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)!
The Spring 2024 Mission Trip is scheduled for Monday, March 25th through Saturday, March 30th.
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, Christmas Trip = 2 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
Copyright © 2020 Hope For Appalachia Virginia Inc - All Rights Reserved