Metro Atlanta is unique. Within five miles of 285/85 is the International Village, home to 145 countries and 761 different language groups! In March 2007, Metro Atlanta went over 5 million people! Over 90% of the world's 3,000 unreached people groups live in our area. The growth of Gwinnett County has attracted a host of immigrants eager to better their lives. When they first arrive into the USA they live in apartment complexes. There are over 700 apartment complexes located within this five square mile area. These poor immigrants are open to the Gospel whether they come from a Buddhist, Muslim or Catholic background. The international population is the fastest growing demographic in America. Many of the people that we work with return to their native countries and help reach their extended families for Christ!
The immigrants living in the International Village are housed in the apartment complexes around Metro Atlanta. According to the North American Mission Board, over 97% of apartment residents are unchurched. There are at least 200,000 Latinos living in Atlanta. They arrive in this country unable to speak the language nor care for their families. The children have an extremely difficult time in school since their parents cannot help them with their homework. The men find themselves taken advantage of by unscrupulous business men who prey on their fear of immigration problems.
Multiple families often live together in a single apartment to share the cost of the rent. They have a very difficult time paying for their rent and utilities. This puts an enormous emotional burden on them which often results in drug and alcohol abuse. Their spiritual needs are so great, and yet they find little comfort in the traditions of the Catholic church.
The goal of Whirlwind Missions is to "Take the Church, To the People." We reach apartment communities with the good news of the Gospel. We do this through developing relationships with residents. We focus on education: after school mentoring for the children and English as Second Language classes for the adults. We offer Bible studies to lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our ministry is reaching people with the Gospel and helping them succeed in this country. We have seen a drop in the crime rate and a higher percentage of children staying in school when there is a "Mission" in the apartment complex.
4. Ministry's solution
At Whirlwind Missions, we understand the transportation issues that most apartment dwellers face. We put our priority on establishing "Missions" directly inside the community. The trust level is higher with the residents and a higher percentage of the community interacts with missionaries who actually work inside the complex. The two main needs of our immigrant population are a relationship with Christ and education. We provide opportunities for both. We host regular Outreach Events to pull in the total community. We serve food, provide family fun and share the Gospel at the same time. We are able to do all these ministries thanks to the hundreds of volunteers coming from local evangelical churches. These churches also provide service to the community by picking up trash, painting over graffiti and planting gardens. These actions build relationships with community leaders, business owners and government officials which in turn helps expand our ministry.
5. Life transformation
With over 40% dropout rate in Georgia, one of our priorities is to help kids stay in school. With the help of our ministry more kids are finishing their education and going on to college. This keeps them out of criminal activities and helps them find a better job. Our mentoring programs help the whole child, by focusing on their spiritual needs as well. This often leads to a better home life. Unfortunately, many of the families deal with domestic violence. We partner with local police departments and have helped counsel families and keep them together. As we share in people's lives, we help them understand the Gospel. We work with the local ethnic churches in these area to and disciple the new believers and help their congregations grow.
6. Measurable impact
We have had over 1,000 people accept the Lord since our ministry's beginning in 2001. Over 200 people accepted the Lord in 2008. We regularly serve in 32 apartment communities. In the summer, we have outreach in over 50 complexes. In December 31, 2008 we served food to over 540 families and evangelized in 70 apartment complexes simultaneously! Many of the young men and women that we have worked with for years have now graduated from high school and are attending local colleges. We mobilized 3,400 volunteers from churches across the country. Our ministry is considered the model for international apartment work and is the largest of its' kind in the USA.
7. Ministry's kingdom value
Whirlwind Missions is reaching the world for Christ one person at a time. The international community represented in Metro Atlanta is unique. We have a golden opportunity to "Take the Church, To the People" right around us and literally reach the whole world! Our goal is to impact this burgeoning population with the life changing message of Jesus Christ. We do that through operating on site "Missions" which spread the Gospel through meeting real needs by partnering with local churches.