. Let us know if you are interested in sponsoring a baby shower or donating items to one of the two showers we host each year: email or donate here.
The Community Crossing not only is a faith-based ministry but a faith dependent ministry. We are very fortunate to have the Parents As Teachers grant through WV Department of Health and Human Services, however that does not cover the cost of the supportive ministry. There are many needs that families have that the grant does not cover such as diapers, wipes and even home repairs. Creating a safe environment for their family is important. Black Diamond boxing is starting its third year by hosting a boxing event next month. Black Diamond boxing’s only support comes from The Community Crossing and its supporters. On any given week our gym will host up to 40 post high school men for basketball in our gym. One of the greatest needs we have in our community is to reach out to those with drug and alcohol addictions. Presently we are praying through effective ministry to address this need. Would you prayerfully consider giving $30, $50 or $100 per month in support of these ministries?