Missions

What does it mean to be poor in Appalachia?

Poverty has many faces. Rural poverty in Honduras looks very different from urban poverty in Tijuana. It seems easier to understand poverty in other countries than our own. One of the poorest areas of our country is Appalachia. McDowell, Kentucky is a beautiful mountain community with very little economic opportunity. Lack of a viable economy and a struggling education system create a ripe environment to generational poverty to flourish. It is in this area that Gods Appalachia Partnership (GAP) works to bring hope and help. It is a rare exception for a student to graduate high school and even more rare to attend college. The few students that do graduate find jobs in cities away from where they grew up. Most families live in doublewides most of which are in poor condition.

Creating a mindset of hope is challenging in this area. Most families have been on welfare and find this the only way they can survive. Family connections run deep and outsiders are often not accepted. Fortunately the executive director of GAP, John Morris grew up in the area and is well accepted by his clients.

Each spring a group of men will go to assist with repairs for local residents chosen by the GAP ministry to receive help. They screen the families to find those most in need. A hammer and a screwdriver can bring new hope to a family that is struggling and feeling abandoned in their time of need. Information about this project is on this page. Maybe you can add your hammer and be part of a team bring hope to someone.

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