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There are two kinds of students — those who never venture beyond Wards Road, and those who pursue Dr. Jerry Falwell’s vision to become salt and light soldiers in the Lynchburg community.
Senior education major Aly Sievers, and the students who serve with her, are reaching people in Lynchburg and changing lives through her bible study. Sievers had no intention of initially serving for Community Service (CSER) credit, but her time spent downtown earned her this year’s Volunteer of the Year Christian Service Award.
“(The bible study) got (the project) approved for (CSER credit) because we had been spending so many hours downtown that it just made sense,” Sievers said.
The group built decks, cut grass and did a variety of other service projects in a rundown area of Lynchburg where few students ventured to go, according to Sievers.
The lives of one family in this area have changed forever, not because their lawn is well manicured, but because they have turned their lives over to Christ thanks to the care and love Sievers relentlessly showed them and the relationship she has poured her heart into building.
“We kept knocking on the door, and knocking on the door, and knocking on the door and kept pursuing a relationship (with this family),” Sievers said. “They would always tell us what they needed, but would never accept the Lord.”
Almost three months ago the lives of the family members in this house, a mother, Faith, her daughter Hope, and 2-year-old grandson David began to change when Faith accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and Hope followed suit a week later.
Sievers’ shift focused from simply meeting physical needs to discipling the mother and daughter.
“Aly has been a big blessing ever since I started to see the type of person she was deep inside,” Hope said. “That is what made a difference in my life. Some people are nosy and talk behind our backs. Aly is caring.”
Aly spent one Wednesday evening sitting with Hope in the living room of her home creating invitations for her upcoming baby shower. They made plans to meet the next day to register for gifts at Wal-Mart. Hope was shocked to find out that she could register in more than one store and that people would care enough to throw a shower for her.
Sievers later asked Faith how her life had changed and Faith began to cry.
“You love me so much,” Faith said.
Sievers hugged Faith.
“You’re going to make me cry now,” Sievers said.
Sievers and those who serve with her usually visit Faith and Hope every Wednesday and Saturday.
“(Wednesday) is the day I look forward to most in the week,” Sievers said. “We read a Psalm a day and I challenge (Faith and Hope) to read on their own. I challenge them to pray on their own. It is cool to see what the Lord is doing in their lives because if you had met them three months ago you would not have recognized them.”