This past summer we had the privilege of serving with Bennett Ekandem, and the Refugee Ministry in Clarkston, GA. We partnered with the youth ministry at ChristWay Church out of Ooltewah, TN. It is an incredible work that Bennett, and his wife Idong are doing there.
Let me share briefly what Bennett and Idong are doing. The end result is to have the refugee children enrolled in “after school tutoring/Bible clubs”. At the “after school programs”, the children work on their homework with tutors. After they have studied for a while they then have a snack, sing songs, listen to a Bible story, and much more. The way the children and parents hear about the clubs is through the summer program at The Lakes Apartments, where they live. Throughout the summer there are various church groups that come to help for a week. The church groups will have all sorts of activities (sports camps, vacation Bible school, outdoor concerts, backyard Bible clubs, and even clean-up days) by the Community Center. The Lakes Apartments have 750 housing units, with an average of 6-8 people per unit. You can see there is a huge number of children. When the children come to participate in these events, many times the parents stand around and observe. The Ministry Staff will then talk with the parents about the clubs, and encourage them to sign up their children. Many of the parents are so glad that someone wants to help their children with their studies. So they enroll them in the clubs. Then Bennett, Idong, and staff have a great opportunity to instill Jesus’ love into their lives.
The refugee work in Clarkston, GA. is a great way to share the gospel with hurting people. I heard a saying while we were down there working. “You can minister to the world, and leave you passport at home.” This is so true, we met people from all around the Middle East, and Africa. I am currently working with Bennett to see how ACTS can partner with him in the future. Be watching for some details for an upcoming trip.