Greetings from the mountains of southeast Kentucky.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us and we got a little behind on our blogging.  We apologize.  I have been loving your entries the last couple of weeks.  I wish to express my appreciation to Constancefor getting John Paul’s speech on “the tube.”  I thought I was recording it on my phone – NOT! 
   As a child of the 50s and as a teenager in the late 60s, I totally resonated with JP’s speech as well as the name of his foundation.  He reminded me of my days living just north of San Francisco during the make love not war era.  As members of the Grow Appalachia family we have such a blessed opportunity to touch people’s lives and to be transformed by their lives as well.  Peace, love and happiness are contagions.  When someone treats us with the true love and care that God desires to see in us, we can’t help but share it.  And like the ripple effect of throwing a rock into a still pond, the effect (ripples) are carried on…and on….no matter how minute the stone or act of kindness is. 
   So my word of encouragement this week is this- YOU are valuable.  Your work is valuable.  Every seed you plant, every drop of water you drip, every person you help, matters and is changing the world for the better. 
    Yesterday we had our annual Tri-County Health & Resource Fair at Red Bird Mission.  And as I was hauling tables and boxes from one building to another (in the 1,000 degree heat and humidity I swear) I wasn’t necessarily thinking that way.  The work we do in ministry to others is sometimes all-consuming and physically exhausting.  BUT WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
   I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do – all of you.  And I am honored to be a part of this awe-inspiring movement.  Thank you John Paul, Constance, David and Tommy (for throwing it out there), for bringing this “family” into being.  Grace & Peace – Karen Dial