• Are You up for an Adventure This Summer?

    Brian Wagner / May 24, 2019

    Since 2009 I have been going to McDowell County, WV to work with low wealth families, ensuring that their homes are dry and safe. In 2015-2016 my family moved to War, WV, in the heart of McDowell County in order to help start a community development and jobs initiative program called Warrior Creek Development. All that to say, McDowell County is very near and dear to my heart, and is a people and place I’d love to introduce you to!

    Would you prayerfully consider joining me this summer in WV with the expectation of learning about rural Appalachia poverty as well as providing intentional care and assistance to those in the area? You’ll get to meet dear friends whom will quickly become yours as we seek to be led by God into an area of the country that He is at work in.

    The trips are planned for a week in July (13-19) and August (10-16) and will include a trip to Beckley Mine Museum. We’ll also have the opportunity to do construction work on projects in conjunction with Warrior Creek Development. And of course, we’ll interact with neighbors in Holler #5, plus explore the Hatfield McCoy trails on four wheelers.

    Cost: $350/person with a maximum of $900 for a family. Price includes food, lodging, and materials.

    Transportation: We’ll look into carpool options. Price does not include transportation.

    Here are a few links I would suggest watching to gain a better understand the plight of McDowell, as well as some of the work being done by many.

    This first link is the piece that captured my heart and which God used to drive us to West Virginia as a family.

    Hollow Documentary is an interactive web based film that presents the rise and fall of coal, and it’s effect on the county of McDowell. Here is the preview of that documentary. I would suggest spending some time on the actual website (

    This is the organization I helped start in McDowell with its director, Craig Snow.

    This shows the various ministries currently working in McDowell, many of whom we as Hope Force partner with. The areal shots of the smaller town is where my family lived, and where you will be staying when we serve there this summer.

    This final link is for the trailer for the movie, Z for Zachariah. I haven’t seen the movie, but it is an apocalypse story, and McDowell County was used to shoot the film. The first 25 seconds are all Welch, WV, including at 21 seconds where a man is pushing a wheelbarrow, and in the background are two of our houses. Unfortunately, not much was changed to make the filming take place in shooting an end of the world film.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


    Brian Wagner
    Family Life Pastor