We leave home the Wednesday morning following Thanksgiving in multiple vehicles coming from many parts of Virginia and 3 trucks pulling trailers that are loaded with needs and travel to Lynch, Kentucky and currently stay at Solomon’s Porch, an old mine office turned hospital turned mission center. This is a small group of around 30 missionaries.
We are then in the schools meeting with the kindergartners. This may be in the gym with all classes combined or in a classroom. We talk with them as a group, sing a song and then read the Christmas Story. After the story we hand out the hope gift which is a hat and a pair of gloves or mittens, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a few pieces of candy. The excitement in the children’s voices because of a toothbrush with comments of “yay, I don’t have to use daddy’s anymore” or “sissy and I don’t have to share now” or “what is this”, and having to explain what a toothbrush or toothpaste is to a child of that age is heartbreaking. We then spend time with them as they try on and model their hats and gloves, laugh and talk. The bright smiles and hope that radiates is amazing.
While this is going on a member of the team is meeting with the Resource Officer gathering information for the upcoming Spring trip. There are always material needs that we try to fulfill at the schools when we return in the Spring. School supplies, underwear, shoes, coats, prom dresses are just a few items we collect and deliver.
We stay at each school 45 minutes or less and then load up and move on to the next school. We travel many miles in three days. At night we all come together in the common room at Solomon’s Porch for dinner and sharing the day’s events.
We go to the schools on Thursday and Friday and return home on Saturday. When we leave the children, we tell them we will see them at Easter and they are smiling and excited. Many know of Jesus and many don’t.
We leave home on Monday morning before Easter in multiple vehicles and with the 3 trucks pulling trailers and head to Kentucky. This is a very large group (usually around 180 missionaries). We stay in three different counties and each team will spend the whole day in a school. Most of the schools are Pre-K through 8th grade and then the high school is 9th through 12th. Every grade level cycles through the gym hearing the resurrection story and then given their hope box. One missionary will sit with 5 or 6 children and talk, take prayer requests, listen and encourage. After each grade has cycled through the school day is over so we pack up and head back to our lodging area, eat dinner and prepare for the next day. Each team will minister at 4 schools that week. During the Spring 2018 trip 1,400 children and school administration came out of the bleachers to accept Christ!
God’s love and hope is flowing through the hallways of the schools.
Most importantly, please remember this is God’s Mission not ours, not yours. We are to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are to listen to his voice as we move through the week, share the gospel and give these children the hope that comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Henry Blackaby has stated that to experience God, we should find where He is at work and join Him there. God is at work in the Appalachian Mountains and He is calling us to join Him there!
If you have questions or would like to know more information, feel free to check out the Team Leaders section of our website. You can connect with a team leader in your area!
The application deadline for the Fall 2019 Trip has passed.
We will post details soon when we will start accepting Spring 2020 applications!
Due to a change in Kentucky law (2018) all traveling missionaries will be required to provide a completed background check. The fee is $18.50 and must be completed each school calendar year (Fall/Spring).
Thank you for your interest in this mission opportunity and join us as we answer the call!
To see our upcoming meetings and important dates, please visit our Calendar of Events!
The deadline for Fall 2019 Trip applications has passed.
If you would like to request a copy of the HFA Missionary Application to be mailed to you (I.e. no access to printer), please send an email to email@example.com.