Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Appalachia

"HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed."
-Luke 1:53
Last week, I spent three days in the Appalachia Mountains with four other City on a Hill Productions staff members. We are making a video for Backpack Mission, which is run by Diane Durham.

For many children in Appalachia, the only meals that are guaranteed are those paid for and supplied by their public schools. This means kids often come to school on Monday morning having not eaten since Friday afternoon. Diane, in conjunction with certain sympathetic resource teachers, supplies the children with food (that they can carry home and conceal in backpacks) so that they can eat over the weekends.

I think what hit me most was seeing first hand how poverty makes people susceptible to tragedies that most of us will never know. For example, I met a young woman (about my age) whose face and hands had been severely burned. She was lighting a kerosene heater (to heat their house) and it exploded in her face. Every person we interviewed, and they were not strategically chosen, was closely related to a small child with serious medical problems.

I can't get into specifics at this time, but I was also struck by the depth of the problems we encountered. You quickly realize that you can easily create problems by trying to solve problems. It becomes overwhelming.

I hope and pray that our video helps feed more children.

2 comments:

tipper said...

Interesting post-and sounds like a very interesting project you were part of. I am a Native Appalachian-from the Southern Highlands portion of Appalachia. I totally understand the "problems" and the complications that arise from them. But the hunger is something I've never experienced or seen in my area. Not that folks are rich-I myself am considered "poverty sticken" according to the government. I guess what I'm trying to say-is I and my local area have been very blessed-and should be more thankful. I hope your project is a huge success-and helps those who are in need.

R. Ramsey said...

Thanks, Tipper!

I visited your blog and really liked it. Appalachia is beautiful and has such a wonderful heritage. There were many members of the community there doing wonderful things to help those around them. That's something that is not often presented in media depictions, but it was pointed out to us, and we definitely noticed.

Hope all is well.

Richard Ramsey