Appalachia, West Virginia—U.S. Mission Trips
Appalachia is a 205,000-mile-square region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The region covers 399 counties in 13 states, including all of West Virginia according to the Appalachian Regional Commission. The culture has been greatly influenced by geographic isolation. Years ago, pioneering-spirited Europeans followed in the footsteps of Native Americans to forge homes in remote hollows and build their communities along remote streams and rivers. Although the region's original settlers represent the Dutch, Irish, English, and some French, the largest groups in number and influence were the Germans and the Scot-Irish.
Today, this area is often stereotyped because of its heritage: dialects, specific rural lifestyle, subsistence agriculture, family feuds, industrial work, exploitation of labor and a severe lack of resources. Many people do not realize that Appalachia includes thriving cities such as Pittsburgh and Birmingham and is contiguous to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and other major cities.
On the other hand, of the nearly 400 counties in the Appalachian region, significantly more than half are rural. Nearly 25 percent are considered distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Most of the people who live in Appalachia are descended from strong, independent, and hard-working individuals. In the past 30 years, their communities have experienced a painful break as industries that once produced numerous jobs are gone. In many cases, no new industries have replaced them.
World Vision's goal in Appalachia is to help level the economic and social playing field in this under-resourced region, to see neighbors helping neighbors, and to experience lives and communities being transformed. We come alongside communities that are hard at work. The focus of World Vision is to bring a hand-up and the message that God means for all of us to live a full and abundant life.
To teach the spiritual discipline of servanthood and to apply the principles of Christ-centered community transformation by serving in mission work in the north-central West Virginia region.
Barbour County, Flemington, Grafton, Wallace, Pickens, Selbyville, Norton, and Coalton, West Virginia, and Morgan County, Ohio.
Youth groups, congregations and families.