By Ansley Brackin
Efrain Morales among the rest of Snellville UMC felt a call to aid their community. At first, they were unsure of exactly how to help their town, resulting in a community survey. While usual common requests like clothes food and house repairs were mentioned, the top dilemma was a need to overcome language barriers.
A free ESL Program was immediately offered by the church four times a week. Each lesson included a 15-minute devotional that quickly inspired young class attendees to bring their families to Snellville UMC for Sunday services. During the first year, there were so many interested youth that the church began providing transportation on Sundays for those unable to travel to church on their own.
The class will now start a Level 4 class, after their class of around 45 students receives a certificate for their astounding effort. Already, theupcoming program has a registration list of 84 students. As the success of the ESL classes continued, the church created more ways to reach out to their eager 1000+ community within 3 trailer parks.
The Women Servicing God Group meets with each park every other week for 2 hours to teach crafts, have workshops and guide devotionals. While this group is geared towards helping women within the trailer parks, the women who come from the church to aid them feel that they learn just as much about life as those in the program do. One project that these women enjoy partaking in is post card decorating for all of Snellville UMC’s special events.
Another group helps children at these same locations with homework on a weekly basis. “We understand that some of the parents can't understand English and it’s hard for them to help their children,” say Morales.
There is a pleasant range of other programs offered in these areas of town. One section of the community even has access to a free Zumba Class. There are various evangelist and VBS programs spread around Snellville’s trailer parks. Christmas presents, school supplies, food, and bill assistance is offered by the congregation, among other acts of service.
Morales feels that God has called for this year to be “The Harvest year” - a time to motivate others to embrace this calling. “This campaign is for everyone to come together to reach out to those who don't know Jesus.”
“We like to say that all the wonderful things God has done in our ministry has been only God’s work in us and guiding our every steps,” Morales says, and he also credits the commitment of his congregants and prayers they have sent and received.