The Vashti Voice
Healthy families, healthy communities.
From Our Executive Director
When the Past Meets the Present
Phillipians 1:3-4 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for
all of you, I always pray with joy.

I recently had the pleasure of providing a tour of our campus to five women who graduated from Vashti in 1969. They were planning for their 50th high school reunion and asked to visit the campus again. We warmly welcomed them, and while we walked the grounds on that Saturday morning I learned more about Vashti's history. I enjoyed the stories about where their old bedrooms were, the chores they used to do, their favorite teachers, and their old boyfriends. They used to pass notes by leaving them in bushes! It was interesting to learn about the different circumstances and experiences that led each of them to Vashti, which was then still a school for girls. I had the opportunity to share with them how our services have grown and how our increased presence in surrounding counties now provides therapists in schools to help children dealing with emotional and behavioral health issues.

One of my takeaways from that morning is that these women, who arrived at Vashti from different places and different circumstances, have been able to maintain a deep friendship and bond after all of those years--all because of the time they spent together at Vashti. I hope that some of the youth we serve will be able to maintain similar bonds with their peers. Perhaps they, like these women before them, will be able to look back and reflect on their time here as a time when they did receive love, support, and healing.

My other big takeaway is how fortunate I am to be a part of this ministry. Many of the children we serve have experienced deep trauma in their lives. At Vashti we have the opportunity to help them and provide them with an environment of love and support. We foster the healing process in a child so they can become more resilient and develop hope for a better future. As we begin to approach the holiday season, it is so important that we share that love and support with our youth at Vashti. We have many opportunities and ways for you to give that will benefit our mission and make a positive impact on the lives of the children and youth we serve.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers for our children and mission.


RECAP: 6th Annual Dinner on the Bricks

Our 6th Annual Dinner on the Bricks was another celebration full of fun and creativity, all in an effort to raise money for the children and families we serve in southwest Georgia. Many thanks to our sponsors, event committee, and dedicated volunteers who made this exceptional evening possible. 

The night began with our fabulous judges taking on the Herculean task of picking the top three tables. The Leftovers rocked the night away with their musical stylings, and all you could hear was laughter and joy in the Ritz Amphitheater. 

Mark your calendars for next year - September 26, 2020!

For all the photos from the event, click here.

When you make a legacy gift through your will, trust, or by beneficiary designation, you demonstrate your commitment to Vashti Center's mission to bring healing, hope and transformation to some of the most vulnerable children and youth in southwest Georgia. Your gift becomes a lasting investment that will ensure the continued vitality and growth of Vashti's ministry, now in existence for more than 100 years. 

For information on how to make a legacy gift to Vashti, call Susan O'Neal, Development Director, at or (229) 226-4634. 

Dinner on the Bricks WINNERS 2019
Most Elegant - Ashley Home Store

Ashley Home Store

Most Creative - Woodleaf Senior Care

Woodleaf Senior Care

Best Overall - ServPro


Our fantastic Judges with host Laura Pike

Wear Vashti With Pride

We believe that in order to help our community become better and stronger, we need to make sure we're talking about our mental health needs. Our new apparel helps open that conversation with your friends, neighbors, and community members. Let's make taking care of our mental health a normality, and not something we keep in the shadows. 

Hat: $20
T-Shirt: $25 

If you'd like your own hat or t-shirt, swing by the office or contact Liz Williams at (229)226-4634 or

Thank you Bainbridge!
Vashti Chaplain, Rev. Amanda Messer, with Bainbridge First UMC pastor Rev. Melissa Travers 

Thank you to Bainbridge First United Methodist Church for hosting our Pastor's Breakfast! We loved catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. If you'd like us to come to your area, contact Susan O'Neal at (229)226-4634 or We'd love to see you!
Do You Hear What I Hear?

Even though the weather in our area doesn't quite feel like the holidays are near, our calendar begs to differ. Soon our campus will be filled with signs of the season: green wreaths on doors, bows on every sign and lamp post, and decorated trees in each building.  We strive to make sure that our campus is filled with the same hope, joy, and love that surrounds you and your family each holiday season.

Our campus is full of merry voices all year round - children and families at our community clinic, kickball games at our after school clubhouse, and music and art projects for our residents. Three programs with one mission: to foster healing, hope, and transformation to children and families who need it most in our community.

If you'd like to help us bring the holly and the jolly to not just our residents, but also our clubhouse and community program children and families, click here. For additional ways to support our clients, email our chaplain, Rev. Amanda Messer at

For more information on giving to Vashti, contact Susan O'Neal at (229)226-4634 or
Save the Date - Vashti Giving Day 2020

Our Quarter In Pictures
Our resident boys enjoying a fishing day during Fall Break.

Our residents got to enjoy a class at You're Maker.

We love the Piecemakers from Rincon UMC!

Superbowl Champion Danny Copeland encouraged our boys to aim for greatness.
Why Our Mission Matters

A Word From Our Chaplain
For the past 6 weeks, volunteers from First Methodist Church in Thomasville have spent each Monday afternoon with our female residents. They have provided knitting lessons and materials as well as fun fellowship and conversation.

Knitting has not been a natural skill for me. I need assistance often, and I have made many mistakes along the way. Nevertheless, I have found the practice calming and relaxing. I often knit simple, repetitive patterns while listening to a podcast or an audio book or watching TV. However, I find that when I am multitasking this often means that something is neglected or skipped over. And that's when I make more mistakes. When I can focus on what's in my hands at this very moment, I may still make mistakes, but they are caught sooner and repaired more easily. I find that is true in my life as well as in knitting. When I am truly present in the moment, I'm more likely to catch myself before I say something without thinking, that I won't drive past my exit because I am distracted, that I can notice when something is not quite right and do something about it before it becomes a bigger problem.

For me, knitting is a good metaphor for life: one stitch=one breath; one row=one day. It's often mind-numbingly repetitive, but even though it often feels as though one is making no progress at all, by focusing on what is in front of you, eventually you find you have created something truly beautiful.

While it's nice to have a completed piece (which I have yet to produce), for me the greatest pleasure comes in the knitting itself and the connection I feel it gives me to myself and my thoughts (as well as to others).  Although it seems to be just a solitary activity, knitters seek each other out. We play off each other's ideas and learn from others' mistakes. We sit side by side watching each other create.

Psalm 139:13-14 tells us that God knits: "You knit me in the darkness of my mother's womb; I am fearfully, wonderfully made."

When God knits us, the outcome is unique, to be treasured. God works with respect, intention, and attention, ever patient and exacting. The knitting continues even after we are born as the Spirit refines the design, guiding us along the pathways of our lives. When we make mistakes, God helps us unravel, start over, and move forward.

When we trust God to hold our lives in perfect tension, to guide us in a sometimes winding path with a little fun, creativity, and companionship thrown in, we will find that our work and our lives accomplish God's purpose-sometimes even despite ourselves!
Special thanks to Carolyn Wight, Sally Sullivan, Betty Day, and Kay Williams of Thomasville First UMC who spend so much time with our resident girls!
Rev. Amanda Messer

With God as our cornerstone, we foster healing, hope, and transformation to empower and promote resiliency in children, families, and communities in Georgia.

Vashti is in a covenant relationship with the United Methodist Women national office.
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