Reverend Michael Spurlock was the pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Georgia – a church with dwindling attendance. The church was in danger of closing down, but God had other plans. It was 2007, and a group of over 70 refugees had arrived in Smyrna from Myanmar. Some of these refugees showed up at Spurlock’s church, asking if they could plant crops on the church property. The refugees farmed the land, which helped with the church’s funds, meanwhile becoming part of All Saints Episcopal Church. In return, the church was able to financially and emotionally aid the refugees, helping them adjust to life in America and begin to thrive.
Spurlock chronicles his story in the book All Saints: The Surprising True Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church. It is a powerful and inspiring story. It shows the amazing things that people can do for one another, and it shows how God can create something beautiful even out of the most dismal situations. Life is full of struggles, and we often do not know what lies in the path ahead. But sometimes the greatest setback is merely a precursor to something wonderful, and we would be surprised at the great things that God has in store for us.