How many of you have ever seen a blimp? They’re pretty cool, right? They seem like little pinpoints in the sky, flying gracefully over football stadiums and cities. In reality, they’re massive and intimidating up close. Very few, if any, of us could say we’ve ever ridden in one.
The five critical needs Mission Georgia focuses on are similar to the blimp experience. People are aware of issues like human trafficking, refugees and foster care. When you dig into these issues, they can be overwhelming and intimidating. It can be difficult to figure out how to get involved to make an impact or change.
Here are a few realities that need to be embraced if we are going to see changed lives through the work of Mission Georgia.
Big Issues Must Become Small
Take a look at the huge issue, yes. Then consider how you can help on a local level. The Afghan crisis at the airport in Kabul last year overwhelmed everyone. But there are now families who survived that chaos and are starting their lives over in Georgia. They have small children. They need small things like pots and pans, diaper and wipes, children’s toys and books. As we work to address simple needs, it opens doors to help these families recover and find new life.
Become a Familiar Face
One of the most important steps to take in community transformation at any level is simply becoming a familiar face among people affected by or serving these issues. If you are concerned about human trafficking in your community, you should become a familiar face with local law enforcement, schools and organizations working to fight it. Introduce yourself, ask questions, bring requested items, host events to highlight the work. Whatever is on your heart, put your face in that place and find tangible ways to care for those needs.
Be a Friend
Many people affected by these issues simply need a friend. Even the people who work to combat these issues on a daily basis just need encouragement and a friendly face. A woman who has decided to keep her baby needs more than ultrasound results and a baby shower; she needs a group of mom friends. She needs a person in her life who truly cares for her, encouraging her and serving her during and after birth. One of the biggest reasons women chose abortion is a lack of supportive relationships. How can your church cultivate a caring community where women know they will have all the help they need to care for their unborn or newborn child?
More Than What You Give
GBMB Executive Director Thomas Hammond recently said, “Mission Georgia is more than what you give. It’s what you do.” While we are grateful for the gifts received through the Mission Georgia offering, the real work comes as individuals use those gifts to bring personalized care to neighbors in need across our state.