The question “Who is my neighbor?” launches one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, the story of the Good Samaritan (found in Luke 10:25-37). Like the teacher of the law in this account, all of us who are disciples of Jesus must answer this question. A group of high school students from Christ The Rock traveled to Clarkston, Georgia in June to serve new neighbors in our country: refugees from all over the world who are resettling in the United States.
Working with Envision Atlanta, our students and their adult leaders worked to meet practical needs, and shared the love and Gospel of Jesus in a variety of ways. They prepared food boxes for refugee families, delivered food door-to-door, and cleaned up garbage and broken glass in an apartment complex where refugee families live. Students prepared for Vacation Bible School, and played with neighborhood kids.
The week was also educational. Our students learned about House Church Planting and how to share their testimonies and the Gospel in five minutes. Students were then divided into groups with Envision staff and walked and prayed through the apartment complex. They also got to see and hang out with Kadeem, our speaker for January’s IceBlast retreat.
Students worked hard preparing the grounds of a new site that will provide food, resources, and jobs for refugees in Clarkston. Then they hosted a Friday night Youth Group for refugee teens, serving them dinner and playing games.
They also took time to enjoy God’s creation by hiking on Stone Mountain, and took a trip into Atlanta to see historic Ebenezer Baptist church and the MLK memorial.
We are so proud of these students and their adult leaders who model living for Christ, and reflect God’s concern for foreigners throughout the Scriptures:
He (God) gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)
I instructed the judges, ‘You must be perfectly fair at all times, not only to fellow Israelites, but also to the foreigners living among you.’ (Deuteronomy 1:16)
For I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. (Matthew 25:35)
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it….Share in the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies. (Hebrews 13:2)
We thank our High School Student Ministry Director Dave Coulson, and everyone who was part of this trip — you were the hands and feet of Jesus, and also represented the mission of our church family to “seek the lost, love the hurting, and make disciples.”