VESSEL staff desires to be the head, heart, and hands of Christ. If we aren't serving the less fortunate or even our sisters and brothers next door, then how much are we really growing in the head and heart areas of our Christian walks? VESSEL seeks to take on a handful of community projects every year in Blue Ridge, GA and the surrounding areas.
2020 project list
It is both exciting and heart wrenching to talk about our first batch of service projects in the year 2021. The Lord did work through each project, and while some were entirely positive and feel-good in nature, there was one that is tough to sit on, though we trust God in what was accomplished and what we aim to accomplish in the future.
The first of three was our biggest project. We sent a large group out to Mountain Fellowship Camp in Suches, GA. They serve quite a few people over the year and are always in need of support. We were able to clean up their obstacle course, clean out their schoolhouse, and prepare their two dozen cabins. Lisa and Tim, the camp directors, were incredibly grateful and surprised by all we were able to complete. We plan to go back in May to continue what we really have just started in our new relationship with this camp!
Our second project was out in Blue Ridge. An older lady named Betty lives in a small, disheveled home in isolation. It took a couple individuals to talk to her before she would allow us to serve her, and thankfully we were able to send a few guys out there to rebuild her steps to her front porch. She didn't interact much, but we pray this act of service will in some way stir her heart and open her up to people and God.
Finally, there was our third project that we ask for the most prayer on... Steve lives in Blairsville and is wrought with cancer. He is only 50, and he has multiple tumors throughout his brain and a large mass in his chest. His family has mostly abandoned him, save his ex-wife, Carrie, who lovingly has been tending to him the best she can. She works two full time jobs and has two kids to take care of while trying to look out for Steve, who can't do much for himself anymore. He has a hard time speaking, and when he did talk, he spent the first half of our time there saying, "I'm sorry." It was heartbreaking. We spent time talking with him as we prepped his floors for vinyl and cleaned up his little trailer. We got to connect with Carrie and her kids as well as donate some money to them for continued efforts on Steve's place. The fear for them all is that one of Steve's seizures will eventually kill him. And so I ask we all pray vigorously for them! As my heart is burdened for them, I think of Psalm 130: 2, "O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!" We plan to go back very soon to help in as many ways as we can.
I'm so thankful for these members of Vessel who are honestly some of the most incredible volunteers I've ever worked beside. They work and love hard that encourages me greatly! We thank God for this community among Vessel and the local body of churches that have stepped alongside our efforts and we look forward to sharing more with you all in the weeks and months to come.
Two of our three projects consisted of return trips to projects from back in March. We visited Mountain Fellowship Camp again to clean up debris from a couple of big spring storms. With the camp being so large, we sent around 12 volunteers to gather, cut, and remove branches, logs, leaves, and sticks. This camp in Suches is one of the few influential Christian establishments in the area and is a privilege for us to serve in! If you have a group of youth that you would like to take on a summer trip this year, consider Mountain Fellowship Camp in Suches Georgia.
There is a wide array of awesome activities available to our youth. Our other return trip was back to Steve Pye's trailer out in Blairsville, GA. Unfortunately, Steve passed away after we served in March of this year to an aneurysm, leaving his property to his mother. We did trash removal, but there is still plenty of work that needs to be done over there. Please be praying for Steve's surrounding family as they cope with the loss. Pray especially for his ex wife, Carrie, who took care of him up until his passing.
Lastly, we served a wonderful lady named Barbara who lives in Blairsville. We tended to her property by laying mulch, pulling weeds, and landscaping. We were touched by her kindness and lifelong dedication to serving those in need. At 81 she is ready to get back into the full swing of mentorship and service in our community. May we see ourselves as such servants both now and if the Lord blesses us to live to such a rich age. I think of Paul who desired among all things to finish the race well! It's inspiring to see such humility both over 2,000 years ago and now in the 21st century. God is an enduring Father. Let us honor that timeless love by never tiring to do good and holding fast to it.