Posted: 6/15/15 at 8:15am. Article submitted by Phyllis Tyler, JRBA.
A team of 14 volunteers from four churches in the James River Baptist Association (JRBA) plus Dr. Leroy and Sylvia Bradshaw of Blackstone Baptist Church gathered last month in Dillwyn to prepare for a week of service at the Bland Ministry Center in Bland, Virginia.
The JRBA and team members collected all sorts of supplies, including jars of peanut butter, dental hygiene items, hand sanitizers, deodorant, school supplies, USB drives, and thousands of plastic bags. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sewing group sent a large box of handmade totes and a couple of scarf/hat sets.
Additionally, the JRBA purchased 10 much needed twin-size mattresses for the volunteer house to be in place for the summer teams. The association purchased the mattresses from Grand Home Furnishings in Lynchburg. The furniture store not only gave JRBA a discount, but also delivered the mattresses from their Roanoke warehouse to Bland free of charge and took away a number of old mattresses for the center. After loading the items on a trailer, the team left for Bland.
Team members served in various capacities during the week. Some worked at the Ministry Center, where they mowed grass, cleaned up outside, and helped distribute donated items to the dental clinic, the clothes closet, and the food pantry. Others shelved items in the food distribution center and helped pack the boxes for distribution on Tuesday. All of them assisted with the food distribution that served 113 families on Tuesday. Team members also worked in the clothes closet, which served 195 families that week.
The construction crew completed three big projects out in the community. They put underpinning on a trailer, replaced a wraparound porch, and re-did a kitchen, including replacing the floor and installing a new cabinet and sink. The kitchen “re-do” made it possible for the man’s blind wife to navigate her kitchen again. They worked hard and were blessed by the appreciation of the homeowners who could not afford to have the work done.
Team members offered a free dental clinic Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Dr. Bradshaw of Blackstone Baptist Church saw 33 patients from Carroll, Giles, Mercer (WV), Smyth, Tazewell, Wythe, Grayson, and Bland counties, as well as the city of Galax.
His wife, Sylvia, served as dental assistant and Cindy Archer, Dental Clinic Coordinator, worked with the Bradshaws and served as lab technician. The dental team did 15 extractions, 15 fillings, and began a couple of root canals. At the standard cost for these procedures, a total of $7,944 worth of services/supplies were provided free of charge to needy patients.
The team had a great week helping out in Bland and thanks everyone who contributed items or money for the trip and to all who prayed for the team and its ministry.