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July 2019: Envision Atlanta

As a citizen of a first world country, it is difficult to imagine what a family fleeing a country in fear has felt and seen. For the majority of Americans, war, hunger, and disease are not something that reign constantly in our minds and before our eyes. It is a gift to not live in worry over the safety and welfare of our families. We can merely sympathize with these strifes the are all too common and constant for those living in countries such as Sudan, Libya, or Syria.

It is equally hard to believe that there are citizens of such countries seeking refuge in the state of Georgia, a mere two hours away from Centerfield Coffee Shop. These families have fled their homes, their families, and all that is familiar to seek safety and refuge in a  country that is unfamiliar. A country whose customs and culture is unknown to them and a country filled with people who are, at times, unwelcoming.

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This month, Centerfield Coffee Shop’s Ministry of the Month is an organization whose purpose is to serve, connect with, and develop resources forrefugees living in Clarkston, Georgia. Envision Atlanta meets the needs of refugees living in Clarkston through initiatives such as ESL classes, Kids/Family Initiatives, their mobile thrift store, and more. Envision Atlanta’s vision is to “bring back the King through reaching the peoples of the world by reaching Atlanta.”

Centerfield is so excited to partner with Envision Atlanta for the month of July! Make sure to come in and leave a tip to bless this group of servants.

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June 2019: Connections for Special Parents

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, one of the most beautiful pictures of community at work is on display. After years and years of captivity to a nation that was not their own, the Israelites, people who considered themselves set apart by God, were told they could return home to the land that they had longed for. They knew that the walls surrounding their city had turned to ruins, so they gathered together, planning the execution of their work. Each family set themselves at a different part of the city’s walls. Some families even had to hold weapons as others built in order to protect them from surrounding enemies. Regardless of the job title, it was time for the walls to be restored and for the people that God had called home to work together with a common goal, “to rise up and build” (Nehemiah 2:18).

Rarely in our self-centered cultured is the notion of healthy community seen and, in turn, able to be celebrated. The world tends to turn even the best things sour, and that includes the concept of community. However, the call to be a light in the crack, to be set apart from the world, is answered again and again by individuals who seek to form community with those who need encouragement, love, and a family. Connections for Special Parents, an organization serving parents of children with special needs in Franklin, Hart, Elbert, Madison, Stephens and Banks counties, answered this call.

Connection for Special Parents, or CSP, exists to provide a network of friends who understand what it is like to have a child with special needs by sharing information and tips about successful parenting, connecting participants with resources needed to help each child meet his or her full potential, and to help participants learn the skills needed to become a more effective advocate for their child. CSP also offers opportunities that would give a child with special needs a chance to experience greater inclusion at school and in his or her own community. Throughout the year, CSP also facilitates programs for children with special needs such as its Jammin Jubilee Summer Camp and Pizzazz Talent Show!

Centerfield Coffee Shop’s vision is to connect our local community through coffee, and when we are able to highlight, champion, and cheer on other organizations who are connecting to their own community we can’t help but to be excited! Come on in to Centerfield throughout the month of June and give a tip to support Connection for Special Parents.

For more information on CSP, visit https://www.connectionsforspecialparents.org.

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May: Freedom61

On the shores of the Baltic Sea in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia, is the small and seemingly unimposing nation of Latvia. From being occupied by Germany in World War II, to being a nation absorbed by the Soviet Union, Latvia is a country that has endured much. One battle that is still being fought is to win the hearts among women who work in prostitution in Riga, Latvia’s capital city. This battle is not one that is fought with words of condemnation or actions of judgment, but instead, with acceptance through a warm meal, hope through conversation, and ultimately, the love of Jesus Christ.

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Freedom61 is an organization whose goal is to see women in the heart of Riga be set free from the bondage of prostitution. Because of the prevalence of sexual tourism in Riga, with men traveling from neighboring countries for the purpose of seeking prostitutes, there is a great need for ministry among the men traveling to Riga as well as to the women there who work on the streets. The women, specifically, are often times struggling with homelessness, alcoholism, and addiction. Those who founded Freedom61 saw a need and knew that God would equip them to meet it.

