Serving in one of West Virginia's poorest areas was an "awesome privilege," said Dee Reid, who led a team of young Christian girls on the Appalachia Summer Mission Trip. "There were so many miracles that I don't even have time to tell about all of them."
World Vision's Appalachia Summer Mission Trip is designed to provide church youth groups and families the opportunity to engage with the people of Barbour County, one of the poorest counties in one of the nation's poorest states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, West Virginia has the sixth-highest poverty level among the 50 states. One in four children there live below the poverty line, ranking the state seventh in child poverty.
World Vision is serving in areas of West Virginia most in need, working alongside often-isolated communities to find solutions to chronic challenges. Among these under-resourced areas is Barbour County in the northern part of the state, which for years relied heavily on coal mining for employment. While most living in this area are descended from strong, independent, hardworking families, many lost their jobs when local coal mines began closing and mechanizing in the 1960s. Soon, low-income residents plummeted even further into poverty, as they were left with no jobs and few resources.
Watch a slideshow depicting youth who traveled on a mission trip to Barbour County, West Virginia, to serve communities in need and demonstrate Christ's love for this economically challenged region.
Yet today, hope is rekindled each summer as hundreds of Christians arrive in Appalachia to be incarnational witnesses to the love Christ has for them. During the weeklong Summer Mission Trip, participants work alongside local residents to build relationships and improve the community. All that's required is a willing heart and a little muscle to perform jobs such as painting, hammering, cleaning, framing, masonry, and roofing.
Team members also help reach and teach children from the community through Vacation Bible School activities. Each day ends with worship. Visitors are invited to join in evening Bible studies at local churches and enjoy a community cookout with Bluegrass music. There's also time for relaxing activities, including canoe rides down rivers that flow between lush mountains.
>> Please pray for the low-income children and families of Barbour County, W.Va. Pray that World Vision’s Appalachia Summer Mission Trip would help bring hope and light to communities that struggle with unemployment and financial instability, and that mission trip participants would effectively convey God’s great love for these people.
>> Make a reservation to participate in next year's Appalachia Summer Mission Trip.
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