This past weekend, the sophomore class headed to the town of Clarkston near Atlanta to go on their annual domestic mission trip. The Clarkston area is known for its diverse population of refugees from countries all over the world including nations in the Middle East and Africa. This experience has become a part of our sophomore Bible curriculum as the students study missiology and, more specifically, the life of Paul. It is meant to introduce the students to their first real experience with missions work. It is an excellent capstone experience for this unit.
Campus Pastor Jeremy Davidson has been going to this particular ministry in Clarkston for over 10 years since his days as a youth pastor in Fayetteville. He connects with a North American Mission Board missionary to these people groups named “Mr. Bennett.” Following a manual labor, work session, Mr. Bennett led the students through a special presentation Saturday morning to help them become ‘mission-minded’ before they went out and ministered to the people.
When we arrived at an apartment complex with a heavy refugee population, the students were met by a large throng of children playing in the apartment complex playground area. As the students moved through the crowd, the refugee children responded to our students in such a personal and genuine way. After just playing with and loving on these children on a cold afternoon, they broke up in groups and conducted prayer walks throughout the complex. When the time came to leave, it was hard for both the refugee children and our students to say good-bye–but in a few short years, the Class of 2020 will return to the apartment complex on their Senior Trip to reconnect with these wonderful people.