Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whirlwind Missions, Day One

Today was our first day with Whirlwind Missions, an organization which reaches out to international communities in the metro Atlanta area, "bringing church to the people." We began the day with an orientation session at First Baptist Church of Doraville, and then left on a "safari" to several international markets, in order to expose ourselves to some of the cultures and people groups that we would be working with later in the day.

We first went to a large supermarket where we saw many strange foods, and even sampled a few things that Tim (our leader from Whirlwind) suggested. We didn't try any of the octopus, cactus, or ghost peppers that were for sale, but we did taste a few less adventurous things.

In the international market

Tim, the doctor
After that, we went to a mall that had shops which cater mostly to people of Asian cultures. One of the stores we visited was a traditional Chinese medicine shop. We all watched in amusement as Tim walked behind the counter to pick out a cobra in the bottle to show us, and attempted to assist the shop attendant in putting together a prescription.

In the afternoon, we worked in an apartment complex that houses mostly Hispanic and Bengali families. We began our time with the kids by helping them with their homework, focusing very heavily on math - covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with the younger kids.

Homework and hangout time
After the homework had been completed, we told the kids the story of Jonah. We talked about how Jonah had run away from God and the people of Nineveh had rebelled against Him, but God gave them both a second chance, just like he offers grace to you and I. Rob and I put together the lesson fairly quickly after we arrived on site, and we improvised for quite a bit of it. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I think the kids enjoyed acting out a few of the details of Jonah's story, and I was glad I was able to help facilitate that. Hopefully they learned something as well.

Craft time. Jonah's "big fish"
Next, we did a craft with the kids. They created a fish out of paper plates (Dakota's idea), and then decorated them. Adam hung them up on the wall after they were done so that the paint could dry and the kids could take them home tomorrow.

Adam hanging fish
To round off our day, we ate dinner in the home of Mrs. Kelly, the director of the kids center in downtown Atlanta that we had worked with on Monday. Kelly and the rest of the Fields family were incredibly gracious in opening up their home, providing a meal for us, and just allowing us to relax a little bit.

Mrs. Kelly's selfie in the center where we served

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