So, for work I am about a week in to a 2 week sojourn in Malvern, Arkansas, a small community less than an hour outside of Little Rock. As the floodwaters rise back in Fort Smith, I’ve looked around this community and seen a devastation that continues to grow.
In many ways, it’s the typical story of the heartland: factories close one by one, and the drugs move in. The hotels are up on the Interstate, the shining false front that the tourists see. It was only by accident, by taking the first exit, rather than the second, that I was able to come across the reality that is Malvern for many of the residents.
I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that every step, every breath, is for a purpose, and it is my sincere hope that my time in this small community can somehow turn into a blessing for the people who live here. Yes, there are needs back in Fort Smith, but there are eyes there, too. We will be fine. There are no eyes in Malvern, and the tourists who come here to book a cheaper rate for proximity to Hot Springs will never venture beyond the false fronts.
I will post up pictures later, but for now, a day off gives me time to try to connect with the community and see what I can do.