Matt and I traveled to Letcher County, Kentucky intending on visiting 5 schools on May 26th. On the day before arriving the plan changed and we were to deliver all schools’ boxes to the bus garage for distribution. At the bus garage, we're helped by six men from the Letcher County maintenance team. After unloading the packed 24ft trailer Matt was talking to the maintenance team and shared with them that we love bringing these ‘Jesus boxes’ (that’s what they call them) because we want people to know that God loves them and that there is hope in Jesus Christ. We prayed with them, thanking God for them and the children of Letcher County. Matt gave them enough money to pay for all their lunch that day and we headed out. Our trip was not what we expected but it was what God desired.
While there one of the maintenance team mentioned his son coming home last year from the ‘Hope for Appalachia’ school day to show his Jesus box and say that he had met “Jesus from Virginia”. The father was so pleased with the story in his home and shared that even today when the boy misbehaves, they remind him that Jesus from Virginia is watching him.
Jesus is real to this family and His name is there because of a simple shoebox that demonstrates God’s love for one another. Thank you to all who work to put together these boxes. It may seem like a simple thing, but it is prayed over and goes out to families showing the love of Christ in a practical way. The truly need the Hope found in Christ in Eastern Kentucky. We are honored to be the hands, feet and voice of Hope for Appalachia.This is a Kingdom ministry bent on taking the good news of Jesus to the world.
Ross Point Elementary School Staff Testimony
Spring 2020 Trip
On Wednesday, on the way to the coffee shop, Matt saw a young man walking on the sidewalk near the Porch, he told me to pick him up. I asked Matt where are we going to put him? Matt said I'll get in the back if I have to. I asked the man if he needed a ride and he said he sure did. We stopped at the coffee shop, went in, the three of us got coffee and Matt began to talk about JESUS. In ten minutes or so, we were holding hands and that man, James, was asking God to SAVE him! OH, and the ladies who worked in the shop were praying also. What a God moment we all had. Shouting and tears. We came to minister to the children and God moves in and gives us a hurting soul that needed a Savior, JESUS. God is AWESOME!!!!!!
There was a kindergarten girl I sat with named Ella. I told her I had a granddaughter named Ella. She asked what my granddaughter called me and I told her Poppee. She laughed out loud at such a peculiar name (in Kentucky). I asked her what she called her grandpa and she told me he had died. We talked of heaven and seeing our loved ones again some day. She received a gift bag with the American Heritage Girls letter 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart.' She loved her hat, gloves, stuffed animal and card.
While my team was handing out Christmas Hope Bags, I was sitting on the floor with the kindergartners talking about playing in the snow, making snow balls, and building snowmen. And a little girl said to me, “I can’t play in the snow because my hands will get too cold because I don’t have any gloves”......Well, guess what she found in her Christmas Hope Bag?
Hi, my name is Wayne Gough. My wife Linda and I are part of Woody Moore’s Hope for Appalachia team from Buckingham County. My wife Linda and I joined the team about a year ago and felt that GOD was leading us to do local mission work for Christ. We consider Kentucky local since its part of the U.S. We went to Kentucky for the spring mission trip, and fell in love with the group and, of course, the children. In the summer, Woody, Roger, and I went on the hospital mission trip, and then my wife and I decided to go on the fall mission trip. All of the trips have been so fulfilling and humbling – to see the children, teachers, and principals so kind, loving, and appreciative. It’s hard to explain how blessed we’ve been to be a part of this program. I tell you this to let you know that this is not just random; God is at work and needs and uses whoever is willing.
I want to explain a little about 2019 Fall Trip, because I see GOD was at work way before we ever hit the road. There are a lot of preparations that have to be made months and weeks in advance so things will go smoothly. All of the items churches and individuals have gathered; coats, hats, gloves, etc. of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Oh, and I can’t forget the small doll babies. Some churches made special gift packages, and others made blankets and different things: they all had to be sorted. The gift packages that had been made for certain schools with all the contents the same such as boys got boy stuff and girls got girl stuff, but to make sure every child got what they were supposed to get, we had extras in different boxes. We boxed all of these items for five different schools into two different trucks and two box trailers so we would have each school separated so we could get them off loaded in a timely and organized manner. But our main concern, of course, was sharing the Christmas Story and that every child was cared for.
