Sterling and team are restoring a truck for Blazing Hope Ranch

3 years ago Triangle 0

John Sterling, Bryan’s director of safety and security and associate professor of criminal justice and government, is working to restore an 1960 Chevrolet Apache pick up truck that he found encasing a tree.

Sterling works out of his own garage, Old School Rod and Custom. He decided, along with two of his frequent volunteers Zeke Colby and Hunter Tipton, to restore the truck for Blazing Hope Ranch. The Ranch offers transitional living for women who are survivors of human trafficking. While at the Ranch, they learn the Gospel and basic skills needed to start an independent life. Blazing Hope Ranch also works to educate others about human trafficking and they seek to diminish trafficking.

The truck will be useful in hauling feed, fence repair, property maintenance, hauling tack and other horse-related gear. But Sterling said the truck also resembles Blazing Hope Ranch’s mission.

It comes with it’s own story of redemption, and its own road to recovery which serves as an object lesson of God’s love and His plan,” said Sterling. He went on to say the truck seems broken beyond repair, but with the hard work of others it can be redeemed, just as Christ redeems us. The Ranch shares this message.

Sterling wants volunteers to help finish the restoration. Aptitude is helpful, but volunteers aren’t required to have any mechanical experience. Sterling said, “a volunteer is still a worker, so I expect a heart to do the work.”

The volunteers are hard at work seeking to restore the truck for the Ranch.

Jack Wise, a graduating senior and business IMC student, works on the truck off and on. Nick Goss, a senior majoring in business administration management, also helps with the restoration, alongside Taylor Ray, Hunter Tipton and Zeke Colby. So far, the group has removed a tree that grew around the driveshaft and rear suspension, removed the rear brakes and sanded and painted various pieces of the truck.

“If you want to be able to work with your hands and see your labors go to something great, this is a project that will give you that,” said Wise. “It’s problem solving, and sometimes it’s pretty strenuous work, but ultimately it’s amazing to see what can be done.”

Goss encourages students to look into the ministry of Blazing Hope. By volunteering time to the truck restoration project, Goss said they are helping the Ranch get something they need.

Sterling said completion of the truck depends on funds and volunteers. As of now, it’s half way restored.


Editor’s note: 

Students interested in volunteering can email Sterling or call him at (865) 640-7737. Donations can also be made for the truck restoration on the Ranch website. Simply click donate and indicate that it is for the restoration.

Samantha Burgess is a sophomore majoring in communication with an emphasis in digital media and is an assistant editor for the Triangle.