Hey guys! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lindsey and today is my 4th day on the job as the new Youth Communications Specialist for the Territory. Day Two’s assignment? Hanging out with the very laid back Mission South team. That’s #missionsouth for all our Twitter followers out there!
This is the first year the Youth Department has sent out a team specifically under the banner Mission South to minister to Corps in our very own Territory. That makes this team one of a kind. Some of the Mission South team members signed up to do mission overseas, but what they’re finding is the mission field is wherever you are!
I joined the team at the beginning of week 5 of their trip. So far, they’ve been to Baton Rouge, LA and Jackson, MS. They’re currently serving in Atlanta, Ga before heading out Friday to Baltimore, MD. And let me tell you, God has been showing up in all kinds of ways!
Each member has a different story that sticks out most to them. Well, except for Amber Puffinburger (MWV) who pretty much is having an equally awesome time in each location! But for Sydney Atchley (KT), an evening spent at the For Sarah call center in South Atlanta really caught her attention. For Sarah is a call center dedicated to calling prostitutes and escorts asking for prayer requests and praying over these women. Monday night’s experience (7/8/2013) was a touching one as the team’s trainer, a former prostitute herself, made a call to a desperate girl just at the right time. One of those “God” things that left everyone in the room a little teary-eyed.
A sweet grandmother taking care of her daughter’s children really spoke to Andrew White (MWV). Her daughter had chosen a life of prostitution. On one occasion, the daughter bid her children to attack their grandmother. The 70-something year-old woman took the abuse of that moment and still chose to take care of her grandchildren. This was a sacrificial, eye-opening picture of love shown to the team.
Sara Cohen (FL) has learned during her Mission South experience that God loves all people. Period. And He’s calling all of us to love people right where we are. Sara feels God has given her boldness to accomplish the good works He has prepared for her and her team in advance to do (Ephesians 2:10). It’s a different sort of mission field, as Sydney and Viola Palacios (NSC) acknowledge. Doing mission work in the South versus overseas is challenging in that evangelism seems harder. People are less keen to respect what you have to say. To be receptive to the Gospel. Our own insecurities and prejudices can get in the way. But if you can get past them and take the boldness given, God will open doors you never imagined!
This summer has meant a lot of different things to the various team members of the Mission South team. They have expressed their joy at serving in the various cities throughout the South, locations which have offered diverse service experiences, and their anticipation moving forward to Baltimore, MD. God has truly blessed this team, and has opened their eyes to the need for service right in their own backyards. I’ve heard it said, “don’t go halfway around the world to do something you aren’t willing to do at home!” God is teaching Mission South that this is His summer. “Watch and see what I will do!”
(Mission South Team Leaders: Jovanie Smith (FL) and Chris Doborwicz (FL))