Saturday was an exciting day for Envision Atlanta’s site coordinator Pete Brokopp.
With every community he interacts with he is always searching to meet what he calls the felt needs of the people. A felt need is the need that will reach the heart of the person you are trying to serve. When he lived and worked with his family in Burkina Faso the felt need was water. Pete drafted a plan to drill wells so that people would not have to walk all day for water. So far that project has brought water to nearly 500,000 people.
In Clarkston the felt need tends to be friendship with an American. In most cases refugees have left family and friends behind fleeing from wars, famine, or persecution and are lonely. While friendship is always high on the list of felt needs sometimes to get there we have to be creative, sometimes ESL is our way in, meeting another felt need int he process. Another way to build a friendship is through providing them with something they miss from back home. This is where camel’s milk comes in.
Somalia produces and consumes more camels milk than any other country in the world. When Somalian refugees come to America camel’s milk is one of the many things that they leave behind. Small comforts form home can become an incredible bridge to friendship and so Pete decided he wanted to bring camel’s milk to Somalis in Clarkston. If you’ve spent anytime with Pete you’ve heard him talk about his dream. West Ridge Church heard Pete’s dream and also wanted to make the Somali’s feel welcomed and at home in Clarkston so that’s exactly what they did. Saturday morning they arrived in Clarkston with camels milk and teamed up with Pete and our Envision Atlanta staff and passed out the milk to many residents of Clarkston. It was well received and the seeds of friendship have been planted.