Ever wondered what serving “outside the box” might look like? If so, just follow the lead of this man, Les Rassi. He is the model of a Volunteer Rock star that has discovered opportunities outside the walls of the church.
A retired biology teacher in the public school system, Les – along with his wife, Velma – has probably served in 25 Habitat builds locally, nationally and internationally. I would think an abundance of ministry like that would be enough to get a free dinner with President Carter.
Les might be able to squeeze that dinner in, but it couldn’t have been on a Saturday during the two years that the Monroe Circle Community Center (MC3) remodeling project was taking place. Les and a team of construction volunteers were at MC3 nearly every weekend, transforming a rundown building into a safe community environment that has become the national model for what the church can do outside of its own walls. What an amazing ministry.
How about trying to squeeze this in – since the opening of that community center, Les and Velma can be found serving the guests that walk through MC3’s doors. They’ve given up nearly every Tuesday to serve coffee and pastries and distribute food and personal care packages to those in need.
That’s enough to be called a rock star in anyone’s book, but when you add to that the fact that the couple took this same servant spirit to the lower caste villages of India (five times!), then you’re really getting outside the box.
Les’ heart for helping others has found him putting new roofs on the homes of strangers and neighbors who’ve been left with far less than anyone reading this post has gotten by with. How do you explain hearts that give as much as the ones found in this couple? It can only be ascribed as complete devotion to loving others while following the call Christ has put on their hearts to serve.
Let me tell you what else Les has been up to lately. There’s this little place being transformed called the Veterans Center. It’s on the same scale of remodeling that MC3 experienced. It’s going to be another place that offers help to those who’ve found themselves in a difficult place in life. It will take hours of labor, weekend after weekend, and Les will be there – you can count on it.
There’s more but you’re getting the picture of what this rock star looks like. The simple truth is Les and Velma would say that helping others has transformed their lives more than the difference they’ve made. And they’re right. Les and Velma: Thank you for all you’ve done to be Jesus with skin “outside the box.”