Highlights included visits to an international market, an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the city of Clarkston which has been called “the most diverse square mile in America.” Encounter Atlanta participant’s experienced different cultures by eating delicious foods from around the world, meeting first-generation immigrants and refugees, and completing cultural adaptation exercises.
Students from Grace College were able to volunteer with a partner ministry called Friends of Refugees, where they served in the Family Literacy and after-school programs. These ministries provide refugees with vital resources to make the challenging life transition from a refugee camp to America. The students expressed how their heart for refugees grew as they observed firsthand their daily struggles. One student stated, “My view on people has broadened. It’s hard being forced from your home, forced to travel to a different country where you don’t want to be and where you feel like you’re not wanted.”
As participants toured and served in Northeast Atlanta, they got to see how the gospel is being shared through global workers serving with Encompass. One individual from Liberty Grace said that it was very encouraging to see the tight-knit family at Encompass and how they are seeking to see churches planted. When asked how the experience affected her, another participant from Liberty Grace replied, “We need to see people with God’s eyes because God has a heart for all the nations and people of the world.”
Encounters like these take people outside the normal “day to day” and help them see God’s heart for the nations who are coming to our doorsteps. Participants enjoy rich cultural experiences while learning how they can be a part of what God is doing to make disciples of the nations. Each year Encompass World Partners hosts multiple Encounter trips in Atlanta and Southern California.