Team Atlanta just finished our first week of mission trip teams! The week prior to this, Landon, Kat, and I had been inundated with information about the upcoming summer including, housing and food details, the different sites we would be working at, and the Salvation Army. We were overwhelmed with all of the things that we learned, but it was so important that we went over everything before the teams arrived. A short lecture about the Salvation Army really allowed us to see and be able to participate in their vision. For me personally, the only thing I really associated the Salvation Army with was the different thrift stores, disaster relief, and the people collecting money at Christmas time. I had no idea the extent of their mission.
The Salvation Army first began in 1865 by a man named William Booth. It consists of churches all around the world, and each church is called a Corps. The Corps we are working with specifically this summer is called the Kroc Center. This is named after Mr. and Mrs. Kroc who are the owners of McDonalds. They donated a bunch of money to the Salvation Army, and this money goes towards building community center churches like the Kroc Center all over the United States! They view their church as the hands and feet extended toward the community opposed to it just being the actual congregation. They believe that before you can meet a person’s spiritual need, you have to meet their physical need. They would not be able to do many of the ministries that we’re participating in this summer without all the amazing church groups that come here to serve! We are so blessed this summer to be working alongside such an amazing group of people, who really are sold out to serving and honoring Jesus Christ.
Our peaceful and well-planned Monday soon turned into a time to put into practice the many things our team has been learning. Three different churches from Indiana, Kansas, and Florida pulled into our beloved Kroc Center at varying times throughout the afternoon on Monday. We had to be flexible and switch a few things around, but God was still in control in spite of all of our mistakes. We welcomed our mission trip teams in with a delicious dinner of hamburgers followed by a short orientation. By the end of the day, we were all very thankful that the teams had arrived safely and excited about starting our week out.
Throughout the week, our teams were able to be involved in six or seven different sites. The Florida team worked on a foreclosed home with Kat. The Kansas team was also able to do some work at Sol Luna apartment complex. The Indiana group was able do some painting at Capital View Apartments. The Kansas and Indiana teams were involved with two different day camps at the Kroc Center Corps and also at the Jonesboro Corps. The Florida and Kansas teams were able to weed and plant flowers at Hapeville Manor nursing home, as well as, visiting with the residents and Carlton. We also were able to run two different kid’s clubs. One of the kid’s clubs was located at Capital View apartments complex. The Florida and Kansas teams both had the chance to share their love with the kids there. The other kid’s club was located at Colony South, which is a predominantly Hispanic trailor park. The Indiana group had the opportunity to stay all week here and really invest in the children’s lives.
The first day of a mission trip is always the most interesting because everyone is learning to be flexible and getting oriented with what it will be like for the rest of the week. Not only was it the first day for our teams at the sites, it was also Team Atlanta’s first day with the different kids clubs, outreach locations, and construction projects. It was difficult at first to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but by the end of the week, everyone had a hard time saying good-bye. God was really able to use our weaknesses to do His glory.
June 20, 2009
Note: Experience Mission is sending our many more great trips to Atlanta and many more great communities throughout the summer of 2009 and are now posting trips for 2010! Check out our website for more information at www.experiencemission.org.