In two short months of living here, we were given a ginormous old historic church building in downtown-south Knoxville. An old established church of about 10 members mainly in their nineties wanted to deed it over to a young church plant.
We didn't know much about the community when we first arrived, however it soon became apparent to us the community of Vestal has great needs. It is in the top 10% of the United States poorest communities. In the short seven months since we have launched we have been overwhelmed with love, and a sense of urgency to help meet these peoples needs in any way we can. We have a huge passion, big vision, and even greater dreams for this community as each day passes.
We would love to be a place of hope for these incredible people. When we first laid eyes on the building, God gave us the word light. And over time we have realized just what that word means. This community is very dark, not only spiritually, but hang out in Vestal any day/night and you will see darkness everywhere. People have thick blankets covering their windows, dogs and fences for security, overgrown lawns, hardly any street lights at night to see, and an entire population that only comes out during night hours. We would be lying if we told you we haven't over the last seven months questioned why we were put directly in this part of Knoxville. However, God keeps showing up and showing out, and breaking our hearts for this community. There hasn't been a day go by that He stirs in our hearts new ways to love on and reach them.
The building you see is very run down and has seen better days. When we got it there was a big fence wrapping all the way around it. That was the first thing to go, and one of the first things people made a point to stop and tell us anytime they saw us at the building, "Thank you so much for coming and taking that fence down. When it was put up, it told our community to stay out. And now that y'all have tore it down, it says we are welcome again." -Vestal Neighbor. It is far from what we dream it to look like. We have dreams it will be a light, not only from the people, but that Jesus will use this building to be a light and a place that says welcome home to every single person around. We want a place of refuge that people feel safe, loved, adored, a place where their needs are met.
SEE BELOW SOME OF OUR OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES!
Check out our 2nd Backpack 2 School BASH from July 2018!
Check out the video from our first FallaPaLLooZa event Oct 2017