Today’s unseasonable West Virginia weather has been a good representation of my thoughts during these waking hours. My outlook was hopeful as I watched the sun rise over the hills, my first ever glimpse of the state of West Virginia in daylight. The rain started as the day drew on and we heard multitudes of stories about the joys and struggles of the people who live here. As the grass turned into fields of mud, my thoughts about our purpose for being here have changed and mixed with my reactions to what I’ve heard and seen in conversations with the people of Philippi. My preconceptions have all been proven wrong, and I’m thankful for that, but the complexity of all of this is much deeper than I could ever have expected.