I had every intention of blogging throughout the week about our trip to the mountains ~ but alas, the weekend is here and I am just getting around to post #2. Things are happening at a rapid pace for the opening of The Homestead. I will share more about that next week.
The mountains where my husband grew up are beautiful. I have shared many times about the beauty of those winding roads and how much I have fallen in love with that area in the past decade.
But this trip back was a reminder that there are some harsh realities of these mountain areas. Extreme poverty and the rise of meth is prevalent and its affects can be seen everywhere.
Before I was married, I was in full time training to be a tribal missionary. When I was 16 I took a six week trip to Papua New Guinea that forever changed the outlook I had on life and the course my life would take. As part of my 3 year training I spent a year on top of a mountain in eastern Kentucky. The base their in Cornettsville was an old orphanage that had been bought by the missions organization I was with. There were several staff houses on the property as well as a dorm/chapel and the original large orphanage home. A few years ago the mission sold the land to another non-profit that didn't last long. Since then we had heard the place had fallen into disrepair and I was curious to see what had happened to the property.
Last weekend Mike, Canaan and I drove the long, winding, steep 1 mile trek up to the top. What we saw broke my heart.
The orphanage (a beautiful stately white building)was burned to the ground. All that is left standing is the large brick chimney. The chapel was burned to the ground as well and the homes were ransacked and stripped of all copper, electrical and anything worth any value. I was sick to my stomach for hours after our visit as I thought about the senselessness of it all. The property had obviously been vandalized and the fire department has said that indeed the buildings were burned down intentionally.
It is eery and a bit creepy, very sad and void of any beauty now. Things of this Earth are temporal, I know that, but its is heartbreaking to see what people on the wrong path in life can do. There are many wonderful memories created by thousands of people up on this mountain. Whether they were given a place to call home as a child or they were building homes in the woods in preparation for oneday building their tribal home ~ this place may be gone but not forgotten.
It was a good lesson for Canaan about the affect bad choices can have. He made me chuckle when he said "yep..they were definitely doing drugs up here. I just saw a cigarette case!"
A photo I found online of the original orphanage .