A Desperate Cry for Hope
In our most recent issue of Country Matters, we shared about the effect of two Vacation Bible School programs held in our Village Missions churches this summer. Now you can learn about the Larsen family, who are working to reach kids throughout the year, answering the desperate cry for hope.
If you cannot access the Country Matters digital edition above, you can find a basic version below.
The snow falls gently in Atlanta, MI, covering the pine trees in white. On the surface, the town looks like a Christmas painting, but in the hearts of the people there is a desperate cry for hope.
Beautiful but Struggling
Atlanta, Michigan is located in the northern Lower Peninsula and has a population of about 800. The area suffers economically, as well as from crime and cults.
Village Missionaries Ron and Lynette Larsen arrived at Atlanta Bible Church in May, 2016, with a hope to see the area changed by the Gospel.
“Atlanta and the surrounding areas are economically depressed,” said Ron. “It seems that young people feel they need to move away from this place. It’s too bad, because it is a beautiful place and it would be sad for it to totally die out.”
The Larsens moved to Atlanta from New York City, and while the problems in Atlanta are on a smaller scale, there is still a huge need to reach the children of the area.
Besides the economic and familial struggles, Atlanta struggles spiritually, with the town hosting several churches that do not preach the Gospel, including multiple cults.
It is into this spiritual darkness that Atlanta Bible Church shines as a beacon of hope.
Looking for Open Doors
Since arriving in Atlanta, Ron and Lynette have been praying and looking for opportunities to reach the next generation with the Gospel of Christ.
“I feel the greatest need in Atlanta is to reach the young people in their teens and to reach the younger couples. We have been making connections and trust that the Lord will open more doors.”
While Ron and Lynette are still new to the area, they have already begun finding ways to reach out to the local kids. To create opportunities to reach the youth over the long, cold winter months, Ron and Lynette were able to place a foosball and air hockey table in the church basement for youth nights. They will be hosting Saturday afternoon youth activities this winter and hope to add youth nights this coming summer.
Last summer, the Larsens were able to build a gaga ball pit. This dodgeball-esque game was a hit during the summer months and a blessing in reaching younger kids.
A Bright Future
Across North America are places like Atlanta, with kids and families who have no hope – who desperately need someone to tell them about Jesus Christ. That is why we are committed to sending Village Missionaries to these rural locations. If these local churches close, who will share the Gospel?
With nearly 90% of people coming to Christ before the age of 19, it is absolutely imperative that we reach rural children today!
There is a bright future that awaits these children, a life so much greater than the hopelessness they face in their communities, but they need someone to stand up for them.
They need you.
Before the Larsens arrived in Atlanta, there were absolutely no kids in the church. Since last year, not only have local kids started attending, they are becoming involved as well.
That is the goal of Reach 19. When you give to Reach 19, you help provide necessary resources for reaching rural kids, like those in Atlanta, MI. Your gifts help rural churches connect with youth and train them in the Gospel.
To learn more about how you can give hope to rural children in Atlanta. Michigan, visit reach19.org.