by Scotty Biggs, Campus Recruitment Associate
Earlier this year in partnership with Catholic Extension, Catholic Volunteer Network hosted a discernment retreat and immersion experience in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Students from
Eastern Kentucky University, Truman State University, and participated in this weekend event. The following is a reflection from one of the students who took part. University of Tennessee
Eastern Kentucky University is located on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, one of the poorest regions of the United States. In my experience of growing up in central Kentucky, surrounded by green rolling hills and white fenced horse parks, I never knew that just 45 miles away lived the poorest of the poor until I began to attend college at EKU and got involved with service. Students often volunteer with homeless shelters and Habitat for Humanity in the Lexington area but we never ventured into the mountain regions. Who knows, maybe it was fear of banjo music, but whatever the reason, the world of EKU was shattered when a band of brave Catholics loaded their cars and went into the hills and hollers (hollows) of Appalachia with the Catholic Volunteer Network as our fearless guide. I was able to represent EKU, and what I found there shocked and amazed me.
I went expecting to see sorrowful or angry people. Instead I saw people who were happy and jubilant who were willing to just sit, tell stories, and talk about how blessed they were- I saw Jesus.