by Carol Brown
published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/5/14
In the good company of my fellow mission team members, I have been participating in Urban Ministry 101 this week. At Park Avenue Baptist Church, right on the edge of Grant Park in downtown Atlanta, we have learned about the difficult issues of homelessness, taken a driving tour of downtown Atlanta's poverty resources, and asked ourselves the difficult question, "Who is my neighbor?" Our discussions have been thought-provoking and emotional at times, but we have not contented ourselves with only discussing the issues.
On Tuesday, our mission team from Highland Hills pulled on our disposable gloves and served up a hot meal to a group of 30 men who have no homes and no source of income. After serving the meal, we sat at the tables among the men and shared our stories.
As we continue to serve at Park Avenue, we are getting to know the children of this urban community through the wild fun of Jungle Safari VBS. We are also lending our painting and carpentry skills to repair and add new life to the church's fellowship hall.
The lessons that we are learning from this mission experience will stay with us as we return to Macon. We have given of ourselves in this place, but this place and these people have also changed our way of thinking. We will return with our eyes open to see how God can use us and Highland Hills to be God's presence to our own community in need.