By Elizabeth Smith
ROME — During the Summer of 2018, Shorter University student Cally Glass had the opportunity to meet people from around the world and experience a multitude of cultures – all within 100 miles of home.
Glass served as an intern with Reach The Nations Community Church, a multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural church in Clarkston near Atlanta. Often referred to as “the most diverse square mile in America” and “the Ellis Island of the South,” Clarkston is a refugee resettlement hub. Its 13,000 residents include over 40 nationalities with around 60 different languages spoken. Some 31.8 percent of Clarkston’s current residents were not born in the United States.
While completing her internship, Glass led short-term mission teams, worked closely with other students to impact church members, and built relationships with those in the Clarkston community. During Shorter’s upcoming spring break, the native of Athens, Alabama will be leading a team for a short-term mission trip back to Clarkston. She said she is excited to share such a special place with others and have them experience how much the Lord can teach them while serving there.
“Clarkston is an amazing area to serve in,” said Glass. “People come here from across the globe to call Clarkston their home. I believe that instead of us having to leave America to share the Gospel, God has extended these refugees’ borders and brought them to our homeland. How incredible is the opportunity that lies for us in Clarkston and other refugee resettlement hubs in the United States!”
During her time in Clarkston, Glass made many meaningful connections including one with a family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Throughout the summer, Glass, who attends Sherwood Baptist Church in Rome, became very close with the girls in the family who one evening taught her how to cook an authentic African meal.
“It was an amazing experience to be taken into their home and be shown the culture of their homeland that they had left only a few years ago,” testified Glass.
In Clarkston it is common to encounter many different languages, cultures, and religions some think could be a hinderance to being led to Christ, but Glass found hearts open to the Gospel.
“I have found those things can greatly aid us in the ability to bring Christ into their life. The people are filled with hope and a desire to learn, and if you let the Lord direct your steps and conversation, He will allow you to be a small part of the big picture – bringing many to Christ.”
Elizabeth Smith, a member of Second Baptist in Cedartown, is junior and a public relations intern for Shorter University.