Once a month on Sunday afternoons, three short-term mission teams gather at Appleton Alliance Church for team bonding, cross-cultural training, and spiritual readiness. All-together, there are 36 junior and senior high school students, 8 young adults, and 10 adult leaders.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year, many of our domestic and international mission teams had to either cancel or postpone their plans. And with the uncertainties surrounding international travel at the beginning of this year, our 2021 teams are limited to domestic travel only. But that hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of our teams. They can’t wait to get to Envision Atlanta in Clarkston, Georgia where you can get a cross-cultural mission experience without leaving the United States.
The teams will work alongside the Envision Atlanta staff in whatever capacity is needed. In previous years our summer teams have helped run Vacation Bible Schools for the refugee children, sorted clothing for the thrift store, went on prayer walks, and served the community by working to clean-up neighborhood parks. Attending house churches with the Envision church-planting team gives exposure to various ethnic groups and is an encouragement to the refugees who attend.
Relationship is at the center of what our teams strive to do in Atlanta with a focus on shining the light of Jesus in every interaction. Friendships are built through impromptu games of soccer or just hanging out with the refugee children. With our very own Pastor Paul and Nicki Behnke working with the Youth Group in Clarkston, our teams will undoubtedly have an opportunity to attend the youth group and may even have the privilege of preparing and serving food to the teens who attend.
One of the most eye-opening events for our Wisconsin teams is attending the Sunday evening service at the French African church in Clarkston. The style of worship is very different from what we experience at Appleton Alliance Church and might best be described as “you just have to experience it for yourself.” The ethnic food and international market are always highlights for our teams and the required day of rest on Fridays usually includes a trip to the famous Atlanta Aquarium or a hike on Stone Mountain. To learn more about Envision Atlanta, check out their website.
Ways we can pray for them:
- For team-bonding
- For each team member will be able to raise the funds needed to go on the trip
- That the people of Clarkston will see the love of Jesus in each of our team members and that their hearts will be touched and lives forever changed as a result
- For the safety and health for the team members, the Envision staff members, and the people they will be serving