Saturday, May 11, 2019

Appalachian Small Town Internship

Did you know there are places in the United States where there is no cell phone service or Walmarts within an hour drive?

Did you know that we have Young Life in some of those small towns?

Our county has the lowest life expectancy in America. We have an opioid overdose rate that’s 8x the national average. 55% of children live with NEITHER biological parent.

What a great opportunity to share the love of Christ with those who often feel on the outside!

Our Young Life area is bringing in two interns for the 2019/2020 school year. We’ve already hired one, but are still looking for one more.

The funding model is for interns to raise partial salary and supplement that with substitute teaching. We have a brand new “Young Life apartment” for housing. This opportunity would be a great training ground for launching into full-time ministry within another small town Young Life community.

Our Family’s Story

God called our family of five to McDowell County, West Virginia in 2016. Before that, we lived in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in a cul-de-sac neighborhood with great careers and volunteered as Young Life team leaders. Our extended families were within a 30-minute drive and life was so good!

But we began to sense a call to Third World or “tribal missions.” We prayed but found no clarity until someone told us about a county in America that’s been hurting for generations and where students report such large feelings of hopelessness that we wept when we heard their stories.  Within six months, we raised funds, sold our home, quit our jobs and moved to a small town with a population of 213 people.

There is so much good work to be done and God has opened doors all around us.  School board members and administrators are actively pursuing bringing Young Life to be in every school in order to combat behavioral, emotional, and addiction issues in the student bodies.

At the school where we currently do ministry, there are 475 students and 1 out of 5 students are plugged into Young Life. We had 90 folks attend our first local banquet and we raised $233.

Are you interested in being a part of this adventure?! If so, here’s a link for the intern application.

If you’d like to hear more, listen to the small towns episode on The Young Life Podcast with Scott Berg.

You can watch this YouTube video to hear the story of our town of McDowell: YouTube: The McDowell Story

And this video to learn more about the Mountain State Region of Young Life.


Written by Paul Dick, Young Life Area Director for McDowell County, WV.  

Email Paul here for more information.

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