Apr 08, 2019 • Written by Tera Lind
REAL WOMEN on the go…
I’m always amazed at how the women in our Bible studies continue to be so generous.
Each semester we raise awareness of a cause and give women the opportunity to pray for and give money towards a need. The women in our studies joyfully give without reservation. This winter, we chose to raise money for Envision Atlanta. Clarkston, GA is just outside of Atlanta where thousands of refugee families from all around the world have relocated. The money raised this year was going to support an apartment unit located among the refugees as well as home repairs for one of our missionary couples, the Brokopp family. And our women raised $2,300!
Pete Brokopp has been a part of the Appleton Alliance preaching team for over ten years. He typically speaks once a year and translates once a year, and he feels a bit like family. So, it was an honor when we were able to raise money to do some much-needed home repairs in their house.
In order to make the repairs, Appleton Alliance Church sent a team of seven. I was fortunate to be one of the lucky ones to be a part of the team, including four men and one other woman. The goal of the team was to help make repairs to the Brokopp’s home as well as help Alice Brokopp with preparing meals.
Let me share a quick God at Work as part of our team. One of the team members, Sam, was listening to Pastor Episcopo preach about reaching our World for Christ. Sam left the service saying verbally that he wanted to go on a Missions trip. Rounding the corner, he bumped into me.
I said half joking, “we are going on a mission trip to Atlanta next week… you should come.” The next day Sam and his wife, Angel came to our team meeting and decided that God was confirming their decision to go on the trip. He said, “I don’t want to be Jonah and get swallowed by a big fish.”
The best part of the story comes after arriving at Atlanta. One of the major projects the team had planned to do was remodel a bathroom. That ended up not being ready for us to tackle. The Brokopp family had plans to put in new flooring down the road, but Sam owns his own flooring company and jumped at the opportunity to do this for them. God knew all along that Sam was supposed to be part of the team.
Whenever you’re on a trip away from the comforts of home, not getting much sleep and doing things outside of your comfort zone, God is teaching you things. For me, it was a great reminder of the power of prayer and community. Each night, we would gather together and recap ways that we saw God at work during the day or week. And then we’d pray. And the Brokopp family knows how to pray. They pray specifically and they pray with boldness. And we watched God answer prayers and stretch our faith. We also saw our team bond and grow together throughout the week.
Personally, God was teaching me about the value of serving.
I truly didn’t understand the gift of hospitality the same way I do now. The major part of my job while on this team was to help prepare food. This was way out of my comfort zone, especially to feed 11-13 people. But God kept laying Philippians 2:3-4 on my heart, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
I learned an invaluable lesson: Living in humility and considering others above yourself is exactly how Jesus lived. How He served. And while being out of my comfort zone, I saw God provide everything that I needed (and much more) to provide for the tasks I was assigned. Hospitality meant getting up before others were awake to get coffee brewing and the food started. It meant going to bed after others were asleep to make sure dishes were done and food was ready for the next morning. But it also meant getting to take on the character of Jesus in putting the interests of others above myself, something that I honestly want to continue now after being back home. I earnestly want a humble, servant heart. And I believe this is one answer I know God will say “yes” to.
I’ll end with this. God is at work in Clarkston. They currently have many new house churches starting. They’ve also started going door-to-door with camel’s milk to reach the refugee community and are in full swing to launch another amazing summer of churches coming down to run kids programs, prayer walking and cleaning up the community.
You can follow the work of God on their Facebook Account (Envision Atlanta) or better yet, head down there yourself with our team going this October.
Here are the details…..
Atlanta Team Atlanta, United States - Oct. 19–26, 2019 This team will work alongside Envision, located in the heart of Atlanta’s ethic minority and refugee population. Many diverse nations are represented in this city, so this is a perfect opportunity for international outreach inside the United States. The team is for adults, but families with children over 10 traveling together are welcome as well. Applications are due April 30, 2019. Approx. cost $1030**