By Caitlyn Parrish
BPC Staff Writer
MOUNT VERNON – Four students from Brewton-Parker College (BPC) – along with Campus Minister and Baptist Collegiate Ministry Director Lauren Youmans and husband Gady – went on a mission trip to the Atlanta suburb of Clarkston during spring break March 28-April 1. The group worked with Reach the Nations, a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention that ministers to the large refugee population in the city and nearby Stone Mountain. The area is home to more than 7,000 refugees worldwide. Reach the Nations works to spread the Gospel and provide material needs to people.
On the first day of the five-day trip the group ministered to children. Together they painted sun catchers, played soccer, and painted the faces of the children representing the many nationalities of the people seeking refuge in the area.
Day two was spent making house visits and prayer-walking through the city. During the house visits, students were able to share Jesus with and invite residents to a local church.
The third day of their trip was primarily spent working with an inner-city church, Truth Tabernacle of Praise. The congregation hosts a food ministry every Wednesday, so students organized the food in the morning and helped distribute it later that evening.
On the fourth day, the group was able to observe a Hindu service at the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminaryan Sanstha (BAPS) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, an Atlanta Hindu temple. Following the service, more house visits were made and some time was spent cleaning and preparing the church for its worship services.
The final day of the trip was spent working in the Jolly Avenue Community Garden along with Thomas Bowers and his family from Tabernacle Baptist Church of Vidalia. Jolly Avenue Community Garden is a “Friends of Refugees” hosted garden that allows refugees to work their own plots and grow crops for their families. After the work in the garden was done, several members of the group went to clean up Sutton Village, a refugee apartment community, while the rest went back to Reach the Nations to finish preparing for the upcoming church services.
“This year’s mission trip was truly an international experience right here at home,” said Youmans. “Our students worked hard, served well, loved on everyone and represented Jesus honorably. I couldn’t be more proud of them and the ministry they accomplished during their spring break.”
Individuals attending the trip included Lauren Youmans, Gady Youmans, Samuel Youmans, Allie French, Jorge Llumipanta, Beth Mathews, and Nathen Pristavec.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values. Visit Brewton-Parker College online at www.bpc.edu.