Having felt that they had been called to be “the hands and feet of Christ,” many of our early board members would go on home repair mission trips to other parts of the country. But, when they returned they would ask themselves, “What about us? There is a lot of need right here in Richland County. Who will help us?”
And so, in February 2008, this group decided to organize. They began by going to the Nehemiah Mission in Cleveland in order to learn how to operate a ministry of this type. They worked on job sites, sought advice and learned the ins and outs of charitable home repair mission work. Upon their return, The Main St. United Methodist Church and other United Methodist Churches in the area began the development process and the Blue Rose Mission was born.
Our focus narrowed to the tasks of assisting homeowners in the Greater Mansfield area with home repairs while developing relationships with clients and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Being "the hands and feet of Jesus" became a reality on Make a Difference Day 2008 when we completed our first projects which included leaf raking, digging up shrubs and evicting a groundhog. More than 70 volunteers helped out that day. By 2009, the mission had individual volunteers and work teams that painted, plastered, did plumbing and electrical repairs, built steps, and installed locks and laid flooring. The early work teams came from neighboring counties and local churches.
By 2012, mission work teams had begun to come from far beyond our area and even from other states, such as New Jersey and Illinois. We were spurred on by comments from the homeowners, such as one client requesting that a certain group come back to her house because she had so much fun with them and loved their singing. The requests for help continue to number about 150 for each summer season. We are thankful that even more churches in the area have joined such a wonderful cause.
The feeling of "Brotherhood in the Neighborhood" grows stronger every time a new group comes in to work. Some groups have made a third, fourth and even an eighth return trip. We constantly remember that not only is the homeowner and family watching you, but the whole neighborhood. The ripple gets bigger and bigger and the homes of Richland County continue to become safer, more secure, and the appearance of our neighborhoods is improving. These homeowners have experienced first-hand the Love of God through the service and compassion of volunteers from Blue Rose Mission.
At the beginning we asked: "What About Us?" Now the question is: "What about You?" Is Jesus calling you to service? Now is the time. Blue Rose Mission provides wonderful opportunities for work teams consisting of both young people and adults to grow in discipleship to Jesus Christ while completing home repair projects. With your help, we can reach the hurting people of our community. Together we will provide opportunities for amazing spiritual growth for work teams, as well as the families being served, as they encounter one another in a loving, caring setting of mutual understanding.