Building God’s Kingdom Together: Partnering with People on the Move

EMQ » January–April 2024 » Volume 60 Issue 1

Clarkston, Georgia: Joy Kim leads a multicultural group in a Proskuneo Arts and Worldview community art program. The program encourages diverse groups of young people to co-create. Photo courtesy of Jaewoo Kim. 

Summary: For 30 years, Clarkston, Georgia has welcomed so many immigrants and refugees from around the world that is it has become known as the most culturally diverse square mile of the US. With 90 different people groups, including many that are considered unreached and unengaged, the community provides unique opportunities for domestic cross-cultural missions. It also offers a chance to engage in ways that challenge assumptions and blind spots.

By Joy and Jaewoo Kim

In 2011, war broke out in Syria, and Syrian refugees began resettling. Ten years later, we saw images of people sitting shoulder to shoulder inside packed airplanes – even some dangling on the outer parts of the plane – leaving Kabul, Afghanistan to go to places of safety. For the same or similar reasons, people from Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Myanmar, Eritrea, Nepal, and other parts of the world fled from their home countries to foreign lands. Many of all these refugees made their way to our town – Clarkston – a community of just under 10,000 located northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

Over the past 30 years, Clarkston’s welcome of so many people has given it the reputation as “the most ethnically diverse square mile” of the US. In less than 2 square miles, more than 90 different ethnic groups, speaking more than 60 languages, peacefully coexist. People from everywhere are coming here. Clarkston is a living illustration of the nations arriving at our back door.

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