Atlanta Volunteers Learn From Newly Arrived Refugees

By Samuel Rai

The following testimonials were given by brothers and sisters who were part of a mission trip to the Atlanta Ministry Center—people who experienced real-life change through hands-on refugee ministries. 

Brittany, Student Leader from The Summit Church 

Context: Brittany conducted in-home ESL classes with our neighbors who are new to this country. 

“I have taught ESL many other times because I am a certified ESL teacher. However, there is a different experience when you are in someone else’s home. In a classroom, it can feel like the teacher is the boss, the leader, and the director. Yet, when you are in someone else’s home, they are the guide, leader and director. This humbled my heart to seek the Lord even more and to ask Him to please remove any unknown pride inside of me. It truly made me rely on Him as I was handing over control and asking Him to guide me into what would best serve this family, for He knows and loves them best.”

Later, she reported back: 

“I was able to not only teach my student but also instruct her husband, sister and daughter in English; one of my youth students and I had the privilege of studying the Bible with our new friends. Even though this could occur in a classroom setting, there was something so special about pulling out their home Bibles on the floor of their living room, around her delicious treats, and asking the Holy Spirit to meet us there. This truly felt like a sweet picture of heaven: honest hearts seeking the King in different languages and cultures.”

James, Youth Pastor of First Baptist Bonifay: 

“Often, teams go on a mission trip and are fixated on ‘saving Clarkston’ or the areas they are in, but that is not the mindset you should have. We don’t save anyone. Only the power of Christ through the gospel can do that. Our job as missionaries in Clarkston is to do whatever we can to free up the missionaries there from academics and the various things they are doing to pursue the relationships and strategies to have gospel conversations. The training that we received from the Send Relief leadership was incredibly helpful, and it immersed us in the mindset of a refugee and equipped us to better serve the community that we were in.”

Micah, Student from Calvary Baptist:

“For me, the Lord grew in me a desire to do the same ministry in the location that God has put me in. I want to intentionally go out of my way to serve others. This trip showed me how I can be prideful and think our ways are best. But that is not true, and the Lord used people to reveal that to me. The hardest part about the trip was going back. I loved the trip and wanted to stay longer, but I also knew that the Lord has placed us in other places for a reason. Right when I got back, the church I attend had a 6-week Wednesday class conducting evangelism in the community. This was a way we could reach out to different communities, pray, and encourage other people. Throughout it all, I have realized the faithfulness of God. We are called to sow seeds, but God is the one doing the work of salvation.”

Along with the Send Relief Atlanta Ministry team, I am thankful for the honor of walking with churches to reach former refugees with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Refugees are God’s instrument to empower our churches to be the Church we are called to be. Western churches need former refugees, and former refugees need biblical Western churches.

If you would like to access Send Relief’s resources regarding ongoing care for refugees, watch our free workshop webinar here.

Published June 2, 2023

Samuel Rai

Samuel was born and raised in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal for the first 15 years of his life. By God's grace, he came to the U.S. on November 19, 2009, with the help of Kentucky Refugee Ministries. After coming to Louisville, he was mentored and discipled by Southern Baptists. Through their mentorship, God clarified he was called to live as a missionary among former refugees — like he was in the U.S. He studied at Boyce College and Southern Seminary, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies (focusing on global education) and a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry. He serves with his wife, Priscilla, and two sons, Amos and Paul in Clarkston as a NAMB missionary. He’s the Clarkston Outreach Coordinator at the Atlanta Ministry Center through Send Relief. As a NAMB missionary, he gets to live in Clarkston as Christ's ambassador to reach Clarkston with the gospel, walk closely with Clarkston ministry leaders and train Southern Baptist churches to love the nations and reach nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ in North America. Clarkston has over 90 unreached people groups represented. Most of them came as refugees and several have ethnic churches. Pray Samuel and his family would be faithful to walk alongside these ethnic pastors and key leaders to reach communities with the gospel. Please pray they would faithfully share the vision of Send Relief with the Southern Baptist churches about the importance of having a heart for the nations here in North America.