Wednesday, June 18, 2008

International Village, Atlanta, Georgia: Day 1

On this particular Mission, we were smack dab in the middle of the International Village. This is where lots of different countries (and languages) are represented. When we arrived, the guy in charge of Whirlwind Missions, came and gave us a briefing on the area and how to approach this thing we were doing. After his speech, we went for a quick lunch and then headed into our mission field. Our first stop was an apartment complex in Chamblee. When we arrived, there were a few children hanging out and we quickly recruited them to help us find "friends." We walked all over the apartment complex gathering children to come "play" with us. I quickly realized the majority of these people spoke Spanish. So I realized I could communicate pretty well. I was so surprised at how trusting these parents were to us. If a group of Spanish speaking people walked up to my door and wanted my children to come play, there is no way I would let them. But they were more than willing to send children with us. Not only did we have school age children, we had lots of little ones. Anyway, our first day was a nightmare. We had no control over the children and they were rowdy and reckless. There were several older (middle school) children that seemed to be leaders. Even though we had several children who caused problems, there were several sweet children who really listened to what we had to say.

Just look at their sweet faces.
The second place we went, the children were much younger and much more controllable. And once again, the parents were eager for their children to go with us. At the second place, we had an empty apartment with a table so that helped a lot. We learned really quickly that we should separate the kids after the Bible Story to get the crafts and recreation done. So we did.
So the guys took a group to play soccer.

And the girls stayed behind to work on a Salvation bracelet.
Then we all came back together for a snack of PB&J. The kids really liked that. This little girl was especially popular with our youth. Even though she didn't speak one bit of English, she had them all wrapped around her little finger.
I am so surprised that right here in the middle of the Bible belt with a Baptist church on every corner, these people know nothing of Jesus. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. We probably have the same problem right in our own back door. They don't even know the simplest things, like the Christmas story and all about Easter. We as Christians are really not doing our jobs when it comes to the people in our own backyard. We are more than willing to spend our money on missions overseas and send money to children we have never met ( Don't get me wrong! I think these things are wonderful.) But we are neglecting our neighbors.
On this trip, we slept at North Peachtree Baptist Church on the floor in classrooms. When we returned to the church, we were hot, sweaty,and exhausted.
But it didn't stop us from roller skating! Skating is one of my all time favorite activities. So as tired as I was, I couldn't miss out on an opportunity to skate.

We didn't plan for near enough kids for crafts and snacks and what is a trip without visiting the local Walmart. So off to Walmart.

This was definitely a first. For those of you who live in big cities, you've probably seen this. But for us country folk, this was definitely picture taking material. And to make a lasting impression on Atlanta, we decided a ride would be in order.

Johnny was our guinea pig. We prayed it wouldn't flip and it didn't.

We finally made it back to the church and after a hot shower, I collapsed on my sleeping bag.


chelle's winks said...

Thats great Tami....what a neat thing to be involved with...looks like it was very rewarding and fun....