I want to be passionate about my city because my God is passionate about people.”

On August 25th, Our church will be hosting an event that will bring people from all over the Southeast. The Chick-fil-A® 3on3 Basketball Tournament and Family FunZone is a premiere event which provides a 3on3 basketball competition for communities. As well as the basketball tournament, the event holds a Family FunZone for families who are just looking for something fun and exciting to do on a weekend.

Probably the most exciting part about this event for our church is that the event is in Downtown Athens. Our backyard! 

People from all different backgrounds, different lifestyles, and different seasons of life will be coming to this event. 

So…you are asking yourself…Why should I care? I don’t play basketball. I don’t have kids.

Those may be true, but you still live in Athens. You still may work with some guys who love basketball, you may be in a bookclub with some girls who have young children, you still may have classes with people who are just searching for something to do.

We are all surrounded by someone who could be affected by this event. Not because basketball is so great, or the Family FunZone is extremely FUN! 

But, because when all the programs and funzones and basketball courts have come and gone, the greatest means of compelling people to come into the kingdom of Christ will remain your personal witness to the truth and greatness of Jesus and how he meets your needs. YOU are the salt of the earth. YOU are the light of the world.

Now, how do we get connected? How do we put ourselves in a spot where we can start or continue relationships with people we encounter?

The biggest way is by volunteering for the event on August 25th. To register to be a volunteer, follow this link—-> http://bit.ly/NKaVF2. At the top of the page, above the video, you will see a tab for Volunteer Registration. This tab will take you to a secure site in which you can register to become a volunteer.

Another way is by inviting people to the event. This event will be a great starting point for inviting friends to your community group or church.

As always, what we truly ask for you to do is pray. Pray for Athens. Pray that this event will be a big step towards redeeming our city. Pray for the people, the families, the friends that will be attending. 

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Restoring Brazil and Athens

It’s hard to believe that in just 34 days, 7 students and 4 adults from our church will be headed out to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for 9 days.

Trips like this create much anticipation for the people going. Several us on the team have been on overseas mission trips, many of us have not. Which gets me thinking - I like and dislike the term “mission trip” at the same time. It’s quite a fitting title. We will be going on a trip … and we’re on mission for people to know Jesus while we’re there. But could we classify the rest of our days as being on a “mission life”? I certainly hope so.

As our church hopes to become a family of missionaries right here in Athens, why are we leaving to be missionaries in Brazil for a week? I think there are lots of reasons to go, and though there’s no felt need to defend the trip, here’s why we see this short overseas mission trip as a part of God’s plan:

  • We hope to bless and encourage everyone we meet in Rio de Janeiro with the message of Jesus. We hope we remind them and they remind us that Jesus is on the move all over the world (Colossians 1:3-6).
  • We hope that the thought, effort, fundraising, and overall preparation for this trip will remind everyone going that living on mission does not happen on accident.
  • We hope our team will see the value and effectiveness of living in community long term after we experience it intensively for a week.
  • We hope to be fulfilling the call “to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” as Paul outlines and to “make disciples of all nations” as Jesus calls.

So from now until we leave on June 4th, and from then until we return on June 12th, would you pray for our team? Pray for Aaron Slaten, Collin Ross, Rachael Mirabella, Katuschka Rakovec, Thomas Woodard, Emma Hunt, Kimberly Case, Cam Mallett, Kay Mallett, Simon Hunt and Gabby Nicols. Pray for our hearts to be changed by the Spirit as well as the people we encounter in Rio. Pray for wisdom and knowledge in what to prepare for VBS, what other ministry activities to participate in, for humility in serving, for boldness in conversation, and for the Gospel to be clearly communicated through a culture and language gap.

We are excited to go, and we are excited to return and share stories of our mission trip! If you get a chance, talk to one of the people going before and ask why they’re excited to go. And after, ask one of them what they learned and saw there.

May Jesus’ name gain fame in Brazil and in Athens,

Rachael & Collin

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