The Stone Mountain Baptist Association has taken part in the Southern Baptist disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The people in some of the areas affected by the hurricane were without clean water to drink, so the association asked for the churches within the association to collect water. The people of our church came together and collected almost 20 cases of water! Many of the people in our church were once victims and are now in a position to give back and empower others who now find themselves victims of a horrible tragedy. We are excited and beaming with pride that our church members are willing to be so generous in helping with the disaster relief efforts.
On Saturday, October 20, Brewton Parker College came to Clarkston for the weekend. They brought with them ten young men who helped host a father-son event for the men in our church. They hiked up Stone Mountain together, grilled hamburgers at the base of the mountain, and made slingshots together. Those who attended had a great time, and we were excited to provide an opportunity for the fathers in our church to pour into their sons. Our church has many incredible men who are amazing fathers to their sons, but with the work schedules that come with the jobs many of these men have, sometimes quality time is difficult to come by. Some men in our church are looking for new jobs because the jobs they currently have take time from what they know is important time to spend raising their children. The men in our church recognize the vital importance a father plays in the life of his child. We hope you will join us in praying for our fathers to have opportunities to spend time with their families and raise them up in the ways of the Lord.
Over the weekend of October 6-8, the RTN leadership team took a trip up to Helen, Georgia for a retreat. During the retreat, the leadership team had opportunities to fellowship and grow in their relationships with each other. This included a trip into Helen and a hike to a waterfall. The theme of this year’s retreat was ownership. Each session focused on opportunities for the team to take ownership of what Reach the Nations is doing in the community and what God wants to do in and through them. Each family returned home with a cactus. Like our ministry, if the cactus is not nurtured and cared for, it will fail to thrive. Overall the results of the retreat were above and beyond what we could have hoped. Our team is already asking when the next retreat will be with great anticipation.
The heart of this team has shown from the minute they stepped off the bus. After engaging in the orientation and driving tour, they were ready to go for an evening prayer walk. The team split up and enjoyed walking around meeting people and seeing our different places of ministry. Another group of them went to our Wednesday night Bible Study to learn music for church on Sunday. Landon led debrief that evening where everyone talked about what they did that day and what exactly God showed them.
The next morning started with more prayer walking and preparing for the Hindu Temple tour. They went in with prayerful hearts ready for the service. It broke their hearts to see all of these people worshiping false gods but the team was able to prayer that the one true God would reach their hearts and make Himself known to the Hindu people. For their service project that afternoon they helped work with the leasing office in our complex by picking up trash. After dinner a large group went to help Pastor Bill at his garden while others went to visit church members and others to play soccer. They all came back in the evening with stories to tell and testimonies of God’s love.
The next morning went very similarly with prayer, service projects, gardening and visits. Saturday was a day for Back2School school supply handouts. The team prepared the bags for the children in our church and went out to deliver them. Everyone was so grateful for his or her gifts. After lunch they went out to have a free day and some time at Stone Mountain. The next morning they came to help us set up for church and have a time of debrief before service. This team was full of love, prayer, and energy. Thanks for your service to our community and church! We can’t wait to see you again!
After a 4 ½ hour van ride, this team pulled into the community center, all smiles. This team came in ready to go and start ministry. They were all good sports participating in orientation and then we showed them around Clarkston, the beautiful place with the beautiful people that we call home. The next morning the interns taught the team about prayer walking; how we do it and why we do it. They talked about the power of God and how we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for big things because we have a big God!
After a full morning of prayer walking then lunch we went to help a man and his ministry called Family Heritage Foundation where we helped them get all their supplies organized and helped them get ready for a block party that they were going to have that weekend. We did this the next day well, trying to pour into the people of the community and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the evening we went to visit different church members and community members. Some groups were able to learn recipes and songs from all the people they visited and were able to bless them with their prayer and love. We did this Monday and Tuesday. The teams all had a great time on their respective visits! Wednesday morning the team went out to TruthTab and worked with their food ministry where they give people fresh and healthy food to feed their families. They organized food and helped people with their shopping experience. They loved working with them a lot and appreciate their ministry.
Thursday morning started again with prayer walking and meeting people along the way, sharing the gospel in word and deed. That afternoon we took them to the Hindu Temple (Mandir) in Atlanta and let them observe a prayer service while all the time praying over the people and asking God that he would show himself to them as the one, true God. After that the group split to go to some of the different shops where we have been able to build relationships. The ladies went to a Pakistani boutique to buy some clothes and continue to build relationships with shop owners while the guys walked around and met other shop owners all over Clarkston. They were also able to go to the Dekalb County Farmers Market and try food from all over the world and meet people from all over as well. After shopping was dinner and more house visits. The boys all went and played soccer with some young men in the community and had a great time with them.
Friday morning, we were sad to see them leave. They got up packed and had a time of debrief. We sent them off covered in prayer and they covered us as well. This was a fantastic, hardworking team full of energy and the love of Christ! We can’t wait to work with them again!