And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Nickelsville: you have probably heard this term, and you may have wondered what it means. Nickelsville is a place. It is a small town in Southwest Virginia and home to Jan and Tony Johnson, good-minded people who are mission driven to help those in need.
In 2009, three Baptist Associations and the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) founded the Southwest Virginia Partnership, Inc. God then provided a location for the ministry — “The Manor” — in Nickelsville. Later that year, Jan and Tony Johnson were called to become missionaries in residence and coordinate the mission teams. The first mission teams arrived in 2010 and engaged in ministry and mission outreach in the region. Since then, hundreds of volunteers from all around Virginia have shared Christ’s love with the disabled, elderly, and unchurched while improving their physical environments.
River Road Church first sent a mission team to Nickelsville in 2016. Each year, the RRCB team aids in several ways. Under the supervision of Jan, team members work in the very organized and very large warehouse type food pantry, bagging canned goods and helping to distribute food to the local residents who come for assistance. The Nova Rehabilitation Center provides a beautiful setting to meet the elderly, play games, laugh, and share stories. In 2018, a HeadStart preschool was the recipient of the group’s volunteer hours, working with teachers, loving and supporting the preschoolers, and cleaning and sanitizing one of the classrooms.
Helping those with their physical environments provides RRCB members the opportunity to use physical labor and provide construction, electrical, plumbing, or renovation to those in need. This year, under the guidance and expert skills of Tony, the team removed a rotten floor in a trailer home, rebuilt the joists, added plywood subflooring and new laminate.
10 team members, 4 days, 4 different locations, 1 ultimate goal: “To work for the good of those who love him.”
Written by Laura Lee Chandler
Working at the Food Pantry in Nickelsville, VA, was eye opening. People do not want to be poor and take a handout. These folks were prideful but had to provide food for their family the best way they know how. One young woman had been a manager of a store and had children. Because she had no one to watch them, she lost her job. She told me she was embarrassed she had to come to the Food Pantry, but she had no other choice. Working at Headstart showed me that the staff treated all children with respect and love no matter what the children’s home life was like.
Written by Peggy Pruden
Originally published in the 2018 Fall Quarterly Explorer
All Women are Invited to the WMU Connectors Meeting!
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
7:00 p.m., Home of Tricia Alford
All River Road women are cordially invited to an evening of good fellowship. The group will hear about the mission trip to Nickelsville, VA over the summer. For more information please call Peggy Pruden at 804-282-4942.