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About Us

Mustard Seeds & Mountains is a Christian relief and development agency based in Appalachia, reaching out to those in greatest physical and spiritual need in poor communities.

mission trips to appalachiaMustard Seeds was founded on February 13, 1992, by Randy and Jacque Wallace in McDowell County, West Virginia with the purpose of assisting the poor in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Mustard Seeds & Mountains is a non-profit Christian Community Development organization (501c3). We are an interdenominational, Protestant mission.

Mission Description

Mustard Seeds & Mountains is committed to working from a clearly stated biblical foundation in its mission and to the declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This declaration is expressed in reconciling people to God, to one another and to God's creation.

Our mission is to see the reign of God established in the lives of people, families and communities throughout His world. We have the obligation to discern how God's Kingdom is already expressed in the culture and community of those with whom we work. We seek to make a conscious effort to augment what is already of God's Kingdom wherever we work.

Our Purpose

Mustard Seeds & Mountains is called to be a part of the larger Church's ministry of reconciliation. Within that context we have a specialized call to meet the physical needs of the poor and in Christ's name empower them to achieve a life of greater dignity and self-reliance. We also do development in a way that shows high regard for God's creation. We are committed to meeting people's spiritual needs ... laboring to see them reconciled to God. And we are called to work for reconciliation in the fabric of their community life as well. Central to our mission is the enabling of the church to:

  • Reflect the values of God's new Kingdom.
  • Place mission at the center of congregational life and Christian discipleship.

Recognizing that the brokenness brought on by the Fall impacts all people and cultures, our mission is not limited to the needs of persons in Appalachia. We also have a missional responsibility to our partners, churches, North America, and the rest of the world.

The Need

The Appalachian region (specifically the state of West Virginia) is often referred to as the Third World of the United States. It suffers from chronic poverty brought about by absence of jobs and remoteness of location. Some of the problems are: chronic high unemployment (30-50% in many areas), substance abuse, high drop-out rate in schools, population reduction due to migration, malnutrition (one fourth of all children in the region go to bed hungry each night), poor medical care, infant mortality exceeds national average by 35%, high rates of teen-age pregnancy, and poor housing (housing in WV, according to standards set by the United Nations on adequate housing, is so substandard that an alarming number of the population could be considered homeless).

Our Strategy

At times it may be necessary to engage in traditional charity work. Ultimately, though, we seek to transform the region and the people through affirming their dignity and giving them skills to succeed in our absence. Our goal is not merely to affect the economic condition of the region. We will live among the people and by representing Christ to them as we minister to their needs, we will seek to lead them to the point where God empowers them to be servants as well. This reconciliation to God and between people is central to our ministry.