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 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 said 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 any questions, you can contact Pastor Mike (Mdodson58@yahoo.com, 540-718-9675)!
We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2023 Mission Trip!
Due to the Kentucky schools spring break schedules, we have 2 different opportunities to travel this Spring:
1. March 27-April 1: (Teams: Woody, Nawrocki, Orange County, Aniscia, Amelia, Terry, Wes)
2. April 3-8: (Team Madison)
In order to become an HFA Missionary you will need to submit the following items, which can be found below:
Application, Fee & Background Check Deadline: February 22, 2023 or until all spots are full.
Applications can be filled out and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Terry Graham, 28045 Sunnyside Road, Unionville, VA 22567
MINORS (Under the age of 18): If you are traveling without a parent, you will need to fill out the Youth Trip Policy Agreement in addition to a Mission Trip Application. It will need to be returned with your Trip application.
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
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). If you went on the Fall 2022 Mission Trip, you do NOT need to complete another background check.
The link we provided is our preferred vendor for Criminal Background Checks. This is a 3rd party vendor. If there are any issues with your background check, they will notify you requesting additional information.
If you have completed a Criminal Background Check via another vendor, it must be generated after September 1, 2022 and you must provide HFA a copy. Criminal background checks from other vendors can be sent with your application:
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: Terry Graham, 28045 Sunnyside Road, Unionville, VA 22567
MINORS (Under the age of 18): You do NOT need to complete a criminal background check. If you are traveling without a parent, you will need to fill out the Youth Trip Policy Agreement (found above). It will need to be returned with your Trip application.
The mission fee is $155 per person.
Your mission fee includes: lodging & an HFA t-shirt
If applications are turned in after March 1st, you will not receive a trip t-shirt.
*Convenience Fees will be added per location based on amenities offered at each site.
The invoices will be sent closer to the trip, once the teams are formed and the room assignments are made.
REFUNDS CANNOT BE GUARANTEED.
NEW THIS YEAR: The Paypal link below is specific for the mission trip.
PayPal is the preferred method of payment for this trip. You can use any major credit card or debit card through this same link if you do not have a PayPal account.
If you prefer to pay by check, please make checks payable to "Hope for Appalachia".
Checks can be mailed (with your application) to: Terry Graham, 28045 Sunnyside Road, Unionville, VA 22567
*ALL Checks received will be deposited right before the trip.
Trip Meeting #1:
Thursday, January 26th @ 6:30pm
New Salem Baptist Church
Trip Meeting #2:
Thursday, February 16th @ 6:30pm
New Salem Baptist Church
Wednesday, February 22nd
Applications, Background Checks & Mission Fee's Due
Trip Meeting #3:
Thursday, March 16th @ 6:30pm
New Salem Baptist Church
Sunday, March 19th @ 1:00pm
the Gathering Christian Church
If you are going as a missionary on the trip, you will be receiving ONE t-shirt as part of your mission fee. You will need to wear a "purple shirt" each day you are in the schools (Spring Trip = 4 school days). You may wear a plain purple t-shirt or you can order extra merchandise directly from our vendor! They offer t-shirts, dress shirts, hats, hoodies, sweaters, etc.
Hope for Appalachia Virginia Inc
Mailing & Shipping Address: Hope for Appalachia, C/o Mike & Liesa Dodson, 7356 Beech Hill Lane, Boston VA 22713
Donation Drop Off Address: New Salem Baptist Church, 8233 Sperryville Pike, Culpeper VA 22701
540-825-6614 - email@example.com
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