The fifth day might have been the most difficult day of all – not because of what we did, but rather because of what we couldn’t do. We started the morning with a 45 minute drive to Woodstock, Georgia, where we served with Trent Chambers, the plant pastor at Sojourn Community Church. Sojourn planted less than a year ago and they are currently meeting on Sunday nights at an Anglican church. Since they have church at night, we were working during the day.
We arrived in Woodstock and met Trent at a local bank/coffee shop where he shared with the team about Woodstock and the church. We then headed over to a park to clean up after a festival that was there the night before. The Parks and Rec department of Woodstock had done the heavy lifting in the clean up the night before, but we spent about 45 minutes getting the small pieces of trash out of the park. This is one of those ministries that helps build good will between the church and the community so we were pumped about doing it. There was a slight drizzle the entire time we were picking up trash and that was a hint of what was to come later.
At 11:00, we met Trent at FUMC Woodstock for worship. This church has dwindled over the years to just a handful of people, but Trent has been praying for them. Next week, Sojourn is having a city-wide cookout at the FUMC campus and inviting all of the area churches to come and fellowship and pray for the city. He felt like it would be encouraging to the church if we joined them for worship.
After worship, we ate our sack lunches in the van and began to contemplate what was next. The agenda for today involved painting and doing door-to-door surveys, but the rain was coming down pretty steady at that point. Trent suggested that maybe God was going to allow us to have a sabbath rest and to reflect on what has happened so far. He also suggested we go see Star Trek at the theater 🙂
We decided to drive to one of the neighborhoods and see if the rain would stop. It didn’t, so we drove slowly through the neighborhood and prayed over the houses. We say a car that has “Pray for Emily” shoe polished on it so we stopped and sent two people of our team up to the door to find out what we were praying for. You can read her story and pray for her here.
After “prayer driving” we went to the mall in Canton. While we were there, we prayer walked the mall and then met in the food court to reflect on our week and the past year. We each shared what verses had affected our life the most over the past year and what verses we would consider to be our “life verse.” We processed some of the feelings that come with not being able to work like we wanted to because of the weather.
After we left the mall, we drove to the neighborhood that we had driven through. The rain had finally stopped so we split up into three teams to start going door to door with the survey. One of the groups met some very unfriendly people and were informed that the neighborhood had a “no solicitation” policy. We loaded up into the van after hitting just a few houses and drove to the front of the neighborhood to see if there actually was a sign that prohibited knocking on doors. There was . . . oops!
Trent had given us another neighborhood so we drove there. They also had a sign that prohibited knocking on doors. Apparently, Georgia is not “Texas friendly.” By that time, it was nearly 5pm so we drove over to worship with Sojourn Community Church.
After church, we drove back to Atlanta. Most of the group wanted Chinese food for dinner so we found a place fairly close to where we are staying and had dinner together. We got back to the church at around 9pm and everyone headed to bed. That alone out to tell you that even though today wasn’t as fulfilling as we had hoped, we are still pretty worn out.