Located just some 20 minutes outside of Atlanta, the town of Clarkston, Georgia seems like any typical suburban town. However, the city has the unique characteristic of being one of the nation’s largest refugee settlements. In the past 25 years, Clarkston has received over 40,000 refugees.
In fact, 31 percent of the Clarkston population is foreign born. With this unique demographic distinction, comes particular challenges that the community faces. For this reason, the Gregory Center for Medical Missions chose Clarkston, Georgia for its Spring, 2019 trip.
This was the first time the Gregory Center for Medical Missions chose a U.S. location for a medical missions trip. Three PBA juniors studying nursing, Sierra Cundiff, Hannah Falci, and Libbie Lyster participated in the medical missions trip. Libbie had this to say about her experience on the Clarkston trip:
” There are many places that people choose to go on mission trips, but you don’t have to go far at all to immerse yourself into an entirely different world. I never left the United States, yet I was part of so many different cultures in the same small town. This trip has helped reassure my decision to work with unreached populations and provide community care to those who need it the most. I have learned so many new things about how to interact with people of different cultures and to humble myself to not be quick to judge. There is not one individual in the world who doesn’t deserve to experience God’s love; we are all the same on the inside whether we think so or not. If we have that mentality, there is no one in our communities near or far that will lack Christian centered care. I wish everyone can have the opportunity to serve one day and be able to show what God’s love and compassion looks like. I will forever be touched by the town of Clarkston, Georgia”