Freedom61 ministers to those affected by sexual exploitation in Riga through three ways: outreach to the women in prostitution, outreach to the men seeking prostitution, and its Transition Center for women seeking to leave prostitution.

The biggest way that Freedom61 ministers to women in prostitution is through their cafe. At the cafe, women are able to come in for hot tea, coffee, soup, and desserts two nights a week. Not only are they well-fed, but they are greeted and loved by local women whose heart is to see the women who work on the streets of Riga come to know the love of Christ.

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Freedom61’s hope is to live out Isaiah 61:1, which says,

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”

We are so excited to partner with Freedom61 as our Ministry of the Month throughout May! Come by anytime this month and leave a tip to support this awesome organization.

 

April: Missionary Month

You read that right, folks! It is already time for our second annual Missionary Month at Centerfield Coffee Shop. We couldn’t be more excited to champion some amazing people who hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those that they will encounter on their upcoming short-term mission trips. Here are the groups of men and women our tips will be benefitting for the entire month of April!

Royston First United Methodist Church 

Jacksonville, Florida

 

Who is attending this short-term mission trip?

The mission trip is June 2-8 and we are going to Jacksonville, FL, where we will be working with an organization called TEAMeffort. This group specializes in missions for youth, and is an excellent first step into short term missions for teenagers. We have 10 people, youth in grades 6-12 and their adult leaders from our church, who will be attending.

What will be your purpose while there?

While we are there, we will be assigned a work project. The projects vary based on the skill level of the team. Our work will probably be mostly beginner level work (painting, clean up, etc.) There is also the possibility we are doing some hurricane relief work from storms over the last couple of years. We will find out more about our project about a month before we leave.

How can our community be praying for your trip?

We would appreciate prayers for the participants — many of whom have never gone on a mission trip before. Also prayers that this will be the start of a movement to get out of our comfort zone in Royston and open our eyes to where God may be calling us to go — regardless of destination.

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

Clarkston and Atlanta, Georgia

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Who is attending this short-term mission trip?

The middle and high school students who are a part of the youth group at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

What will be your purpose while there?

We will be serving disabled and needy families through an organization called Open Hand Atlanta who provides meals for disabled and needy families. We will also be working with refugee families through a house church in Clarkston along with a mobile thrift store. We are going to be doing a backyard bile club with children in Clarkston one day also.

How can our community pray for your trip?

Pray that we will have opportunities to lead lost people to Jesus.

The Journey FBC Lavonia

Anchorage Alaska

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Who is attending this short-term mission trip?

We have eleven people from LFBC heading to Anchorage, AK to serve with GraceWorks this July, several returners and a few first timers as well. The group ranges in age from 13 to mid 50’s. Members of our team are Denise Smith, Jaiden Smith, Susan Carroll, Samuel Fernandez, Brent Ellis, Stephanie Ellis, Sierra Martin, Beth Cooper, Colten Cooper, Melodie Gentry and Jamie Cleveland. Abby Herring, who has been part of our team for the last 3 years, will be serving on staff with GraceWorks for the entire month of July.

What will be your purpose while there?

This will be our 5th year serving with GraceWorks. Monday-Friday we go to Russian Jack Park in downtown Anchorage, which is in an underprivileged area, and hang out with local kids and occasionally a parent or two. There we will have a bible study, do crafts, play games and provide lunch. We will be partnered with local churches to get these children and their families connected. On Thursday night we have a community block party. This is one of the few chances we have to meet parents of the kids we’ve met throughout the week. We will also have the opportunity to share a gospel presentation Thursday evening to the community. Tuesday and Thursday mornings we will work with our church partner. We may do yard work for the elderly, clean a church, or serve a local nonprofit, maybe a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

How can our community be praying for your trip?

We always appreciate prayer! Pray for our team as we travel. Pray for our finances to make this trip possible. Pray for the people and the community we will serve in Anchorage, specifically Russian Jack Park where we will be. Pray for GraceWorks and the 1300 volunteers that will serve there this summer. Pray for the church partners that live and work every day in Anchorage and continue to serve after we go home.

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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