Last week I had the amazing opportunity to lead a mission trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Jana Dickman and myself took 9 high school students to Jesus’ Place, an inner city mission that provides spiritual and physical needs to needy families in their community.
On Easter Sunday we attended services at Jesus’ Place and were able to meet some of the congregation which is made up of mostly needy men. We got to be a part of the wonderful system that John Vernon has put in place to distribute clothing, hygiene packets, and various other items to people in need. One of the huge takeaway ideas of the week was that as Christians, we never want to exchange commodities for the dignity of the people receiving them. We constantly saw that the people who we were there to serve were never embarrassed or made to feel inferior in any way.
Monday we sorted loads of clothing, cleaned the facility, and enjoyed working in partnership with John. Tuesday we went to work at the Fish House which is a recovery home that houses 4 men at a time. The Fish House is in the country south of Atlanta. We did lots of manual labor and the kids worked hard and never complained. This group was there to serve the Lord by serving others. Some of the students met one of the men residing there and realized that anyone could find themselves in a situation like this by making only a few poor choices.
Wednesday morning, John took 3 or 4 of our group at 6:30 in the morning to go to the Atlanta food bank where they had 10 minutes to fill up 2 shopping carts with as much as they could fit in them. When they returned, we spent hours sorting food for the food co-op that Jesus’ Place runs on a weekly basis at local schools. Around 4:00 we loaded the trailer full of boxes and headed to the school. The families that were there helped unload the trailer and then sorted the food into e shares for each family.
When the work was done, each family took home 2 large boxes, and a couple of armloads more of food to their vehicles. This food lasts them for 2 weeks. The reasoning behind the food co-op is that in these counties, 1 out of every 2 students do not finish the school year in the same school they started in. Families can’t afford to pay their bills and buy the necessities, so the choose to buy the necessities s
uch as food instead of paying bills. This gets them evicted and moving from place to place. The food co-op allows people to pay their bills instead of buying food. Each family pays $3 for the groceries, which allows them to participate in giving to help others. That $3 goes toward helping people in need.
The people we met were proud to be a part of this co-op and it was obvious that they appreciated all that John and Jesus’ Place is doing to help their community. I know that we were all challenged to reach out and meet needs in our own community. What a great group of teens we have here at KCC. I believe that God is, and will continue to use them in mighty ways. Thank you all for your prayers and support for our young people.
– Jody Terrell, Youth Minister