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8-4-15 FLAG Camp (mini VBS) Goes Around the World
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 Refugees share with their countries of origin - 145 countries, 761 different ethnic groups

by Carrie Churchwell

 

 
Kelli Czaykowsky, a founder of FREE, and Jason Churchwell, an organizer of FLAG camp in Clarkston, Ga., help the refugees color a coat of many colors after learning about the story of Joseph. Photo by Kirby Kischmann
 
 
Smiles and shouts of joy, children running all around and stories of Jesus being shared are all characteristics of a new ministry started in Duluth, Ga., called FLAG camp. FLAG stands for “fun learning about God” and is a mini-vbs type program for kids. The Duluth Church decided to offer FLAG camp in the low-income area of Clarkston, Ga., home to 761 different ethnic groups coming from 145 different countries. New York Times magazine called Clarkston the most diverse square mile in America. 

Refugees immigrate here due to wars in their countries, religious persecution, etc. from Nepal, Cambodia, Burma, Iran, Bhutan, Sudan, Indonesia and many other places. Duluth Church began an outreach program for kids because families are very poor, barely making enough from their work at the local chicken factories to feed their children. Many do not have cars and are not able to go to church. Many do not even know about Jesus and His love for them.

Duluth members partnered with FREE (Friends of Refugees for Education and Empowerment) visiting Clarkston twice a month on Saturday afternoons to love on the children. They play games, sing songs, do crafts, and tell Bible stories. Once they arrive, the kids just pour out of their apartments to join the fun. Church members of all ages are a part of this outreach, from 10 to 60. The kids will cling to you so eager for attention and love. It is so much fun to work with them and see their smiles and hear them repeating, “Jesus loves me.”

There is such great need among the refugees for food, clothes, furniture, and a Christian education. Due to the work of FREE, 30 refugee children from Clarkston have been sponsored to attend the Adventist school on campus, Duluth Adventist Christian School. Many more desire an Adventist education, so more sponsors are needed. If you are interested in getting involved with FLAG camp, donations, or sponsoring a child for school, contact FREE online at www.freerefugees.org or email Carrie Churchwell
 
As we reach out to these different people groups our hope is they will in turn reach out to their family and friends and through these means the gospel will literally go to the whole world.

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North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 USA
Telephone: 301-680-6400
Fax: 301-680-6464
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