Departure Date & Location: July 30, Neelsville Presbyterian Church, time TBD

Arrival Date & Location: August 5, Neelsville Presbyterian Church, time TBD

Trip Location: Vansant, Virgina

Tasks for attendees

Ensure you have all your "ducks in a row" by completing the following steps.

  • Complete the trip interest form

    Let us know you are coming! 2 more spaces remain!

  • Pay student portion

    Use this payment form to pay the student portion ($290). This can be paid in full or in partial payments. A least $100 deposit is due by April 30.

  • complete praying pelican forms

    You should have received an email from Praying Pelicans to create an account and sign their forms. If you did not receive that, check your promotions and spam email folder and then contact Jamie.

  • Fundraising

    Participate in fundraisers. 

    • Send this letter to friends and family inviting asking them to pray for our trip and inviting them to donate.
    • Got an idea? Chat with Jamie!

all about APPALACHIA

Basic Info on the area: The Appalachian region is represented by 25 million people living in an area of 205,000 square miles that spans over 420 counties in 13 states. From upstate New York to Mississippi, the region may be larger than one may think! Praying Pelican Missions currently serves alongside local churches and ministries in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. The region has some of the richest landscapes of the entire country, with wooded hills and valleys, streams and waterfalls, but tragically it is also one of the most financially impoverished areas in the United States. Generally, Appalachian people are known to be independent and self-reliant, deeply connected to and proud of where they live, believe in God, and are friendly towards one another and care for their neighbors. They have a strong sense of doing the right thing, and staying true to their word. They have a mistrust of outsiders, often resist change, and sometimes struggle with respecting authority. 

Economy: Today’s working force is made up of “blue-collar” industrial workers and other professionals in fields such as law, education, and banking. The Appalachian economy has depended on the mining, forestry, and factory industries for many years. Over the past 50 years, those prominent industries have left the area, which has left many Appalachians unemployed. The declining economy has caused a lot of financial and emotional stress on the population, and often has damaging effects on society. The poverty rate in Appalachia is higher than the national average. Studies have shown that poverty usually leads to food insecurity and inadequacy in children and families, increased patterns of addictive behaviors among youth and adults, and other societal issues such as homelessness. In addition to the economic struggles, the landscape of the Appalachian mountains is susceptible to natural disasters such as fires and floods. These catastrophic events can disproportionately affect those living in poverty in this region because of the geographic isolation, lack of emergency responders, and poor road conditions. 

History: Appalachia was the first frontier. Some of the richest history is nestled deep within the hollers and around the river bends of the Appalachian mountains. When the first immigrants and explorers came to North America and began to travel west, they traveled through the tough terrain of the mountains. Some people decided to settle in the beautiful landscape of this region, which explains the variety of ethnicities that make up this region: Native Americans, Irish, English, Scottish, Germans, and Polish. The region gained national recognition during the Civil War for their unique warfare tactics and resourcefulness. President Lincoln noticed the poverty in this region, and promised to bring them aid. The war eventually ended, President Lincoln was assassinated, and the needs of the people of Appalachia were forgotten. However, the natural resources of this area were not forgotten, but the profits of those resources have often been exploited since then and not poured back into the people and communities of the Appalachian region. Historically, religion has been very important to Appalachians. People generally believe in the Bible, respect the local church, and welcome anyone who comes in the name of the Lord. However, organizational religion has not often been practiced and some experts estimate that 65% of the population is unchurched. 

Climate: As coined by a popular country song made famous by John Denver, Appalachia can be described as “almost heaven”. The stunning landscape and comfortable climate contribute to the beauty of this region. From the hills and hollers to the beautiful rivers and waterfalls, there is an abundance of natural beauty to be absorbed. Adventure seekers from all over the world take advantage of the whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking opportunities. The climate is seasonal with it being very hot and humid in the summer, and very wet and cold in the winter. 

Food and Fun: The culture of Appalachia is rich in traditional arts, music, and foods, and has been preserved throughout many generations through customs and storytelling. Many local artists create and sell homemade jewelry, household goods, and gifts out of glass and pottery. Bluegrass and folk music originated in this region and still remain popular to this day. The use of handcrafted instruments like banjos and fiddles give the music a unique sound. Artists like Patsy Cline, Bill Withers, and Brad Paisley were born and raised in Appalachia. Traditional food to Appalachia include dishes such as biscuits and gravy, but when on a PPM trip to Appalachia it is very likely you will eat out at a local diner, or enjoy famous “pepperoni rolls” or “hillbilly hotdogs”.