The day we left started off badly, Woody had truck trouble, so he had to rent a truck and then meet us, 6 hours later we left, but that’s ok. Thank GOD Woody was able to find a truck. After we got that straight, we had a safe trip. That was Wednesday. On Thursday we were up and on the road traveling to the schools that where approximately 2 hrs away. Everything went fine at the first school and then on to the second school. This school was a new school that we had never been to. This school was farther down the road, well I should say down the holler, there was not a lot of businesses or stores in the area. You really have to travel the Kentucky mountains to understand what I am talking about and what to expect and see.
We finally get to the second school, got ourselves together, unpacked and into the school we go. We meet with the principal and teachers then children, who are kindergarten age and are all excited to see us. We explain who we are and why we are there, we are there to tell them the real reason for Christmas, JESUS’ birthday. We had a young lady to read the Christmas story and then we prayed with them. These kids are so excited, you just can’t imagine what joy it brings to all of us who are involved with them, and now we give out the presents. This particular school had bags for boys and girls, the boy bags had a Nerf football in them and the girls had a small doll baby about 3” tall (I tell you this measurement for a reason). We give out the presents to each child and even the ones who are not there gets one. All the children are having a blast playing with and trying on what they got. The room is filled with laughter and happiness, it is a joy and blessing to see and be a part of what’s going on. I then look and Teresa is with a young girl who is about to cry. The little girl tells Teresa that she didn’t get a doll baby to play with like all the rest of the little girls. Teresa tells Woody and I what’s going on, we look at each other and head out the door.
As I told you earlier, we know we have extras in one of the trailers, Woody starts emptying his trailer looking for the box that has “extras” written on it… nothing! Woody looks in back of his truck and trailer… nothing! I’m already in my truck and trailer looking… nothing! I look in the back seat of my truck thinking maybe my granddaughter may have left one of her dolls back there, so I could give it to the child… nothing ! We were getting a little, well more than a little discouraged. I started walking to the road which was about 100 yards away to see if there were any stores close by—I was praying God I need a doll baby for this little girl, that’s when I heard that still small voice of GOD say go to the bank. I said to myself BANK!!! GOD said again go to the bank-- I looked up and there it was a small bank across the road. I thought to myself maybe they can tell me where I can buy a doll baby, so I obeyed, and walked across the road and into this bank.
I have no idea the name of the bank or anyone in there, this was a small bank, just two tellers, a young man and young woman, both were busy. I decided to wait on the young lady- I thought she might understand a little better. She finished with her customer, and I walk up and told her I needed a doll baby. I guess she thought I was a little off until I told her I was with Hope For Appalachia and what we were doing at the school and that we had neglected to put a doll baby in one of the little girls bags and that the little girl was upset, and I wanted to know if there were any stores close by. The young lady said that there was one a few miles down the road. I said thank you and started out the door, when she said “what did you say you needed”, and I said “a small doll baby”. She had a look in her eyes and said wait a minute. She headed to the back of this small bank. She came around a hallway to my right and handed me a brand new DOLL BABY about 10” high with dishes and all kind of stuff! I am floored, in awe, my eyes are full and my heart is bursting with amazement God has done it again. I thanked the young lady and told her GOD had used her to answer a prayer.
I headed out the door to go see Woody. I had the doll in both hands trying to run but I can’t. I am so awed, I don’t know how to explain what I was feeling, except it was fantastic. I got to the road and I wanted to get across but big truck after big truck was coming by and holding me up. I wanted to tell Woody and the rest of our group what GOD had done. Finally I get across the road, but I still can’t run. I’m looking down at this doll baby and thanking GOD for answering my prayer. My wife tells me she looked at me and said to herself what in the world is he carrying. She said look like I was carrying baby Jesus.
I finally got to Woody, he was down on his knees still looking through boxes. He had his back to me so I tap him on his shoulder and ask him if this would do, he turned around and almost lost it, he said where did you get that doll baby, I told him from the bank, he said “what”!! I said GOD told me to go to the bank, he says what bank and I pointed across the road, that bank. That’s when he told me to go see Teresa, she was going to get her a doll when we get home and mail it to the little girl. I gave the doll to Teresa and she made arrangement with the principal so the little girl would get the doll.
That’s not all of the story, the next school we go to we unpack and find the box labeled of “Extras” right on top of everything right in front of us. And when the children unpack the gifts we find TWO dolls in one package. I guess GOD was showing use he still works miracles, HE’S still in control and when we pray for small things he may even give bigger and better than you can ask or imagine!!
Thank you GOD for letting me be a witness to one of your many miracles.
P.S that’s my miracle on the mountain story
Hope for Appalachia Virginia Inc
Mailing & Shipping Address: Hope for Appalachia, C/o Mike & Liesa Dodson, 7356 Beech Hill Lane, Boston VA 22713
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