Hello and happy Monday!  

Summer with ASP is in full swing, and Taylor and I have been traveling all throughout its service area, seeing the work being done by volunteers and staffers. Last week, we spent time in Leslie County, KY as the staff began their first week of hosting volunteers and working on homes. Our second stop of the week was Wise County, VA, where we line danced and tried Pal’s burgers and frenchie fries for the first time (super good—highly recommend).  Then, we ended our week in Johnson County, TN. We arrived at the center there just before their weekly picnic, where we got to chat with homeowners and grab ice cream afterwards with them and their sweet little girls.  

We got the opportunity to interview several volunteers this past week in the counties we visited. I noticed a theme among a few of their answers that really spoke to my heart, and I hope it speaks to yours as well. When asked why others should volunteer with ASP, one volunteer commonly known as Mr. Roger answered, “Everyone has something to give.” He went on to talk about how we all have different gifts given to us by God and how important it is that we each use our special gifts. He talked about how big a difference it makes when all our contributions are put together. 

As someone who works alongside summer staff but not in the traditional construction capacity, this really resonated with me. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. It’s beautiful to be part of an organization that honors our differences and allows me to contribute to the ASP mission in a way that is more suited to my personal strengths, which spoiler alert: do not include power tools or construction manuals. We spoke with another volunteer, named Ms. Jill, who serves, similarly, in a non-traditional sense. For health reasons, she is unable to work on home repairs, but she hasn’t let that stop her from serving with ASP. She spoke about how thrilled she was when the opportunity arose for her to become a helping hand. Though she can’t physically contribute at the work sites, she helps around the center and assists the staff with various tasks during her volunteer week. She also participates in IHVs during other parts of the year. Ms. Jill has found a way to use her unique abilities and gifts to make a meaningful impact on the lives of ASP homeowners and staffers in a way that is both safe and rewarding for her.  

The book of Romans in the Bible talks about our gifts as believers in chapter 12 verse 6, stating, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” Verses 7-8 go on to say, “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” 

My gifts are not your gifts, and your gifts are likely not my gifts. That’s okay. Instead of comparing ourselves or wishing we had different gifts, we should be thankful for the ones we do have, the ones God has graciously blessed us with. We have all been created uniquely, endowed with certain skills and abilities.  

 I aspire to be willing to use the special gifts God has given me to serve others, encourage others, and share His love with them. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord.” Remember that this week. Whether you’re working at your job, washing clothes, or spending the evening watching your kids play sports, shift your mindset and remember that no matter what we may be doing, we can do it in a way that brings honor to God, who is oh so deserving of it. I implore you to celebrate your strengths. Your strengths are gifts. Use your gifts. Make your impact in the way that only you can. 

Talk soon! 


Sarah Brassfield

Story Gathering Intern