Poverty in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia is devastating.
The changes in coal mining technology and how Americans are now looking for fossil-free energy sources have led to a downward spiral in the economy in this state. With enormous job loss, many families now live in homes without heat, running water or electricity. Children and the elderly go hungry daily. Many times the choice between buying food, paying bills or purchasing much needed medication is a daily occurrence.
Due to extreme hardships in this area of the U.S., many people suffer from low self-esteem, depression and feel there is no hope for the future. Yet, witnessing hope does occur with the hands and feet of Jesus working in the hills and hollows of southern West Virginia every day.
Hands of Hope’s Vision
The vision of Hands of Hope Ministries, Inc. is to spread the love and the hope found in Jesus Christ by helping others in this troubled area. Hands of Hope carries the message of the Gospel as we work to help the needs of the people of southern West Virginia.
Hands of Hope Ministries is a committed group of servants working to collect and distribute clothing, food and supplies to the people who have watched their livelihood shutter, their homes go into decay, and their finances dwindle to nothing. As the single department store available to residents in McDowell County, people don’t have to go far to purchase items at low cost as needed at The Hope Chest thrift store.
Furthermore, with little or no nonprofit services available in the county, Hands of Hope is sometimes the first responder to reach out to others during a family crisis in their community, such as after a home fire. Hands of Hope Ministries may provide clothing and aid to families when all has been lost to the flames.
When a recently-released man from prison is dropped off in the town of Welch in a jumpsuit made of paper fabric, their first stop is to Hands of Hope Ministries’ store, The Hope Chest, where they are given a free set of descent clothing. This gives this man a good beginning providing him a sense of dignity and a hopeful future.
Hands of Hope visit people in their homes where they are located. Food is distributed and many children are given an opportunity to smile.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery for sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18
By maintaining relationships established through ongoing programs in the community, Hands of Hope Ministries is able to identify difficult situations that individuals, families or a community may be experiencing, and then helping them to find solutions to these difficulties. It can be as simple as encouraging and strengthening relationships with individuals/family members who are seeking a way to make better choices.
To accomplish the ongoing needs, services and the ministry of Hands of Hope, a major focus of Hands of Hope Ministries is to provide inspiration and direction to individuals, groups, and churches looking to become more involved in the mission field, including the Hands of Hope Ministry. One way to serve is to become part of a mission team and a mission trip to Hands of Hope Ministries. See our page about our Mission Center.