Several years ago, our church family received some money to be used to start a new mission. We started praying and meeting to talk about the needs around us and how we could meet those. A member of our church offered a vacant building next door to the church property to get started. As we walked the halls of the building and dreamed about what God was leading us to do, we recognized a sign. It was a placard that read 1075 which represented propane. Our minister commented that there is only one book in the Bible that has that many chapters. So we looked up Psalm 107:5 which reads “hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them”. God spoke through a sign to help us develop our mission statement.
We knew we wanted to feed people and this scripture confirmed it. So we began the process of planning and sharing our vision with the community. Our first open house was held over a 2 day period and over 80 people came to tour the building and learn more about what was going on. How do we continue to get the word out? We started cleaning the building and attracted several volunteers to help. Then came new signs, awnings, designing a logo, building a website, Facebook page, interviews with the local newspaper, and drawing plans. Part of the plan was to share the vision with the entire county as we would build a non-profit organization to sustain the mission.
We opened to the doors last August as we partnered with a Senior Nutrition Program supported by Department of Social Services. The group of seniors who come each week enjoy a meal together, art activities and volunteer in the food pantry. We have attracted several partners to continue to fulfill the mission. The local community college has set up a computer lab offering a GED program and computer skills training for job readiness. A local radio club has also joined the Filling Station. They have tapped into the old CB tower on the property that was used for communication with the gas trucks. In the event of a natural disaster, they can offer communication within a 20 mile radius from the tower. The most recent project we have started is the Food Pantry. The news has traveled fast and a company in Raleigh, NC donated shelving, containers, rolling carts to house the food.
One of the biggest challenges in working together on a big mission is keeping our eye on the purpose of why we are here. Our logo provides concise and consistent direction as we move forward. The flame on the logo represents the fuel it takes to keep going and the fire that is ignited in our souls as we give and receive.
In 2 months, we will celebrate our one year anniversary at the Filling Station. It is amazing all that has been accomplished in just a short time. If you want to know how to serve in your community, ask yourself what are the needs and how can I fill them?
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Until next Friday. . .