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
Getting these projects set up in May was a challenge as recent quarantine made planning more difficult. The Lord came through though as we were able to accomplish two service projects. These particular projects will require return work days as there are still needs that we will take on in the coming months.
Our first project was for the CLC (Christian Learning Center) in Blue Ridge, GA. This little non profit is an important part of the community in that they offer electives for high school students that are Christian focused. They always have various needs as a smaller non profit and we were able to fulfill many of their needs through a variety of ways. Interior painting, exterior painting, sidewalk pressure washing, landscaping, and other maintenance were performed. As usual our volunteers showed up to work and did not disappoint. It was a major blessing being able to serve the CLC as they are involved in kingdom work.
The second project that another part of our group went to work on was for the Ledford's. This is an older couple who is taking care of their grand kids despite the husband's blindness and their very small income. This tiny home desperately needed some love and attention as the kitchen inside was falling apart, the electrical work was in shambles, and only half the house had any siding on it. Thankfully, due to many helping hands and support from Joe Nickerson of Grace Mountain Builders and Electric we were able to make quite a bit of headway in our efforts to restore the Ledford's home closer to normalcy. There is much more work to be done there but what was accomplished was beautiful. Work got done but the family was touched, the children were engaged, a love offering was given, and at the end of the day our group gathered together with the Ledford family and prayed over them.
That is what these projects are chiefly about... showing the love of Christ to the needy. We serve practical needs, yes but more importantly we show off Christ in our serving, attitude, and spiritual encouragement. As we look ahead to future projects our hope is to share the love of Jesus more and more as we take on each challenge giving hope to those in whatever circumstances they may find themselves in. Thank you to all our volunteers as their constant commitment is not only sowing into the kingdom but is teaching others to do so as well.
This Saturday we were able to accomplish two service projects: A return trip to the Ledford family and an outing to Project Chimps. At the Ledford's, we finished all the siding and kitchen cabinet replacement. The family now has a functional home to raise their family in. The Lord provided for the Ledford's, and God gets the glory!
Projects Chimp is a sanctuary for chimpanzees that have lived some or all of their lives in experimental science labs. They are given a home to live out the rest of their lives peacefully after having a difficult experience growing up in a research environment. Even though Project Chimps is quite large, the funding consistency over the years has been lacking, so we offered up our free labor to accomplish projects that spanned from trail clearing to building enrichment devices for the chimps. We were able to save them a lot of man hours by working there as well as sharing Christ in our efforts as a body of believers. We look forward to returning in the future.
Thank you to our volunteers for their hard work and dedication to being on mission for Christ through the work of their hands. This was the first project I (Doug Serra) had to miss due to a foot injury, and seeing the passion and execution of this group on these projects was incredibly encouraging to me. The Lord has blessed Vessel with hands such as these.
This month, we had two projects in two very different locations. Locally in Blairsville, we helped a lady named Carol who had several building-related projects she needed done on her home. Led by Kris Groover, a team went out to redo the siding on her shed and the banisters on her porch. She was very grateful for the work done by our group, and we plan to go back hopefully in November to attend to her property again.
Two hours away in Atlanta, GA, we took our main workforce out to serve Wellspring. They have been around for almost 20 years, offering shelter and education to survivors of sex trafficking. This was a wonderful opportunity to go to their facilities and put together desks and activity equipment. We also detailed multiple vehicles and did some weeding to keep the grounds maintained.
We remember Acts 20:35 in this most recent season of serving, "In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” For those that visit this website or read our newsletter, we ask for your prayers and for your connections. If you know of anyone in need, let us know! Let's build the kingdom together, in service to our communities, and for the glory of God!
Our last batch of service projects for the year... and as usual we had an interesting variety of projects on our hands. God provided us with challenging dilemmas this go around, but by faith and hard work, we managed to knock out all 3 projects!
The first was a return trip to Carrols home in Blairsville, where a small crew was tasked with figuring out how to fix her leaking gutters and rotting fascia board. Thankfully, with a few trips to Home Depot and some patience, they were able to finish up our work at Carrols, blessing her with a functional home.
Our second project was also in Blairsville for a lady named Dorris. Unfortunately, her and her husband had run into medical problems, as her husband is now in a nursing home, and she was forced to move to McCaysville. Me and a couple other guys grabbed a U-Haul, loaded up the remainder of her things, and transported them to her new home. She was brought to tears when we told her the work we did was free. She blessed us over and over as we told her it was our pleasure to help her out. It was wonderful seeing God praised on this project!
Our final project was to the service of Fannin County Crisis Pregnancy Center. We sent a crew there to tear out and replace the carpeting in two rooms and two closets that desperately needed it. The finished product was professional and timely. The center was blown away by our volunteers' efforts and desires to work with us again in the future.
We continue to press on in our community as God's servants. We thank God for these opportunities to show his goodness in the lives of those around us. 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."