Over seven years ago we were approached by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship about a new missional program they had recently kicked off titled Together For Hope. This program would identify 20 of the poorest, most rural counties in America, and along with local residents seek to provide services and assistance of various types. One of the identified places was Presidio, Texas. Presidio is located so close to the Mexican border you can see the fence from just about any spot in town. Presidio is a major border crossing area, separated by four hours from the next closest crossing. It’s also a desert town where grass doesn’t grow but if you’re into cacti and rock you’ll be in Javelina heaven (oddly shaped hog-like creatures that run wild in packs along the border).
JCBC sent a scout team to Presidio, which isn’t an easy place to get to by any form of transportation, and came back with a very novel idea: Let’s work with local leaders and create a sports camp program that we would staff one week per year. To say this unique idea was successful would be great understatement. Our teams have transformed sports programming in Presidio and have enabled several kids to harness their natural gifts and move to the next level. Obviously our softball and baseball coaches and instructors are quite good.
We also began to offer 12 boys and 12 girls an opportunity to travel to Atlanta every other summer to attend camps at Georgia Tech (they’ve been very good to us throughout the years). This year we have begun a new facet to their visits: academic and cultural offerings. Twenty Presidio kids are presently with us experiencing cultural immersion and attending two days of classes through Junior Achievement, plus touring the High Museum and the Georgia Aquarium. We are also tossing in a water park trip, a baseball game and of course, The Varsity! Our relationship continues to grow and transform young lives.
Last January while In Presidio our team wore a t-shirt that read WE ARE PRESIDIO. We believe it. We are Presidio and Presidio is JCBC. Somehow, in ways only God can work out, a tiny Texas/Mexico border town and a mid-size-suburban Baptist church in greater Atlanta joined forces and created a program that changes lives. Lives there and lives here.
Yep, I’m Presidio and I’m proud of it!
Johns Creek Baptist Church