Flexible. That is the word of the week. I got here on Monday having no idea what I was going to be doing or who I was going to be working with, and the little bit of information I did know ended up changing. Monday evening through Wednesday morning was orientation for all of the Georgia student summer missionaries. It was a really good time to get to know other summer missionaries and to prepare our hearts for the summer. Tuesday evening I found out more of the details for the summer. I am actually working in Gainesville, Georgia which is about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta. I am partnered with Marianna who is also a NAMB student missionary. We will be working with two church plants. In the morning, we are working with a Hispanic church that has recently moved into its own building in the middle of what is called “little Mexico”. Gainesville is about 40% Hispanic and the community where this church is located is 100% Hispanic. We will be working with their youth and also planning a big local missions project for the end of July. In the afternoons, we will be working with an organization called In His Name. It is a brand new organization run by a guy who used to work at Mission Arlington. The goal is to create a similar program by planting churches in apartment complexes. They have two churches planted so far and they are working on a third this summer. We will be doing a lot of backyard Bible club-like activities in two of the apartments along with attending one of their churches on Sunday mornings.
Yesterday we spent the day learning more of what we are going to be doing. We also explored the town and tried to familiarize ourselves with it. For a town of 35,000 you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to navigate, but it is really confusing! Each street has about three different names and none of them are in a straight line, so we are probably going to get lost, but that’s part of the adventure. We are living in a host home that is about 20 minutes outside of town. The countryside is peaceful and provides some rest from the city. We are looking forward to the weekend to rest and to better get to know one another. On Saturday we are going to a Braves game with a church small group. Sunday we are going to the Hispanic church in the morning and we are hoping to go to a David Crowder CD release party at Passion City Church that evening. And on Monday we are hoping to sleep in!
Next week, after the long weekend we are going to dive in and start getting on a schedule. I am really excited to jump in and to meet the kids we will be working with. It is really cool how God fit me and Marianna together. She is really good at youth things and planning and I love to play with kids and do backyard Bible clubs. It will be cool to see how God will use our different strengths and weaknesses to accomplish His purpose this summer. One thing is for sure, it definitely won’t be a boring summer!
Thank you so much for your prayers, we can’t do this summer without them! Here are some specific prayer request:
- For the hearts of the kids and people that we will be working with in the Hispanic church and in the apartment complexes
- For our patience and endurance each day
- For Jose and John (the pastors of these church plants) as they lead their churches and face the challenges that new churches have
- For the missions project we are planning at the Hispanic church to come together and for many churches to participate
- For other people and churches to step in and help us this summer with the missions project and with the kids in the afternoons at the apartment complexes.
Written by Samantha Burgess – Summer Missionary to Atlanta, with NAMB