Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. - Charles R Swindoll

Envision Atlanta loves to host families on mission together! They call this unique type of mission trip an Atlanta family visit, and they are happy to accommodate your schedule and family needs. So far, we are one of only a few churches sending families to Clarkston, Georgia, the site of Envision Atlanta. The feedback from both the families and the Envision staff is overwhelmingly positive. 

The Schmoll family is the most recent family to go, returning from their trip on April 2, 2021. Brad and ShawnMarie Schmoll took their two children to Clarkston over Spring break. Within two hours of arriving, they had made instant friends with the children of refugees living in the same apartment complex where they stayed. They will never forget the laughter, smiles, and hugs from the children. 

As they worked with the children in the afterschool program, they continued building relationships with them and learned that the best way to share the gospel is to start with loving people through friendships and meeting basic needs. One especially meaningful experience came after helping at the Envision food bank. A staff member asked them to help deliver groceries and one family invited them into their home to visit. “Impactful” is the word ShawnMarie used to describe the afternoon her family shared with that refugee family.

The highlight of the week, however, was something as simple as a bottle of bubbles. They had so much fun blowing and chasing bubbles with the children at the apartment complex. ShawnMarie smiled as she asked, “Who would have thought that a bottle of bubbles would bring so much joy?” Relating to people of another culture becomes easy when you find common ground in something that brings simple happiness and joy.

This summer we have the first-ever team of four families from Appleton Alliance Church going to Atlanta. Altogether, there are nine children ranging in age from five to sixteen. They have been meeting monthly to prepare culturally and spiritually for their short-term mission trip and they are excited about the friendships they will make with the people of Clarkston. The Schmoll family’s advice? “Be open to all of the experiences. You will be surprised by how much you enjoy something you never thought would interest you.”

If you would like to learn more about Atlanta family visits, contact Lori Loux at missions@aac.church. While Envision Atlanta’s calendar is booked for this year, they will soon be making reservations for spring and summer 2022. We’d love to help you plan your visit!