Every summer our church takes a family mission trip to serve a church in another part of our country. This year we had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Clarkston International Bible Church in Clarkston, GA (outside Atlanta). Clarkston is a town that I had no idea existed until just recently. It is a refugee relocation site and they have literally thousands and thousands of people who come to live there from all over the world. CIBC is an English speaking church, but they share their facility with 7 or 8 other churches of various nationalities (e.g. Burmese, Ethiopian, and many others). We were able to spend a week there doing three main things: learning about what God is doing, encouraging the pastors and their families, and serving their community.
On our first day, we did a scavenger hunt around town where we had to find specific items from different cultural markets.
Like cockroaches ready for cooking...
We were blessed to hear stories from several different pastors who shepherd congregations of different people groups in Clarkston.
Our girls work up early each morning to have their Bible time in our meeting room.
We spent one day helping to clean out unused basement level classrooms in the church building. They are hoping to use this for the Refugee Sewing Society ministry at some point.
We also cleared out an unused section of the church grounds to be used for a community garden.
One neat opportunity we had was to go to an apartment complex where many of the refugees live and invite their children to the church for VBS the following week. Many of us had the opportunity to pray for the people and to share the gospel with them.
I was able to use the Jesus Film app to show a clip to a woman from Afghanistan who only spoke Pashtun. So cool!
On the last day, the pastor of CIBC asked our team to fill out evaluation forms. I thought I would share Caroline's :)
What did you love most about your time in Clarkston?
Going to visit in the homes.
What is one thing you learned?
That I can be a swear in the sewing excites when I grow up and speak a new language
Were the living and dining spaces adequate?
How could we improve?
Grow some plants.
How has God used this trip in your life?
We can help people learn about Jesus.
What else would be good for us to know?
You should do good good sermons about the Bible.
After a wonderful week of learning and serving, we headed back to SC. But not before spending a few hours of fun time at the Georgia Aquarium!