Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I took my first-year DMin students to “the most diverse square mile in America” (Clarkston, GA) to learn first-hand from my colleague Brian Bollinger and Friends of Refugees. Here is an article about what another church is doing in the area.
“Reaching the nations from a small Georgia town” by NAMB staff, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/8/18
More than 1,000 refugees come to Clarkston, Ga., each year.
Send Relief missionaries Trent and Elizabeth DeLoach and the believers at Clarkston International Bible Church (CIBC) have made it their mission to help these men, women and children feel not only welcome but at home in their new country.
A U.S. refugee resettlement program in the 1990s opened the door of opportunity for people from around the world to start a new life in Clarkston.
This suburb of Atlanta eventually became known as “the most diverse square mile in America.” More than 60 countries and 100-plus languages are represented, and the population continues to grow.
A place so rich in culture is exactly the kind of city the DeLoach family dreamed of finding—however it was hard to believe such a place existed in North America, especially in Trent’s home state of Georgia…
After they married, the DeLoaches moved to Kentucky to work with a church in Louisville. They were astonished that more than 5,000 Bosnian refugees lived in the area.
They started “restaurant hopping” and praying for connections. “The different cultures, religions, languages—it was all very intimidating,” DeLoach said.
Over the course of two years, Elizabeth’s influence and passion for those forcibly displaced from their homelands slowly affected her husband’s heart…
We have people [in the city] from different religious backgrounds that include Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist. Most refugees have significant physical and emotional needs. They need Christian friends who can share the love of Jesus while helping them transition to life in America..,”
By living next door to families with diverse cultural backgrounds, Elizabeth says they have opportunities to influence the nations.
“We share with our people a three-step process — learn a name, make a friend, share Jesus. It’s simple. That’s our dream. And we see God bringing the nations to us.”
Read more at … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/03/09/reaching-the-nations-in-a-small-georgia-town/