Over the week in Spring Term ATL we were able to do many things to further the kingdom of God. Today specifically though, we were able to serve with an organization called Books For Africa. This organization partners with communities in Africa to be able to provide books and educational tools for the children in African countries. Whil at Books for Africa we sorted, stacked, and packed the books to be shipped off overseas and help a child in need. After this we went off to eat some tasty pizza, and play some paintball. Which, as someone who had never played before, there was a learning experience but I would definitely love to play it again and would recommend it to anyone.
As the week comes to a close, looking back on everything that I have experienced this week, one of the biggest things that impacted me was Wednesday when we went to 7 Bridges and served food to the homeless. The reason why this impacted so much was because it opened up my eyes to the situations which the homeless are living in, in Atlanta. When we were under the bridge I was thinking about how dangerous it was, how nasty it was walking over feces, and how bad my head felt from the pollen. But then I started thinking about how the homeless people have to live all the time scared of sliding off, having to live in their own waste, and not being able to go home to a nice home escaping the pollen/weather. Overall though, it was an incredible week with an awesome group and amazing leaders.
Matthew Brown, Junior
Today we went to Cobb Street Ministries and were able to help around the small houses they have for citizens in need. Many of the people who stay there are mothers and children with no means of support and the ministry wants to help them to have a better life. We were able to organize books, clean the kitchen and bathrooms, and make the yard safer for the kids. Even though we did not do as much work as we hoped, we still had a fun time and walked away being grateful for being able to make a difference in someone’s life. This week has shown all of us to appreciate the little things in life and give thanks to God for letting us be able to help people in need.
Today started out with riding to Seven Bridges to prepare lunches for those in need. We then went out to not only deliver meals to folks, but the gospel message as well. It was great to have the opportunity to pray with these great people. I was truly moved seeing the tragic living conditions that they have to undergo. I was also touched to see the hope that these people had. I witnessed many people who were in such bad situations have smiles on their faces and constantly repeating “God is good.” We then went to the Georgia aquarium on a private tour to look at the behind the scenes work in the aquarium. It was so cool to see all the awesome animals! I believe we all had a truly great time today and cannot wait to see what the last two days have for us!
Today was our last day working with TurnAroundKids Ministries. The past two days were huge eye opening experiences. Hard labor always finds its ways to build good character. My classmates and I learned to be selfless and that not everything is about yourself. It was so easy to complain and give up because of the heat and all the bugs, but there was a purpose to why we were out there today. I’m so grateful for our team. We were constantly reminding each other to stay motivated and think of the mission.
Meeting the kids today was the best part. They gave us a whole new perspective on life. Many of these children were born into rough lifestyles, whether it be homelessness, abuse, or abandonment. These kids weren’t given a lot, but from their constant smiles, you weren’t able to tell. I learned that whenever I complain, God has blessed me with so much in my life and has given me so much. The verse that stuck with me today was Philippians 2:12-16, because it really related to all the work we did today.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”
By keeping this verse in my head we were all able to complete our mission to glorify God in everything we do.
Gabrielle Mills, 12th grade
To kick off Spring Term Atlanta, the team helped TurnAroundKids, a non-profit safe house for kids, with landscaping their newly purchased land. The team was broken down into groups that had to form various tasks from planting trees, spreading mulch, or laying down pine straw. The deeds were challenging, but we were able to get the job done. Thanks to our leaders, Coach McCray and Mr. Wright, we were also able to bond and enjoy the time we had been given to serve others. As far as I’m concerned, the first day was a complete success and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.
Charles “Chas” Savage, 11th grade