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March: Cedar Lake Camp

In 1931, a young couple by the name of Henry and Ruth Geiger listened to the Lord calling them to open a home for needy and orphaned children in Overton County, Tennessee. The Great Depression had just hit, but that only fueled the couple even more to be obedient to what the Lord had asked them to do.

For the next twenty years, they raised children and watched them grow up and begin their own lives outside of the small orphanage that Henry and Ruth had built and maintained. What next? They felt the Lord’s tugging again, and this time, used the land that they had purchased for their orphanage to open a bible camp for children.

Now, over 60 years later, Cedar Lake Camp is thriving and changing lives in Livingston, Tennessee, a small town all too similar to Centerfield Coffee Shop’s home of Royston, Georgia. Cedar Lake’s mission is to help children and young adults understand that God loves them and desires to have a personal relationship with them. Staffers at Cedar Lake achieve this mission by building personal relationships with campers through activities such as sports and games, archery, riflery, canoeing, kayaking, bible classes, and nature class. The children, whose ages range 5 and up, also are introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through counselor led cabin devotions, individual porch talks, and campfire talks. Children are exposed and saturated with the Word of God and life-giving conversations occur everywhere from a hike on the camp property to the banks of the swimming-pool.

 

 

 

Cedar Lake Camp is Centerfield Coffee Shop’s Ministry of the Month for March and we are so excited to bless them financially! If you are interested in enrolling your child in a summer camp, or you are a high school or college student interested in working as a camp counselor, check out Cedar Lake’s website at https://www.cedarlakecamp.org.

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February: InnerCHANGE South Africa

One of my favorite things to do in large groups of people is to go unnoticed. Typically, when I am around big groups of strangers, or even friends, I tend to be the fly on the wall observing the conversation and laughing when appropriate. I find joy in watching everyone interact with each other, engaging with each other’s stories, lives, and joys.

While watching and waiting can be somewhere safe for me to stay, always on the outside looking in, it is not always where God has called me to be. There are moments of uncomfortable where God often calls all of us to step into, even when it may not suit our schedule, time, or money. Even though I enjoy standing idly by, that is not where I am doing the work of God. I am not able to build relationships, preach the gospel, and be vulnerable if I do not first move and get out of my comfort zone and engage with others.

Jesus constantly resided outside of the realm of comfort, both in his life and in his death. In life, he ate with sinners and people who His society and culture had deemed unworthy of any time and affection (Matthew 9:10). In death, He chose to die in the most excruciating and painful way, taking the weight of humanity’s sin and shame in the process (Romans 5:8). Because of the uncomfortable steps that Jesus took to make us feel known and loved, we must do the same for others when He asks us to.

InnerCHANGE South Africa understands the sacrifices that Jesus made, giving up His throne to come to earth and giving up His comfort in heaven so that we could step into a relationship with Him (Phil. 2:7-8).

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ICSA seeks to live out this sacrifice by compassionately serving their neighbors in Soshanguve, South Africa, who are poor, marginalized, and outcast. ICSA intends to do this by “extending the blessing of Jesus and His Upside Down Kingdom through demonstrations of love in word and deed with the help of the Holy Spirit.” Through partnering with local churches, government welfare institutions, and local non-profits in the area, they are able to extend this beautiful blessing.

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InnerCHANGE South Africa is Centerfield Coffee Shop’s Ministry of the Month for all of February! Come in to Centerfield this month and give a tip in support of this ministry and check out some awesome merchandise we have stocked that will also benefit ICSA! To learn more, visit http://dev.innerchange.org/location/southafrica.

January: Celebrate Recovery

When people in need of healing encountered Jesus in the New Testament, amazing things tended to happen. In the Gospel of Matthew, there were a series of people who, after meeting Jesus, were dramatically changed. The blind received their sight, men who once were possessed by demons were freed, and a paralyzed servant-girl was healed.

The first person to be healed in this series of miracles was a man riddled with leprosy. During the first century, anyone with leprosy was considered “unclean” by the Jewish population that reside where Jesus lived. Jews were instructed to steer clear of them, even to the point of not touching them whatsoever. Jesus, however, loved to shake things up. Matthew 8 says that when Jesus met the man with leprosy on the street, He “stretched out his hand and touched him… and immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:3). Jesus threw convention to the wind. Instead of following what his society dictated was correct, He gave the gift of healing to a man who probably thought he would be stuck in his circumstances of isolation and illness forever. Charles Spurgeon spoke on this verse, explaining that when Jesus touched the man with leprosy, it was “not making [Jesus] unclean, as any other man would have done, but making him clean whom He touched.” 

