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Grant and Shannon are moving to Atlanta, GA!

We’re Moving to Atlanta!

We are excited to announce that we, Shannon and Grant, have decided to be missionaries for a year in Atlanta, GA starting October third. This is not a spontaneous decision but one we have talked about since we got married two years ago. We knew we’d like to do something crazy for God before we had kids but we also didn’t want to do anything while tied down financially. This July we paid off our car loan and Shannon’s student loans and are officially debt free! So starting at the beginning of October we are moving to a poor neighborhood in Atlanta called Peoplestown where we will live in community with our neighbors. While there, we will be volunteering fulltime at community service organizations. Shannon will be volunteering with a community called Emmaus House in the heart of Peoplestown. They offer many ministries to the neighborhood such as afterschool programs, senior programs, a poverty rights office, and more. Grant will be volunteering with an organization called Georgia Justice Project which offers free legal services to the impoverished. Grant will be a Prisoner Support Advocate and will visit and report on inmates. When we’re not volunteering we will be building relationships with our neighbors and discovering what it means to literally “love your neighbor as yourself.” We will also be pursuing a closer relationship with God with scheduled quiet times,weekly Sabbath days, Citywides (all-city worship and teaching gatherings), Weekly Reflections, training sessions, and volunteering with the local community church. We’re so excited about what God has in store for us!

Prayer Requests

  • We’re feeling very anxious about September. It seems there are about a million moving parts in this transition.
  • We’ve reach 76% of our fundraising goal  We’d love to start the year fully funded and so need another six thousand dollars in support.

We Need Your Support

To participate in Mission Year, Shannon and I have committed to raising twenty-four thousand dollars. We’re glad to report that we are 76% of our way toward the goal. Will you help contribute the remaining six thousand dollars? As I see it, your donation represents two investments. The first is in Peoplestown. As service volunteers in the community, we pray that the neighborhood is blessed by our contributions. In our next newsletter we’ll describe the demographics and history of Peoplestown more. The second is very directly us. As we embark on this journey, we have faith that the greater work will occur in ourselves. As much as we can be a blessing to our neighbors, we hope that through God, they will be a blessing to us.

How to Make a Donation

You may either send a check or donate securely online. Whenever you make a donation, be sure to include our Team Member Name and Support ID Number. Those are:

Team Member Name: Grant and Shannon Jenks
Support ID Number: 11-9031

Visit in your web browser to make a donation online. Make checks payable to “Mission Year” and include our Support ID Number in the memo line. Donations are tax deductible.

Mark 10:17-22

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Why We’re Doing Mission Year

Part of our motivation for Mission Year comes from the story of the Rich Young Ruler found in Mark 10:17-22.  (See above scripture.) Like the rich young ruler, we are very blessed. We both come from families where we never wanted for food, clothing or shelter; our families have been stable, and higher education was within our reach. Since graduating, we’ve found stable careers and incomes. However, when we read this story we ask ourselves if we too would turn away. Could we give up the comfortable lifestyle we live and follow Jesus? We believe Mission Year is an opportunity to live this out. Our choice to give up a year of stable income and live among the poor is our answer to Jesus’ call.

During these first couple years God has been preparing us. We have been heavily involved in a ministry called Celebrate Recovery at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, WA. Celebrate recovery is a Christian 12-step discipleship program. God has used the program to grow us emotionally and spiritually in deep ways. We have seen first hand the ways in which the poor have suffered and how God can redeem them.

We have also been preparing by getting out of our comfort zone and becoming members of a church where we’re the minority. Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle is a Black Baptist church that has a lot of history and influence in the community. We believe that as Jesus reached beyond social and racial barriers, he also calls us to do the same. We have loved the way God has used this community to challenge us and encourage us as we transition to a new home in Atlanta.

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