Our Middle School students are serving in Atlanta this week. Below are daily updates.
Today was our second day helping at East Atlanta Church. We started the day with some yard work, painting, and indoor cleaning. Pastor Jean then took us on a tour of Cabbagetown-the neighborhood the church is located in. The students enjoyed hearing personal stories and connections the church has made in the community.
Our team was then taken to Little Five Points in East Atlanta-an area that has a lot of shops, restaurants, and people. This was a super hot day so we passed out water bottles to people on the street with information about East Atlanta Church. The students had their eyes opened to a culture that is very different from Williamson County. While some of them felt a little uncomfortable, they understood that just like us and the people of MidTown, this community also needs to hear the good news of Jesus.
We ended the day with a Braves baseball game which aloud the team to relax, enjoy one another's company, and debrief the week.
Today's update is from Kendra Satterwhite, a student a part of the mission team.
The day started with a 6:00 wake up provided by Maria. Our first task of the day was to hand out granola bars again at the Marta stations. We did this the first time on Wednesday so I have grown to be comfortable with it. Wednesday was not the case. At first, I felt weird just talking to random strangers, but I have found that the responses were overwhelmingly positive. I was surprised to have so many people love our granola bars rather than be annoyed by them.
Next on our list was a prayer walk around Georgia Tech's campus-one of the interns with M28 attends the school. He showed us around and told us some stories about people he met on campus. He talked about how the workload and professors were so harsh that a lot of kids delved into depression or drinking. After each story we said a prayer. I loved that a majority of the other students on our team prayed for these students and the seeds that M28 is planting.
After the prayer walk we went to Piedmont Park. We brought surveys to ask people and to start gospel conversations with them. My group and I went up to 3 people. The first was a homeless man named James. He said he was a believer. Nathan talked with him for a long time while I talked with a woman named Sofia. Sofia was from New Jersey and grew up Jehovah's Witness. She referenced them to be a cult many times and hated everything about it. When she was 7 years old she was saved by Jesus. She went on to tell us her testimony about how she grew up in a broken home and had an abusive father. Her story really affected me and I was moved by her strength and bravery. She had gone through so much in her life and managed to succeed in her job. Now she is working on her bachelors degree. So instead of me teaching her about the gospel, she taught me about a thing or two.
My favorite thing about the day was going to City of Refuge. It is a safe haven for women and children. Everyday they serve three meals to those staying in the facilities. My task was walking around serving drinks throughout the meal. By doing that I was able to start up conversations with the women. They were all mostly nice and easy to talk to. I even bonded with a few ladies over our mutual love of ranch dressing. It was very moving to see so many women with such different backgrounds than me, and accepted our help so readily. They brought their children and Kaia played with them a lot. It was amazing how when you did something as simple as giving them a napkin, or refilling their water, they were so grateful and thanked us so sincerely.
I had a really great day today and can't wait for tomorrow.
Some days in life do not always go as planned-and that includes on mission trips. While in preparation for this trip we discussed flexibility and patience, Thursday taught us both lessons. When our team looks back on this day, I hope they remember a day God reminded us that His plan is greater than anything we could imagine.
Pastor Jean from East Atlanta Church came over Wednesday evening to spend some time with the team and update us on the church’s growth over the last year! For those students who came last year, they loved hearing about the things that have changed and projects they assisted with. They were able to see the connecting points of how what we do one day can effect the future. For example, today we organized a book closet at a local middle school. While it was time consuming and heavy lifting, the students understand that in 2 months the students will be extremely appreciative of this work and it will make their jobs much easier!
In the evening our team was able to spend some downtown attending a local attraction, Stone Mountain. It was great to spend this time getting to know one another better and having fun! If you’ve never experienced the laser light show, it is definitely something you should check out.
Friday will be another day filled with prayer walking, spiritual conversations, and relationship building along side M28 Church staff. We ask that you join us in praying for that following….Pray that the Lord will push all of us out of our comfort zones. Pray that we will be open to the Spirit’s guidance. Pray that God will use us to allow great relationships to be built for M28 Church.
Our first full day in Atlanta was awesome. We spent the whole day with M28 Church, a 1.5 year old church plant in MidTown in Atlanta, serving alongside Matt Dye and his team. This morning we were split up into three teams and went to the MARTA stations that are in the Midtown area. We had hundreds of granola bars that we were to hand out to those getting on and off transportation at the MARTA station. With the granola bars we gave them a card that had M28 information on it and told people we would love for them to check out this new church in the city. It was great stepping out of our comfort zones and getting to love on people through giving them a simple breakfast bar and wishing them a great day.
One of my favorite parts of the day was prayer walking through the Midtown area. We walked around for about three hours specifically praying for certain areas and people. There is a lot of confusion, hurt, and loneliness in this city but rejoicing that we serve a God who knows each person and loves them deeply. Students were challenged to prayer out loud during the walk. It was great seeing them step out of their comfort zone and pray for this city.
Today was such a great day building relationships and seeing the Lord at work. Pray for M28 as they continue to be a presence in this community and speak truth to the people of MidTown. I am excited and expectant to see how the Lord is going to work the rest of our time here.
Once we got to Woodland Hills Church, we unloaded the bus. Later as we were getting food, it began to pour, so we went and danced in the rain. Then we went inside and played apples to apples and card games while waited for The M28 staff to come and talk to us. They talked to us about their church, mission, and the city in general. M28 is for the passage Mathew 28, which talks about going out and making disciples of all nations. Then we all went and got ready for bed. We read Matthew 28 as a group to help familiarize us with the passage and the church. After a great time of discussion and prayer, we headed to bed with an early morning in front of us.
(Lily Beasley, Lilia Darden, and Rebecca Heise)