Jesus loves to camp out in the places in our heart that seem far from being restored and healed. He loves to get up close and personal to the places that we bury deep down, the untouchable part of our soul that we would rather keep to ourselves, thinking it too unclean for the rest of the world to know and understand.

When we are drawn to this healing power that Jesus offers us, He does not disappoint. While we may not always be healed in the physical sense, He never withholds the opportunity for us to know what true healing is in our hearts.

What a beautiful story of healing! Imagine the man who once had leprosy celebrating this amazing turn of events in his life. The gospel of Matthew doesn’t expound on what happened to this man after he was healed, but I like to think that there was a lot of jumping for joy that would have seemed far out place from a man whose body was once riddled with sickness.

Celebrate Recovery is a ministry that understands the healing that a relationship with Jesus can bring, specifically healing from addiction. Their goal is to “bring the healing power of Jesus Christ to the hurting and broken” within the communities that it operates. Celebrate Recovery is an international organization that holds meetings in communities all over the world, allowing thousands of people to know true healing and recovery through community, fellowship, and ultimately the grace of God.

Celebrate Recovery that meets at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Vanna, Georgia is the ministry that Centerfield Coffee Shop is partnering with for the month of January. We cannot wait to see how the Lord blesses this organization through your tips given at Centerfield!

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at (706) 245-5429 to learn more about Celebrate Recovery or visit https://locator.crgroups.info to find a Celebrate Recovery meeting near you.

November: The Angel Tree Program

When I was a young girl, my church used to put up a tree during Christmas outside of the sanctuary where people would gather before services. The large evergreen would loom high with its prickly branches and would fill the room with the scent of forest trees and Christmas time. The ornaments, however, were not the large luminescent balls of red or green that normally would fill Christmas trees. Instead, those branches held paper cut-outs of angels. On the angels were written names of a young girl or boy, their age, their clothes and shoe sizes, and something that they wanted for Christmas. I always loved gazing over the names of children I knew resided in my county, but didn’t know personally. Although the gifts varied on each ornament, some desiring a new doll, bike, or new tennis shoes, there was one thing that each child had in common: either one or both of their parents were currently incarcerated in a prison.

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That tree that has stayed in my memory all of these years was an Angel Tree. This organization, which is a branch of the Prison Fellowship ministry, connects churches with children whose parents are in prison. The church is then given information regarding the age, clothing sizes, and desired gifts of the children, and are then given the opportunity to buy gifts for them. Angel Tree is an amazing opportunity for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to children who so often feel overlooked and unseen. What a beautiful way to show the love of Christ to those that the world views as “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40).

For the entire month of November, our tips will be blessing the Angel Tree Program participants within Franklin County, Georgia. We are so excited to partner with this organization and hope you can join us in lifting up the children who feel forgotten this upcoming Christmas season!

October: Atlanta Redemption Ink

When I think of October, leaves immediately come to mind.

The changing of leaves from a vibrant and healthy green into a golden yellow, burnt red, or fiery orange always fills my heart with expectancy for cooler weather and fresh, crisp air.

Eventually, those beautiful leaves will turn an ugly brown and fall to the ground, covering the grass and dirt. Where there once was flourishing life, there will only be bare limbs that stretch across the sky. Our Northeast Georgia woods will be scattered with signs that winter is upon us and that seasons have changed. But then, not long after, the seasons will change again. Trees will begin budding new growth, leaves bursting forth where only nakedness of branches stood stark before. Onlookers of the new life would never be able to guess that what now gives them shade and what provides critters with homes once looked dead to the world.

Seasons in our own lives often mirror that of God’s creation. We often walk through times of sorrow, where death seems all that is constant. We wonder and ache for a time when life will decide to burst through the door carrying flowers to crown our bare heads. This desire is echoed in the heart of Centerfield’s Ministry of the Month for the duration of October, Atlanta Redemption Ink.

Atlanta Redemption Ink provides tattoo removals and cover-ups for individual’s who have experienced self-harm, prostitution, sex-trafficking, or gang violence. They desire to   take “marks of hurt and turn them into depictions and stories of hope and healing.” ARI partners with certified removal specialists and reputable, trauma-informed, trusted tattoo artists.

For those whose seasons of hurt and pain seem they will never change, they walk alongside them and offer healing. Where individuals think their winter will never cease because of the reminders of their past, ARI provides a way for them to flourish in the skin that their Father created for them.

All of October’s tips will be benefitting Atlanta Redemption Ink! For more information, visit their Facebook or Instagram with the same name, or go to atlantaredemptionink.com.

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