By Jim Hollandsworth
Jim Hollandsworth (M.Div '07) and his wife Melinda always felt God leading them to serve people from another culture through community development ministry, but they never knew that God would lead them just a few miles down the road from their house. In 2009, Jim and Melinda drove into the Gwinnett Estates Mobile Home Community for the first time and felt as if they were driving in Mexico. The community is home to majority first and second generation Mexican immigrants and Jim and Melinda quickly realized that the kids growing up in this community were facing the same challenges as kids who grow up in inner-city neighborhoods – gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and the likelihood of never graduating high school.
After seeing the situation in this community, Jim and Melinda started an outreach ministry through their church, Graystone Church, where Jim serves as the Missions Pastor. They purchased a trailer in the community two years ago and have now expanded into a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization offering programs such as after school homework help, mentoring, preschool, adult English classes, soccer teams, and mentoring. In 2012, they named their organization The Path Project because the mission of their work is to help kids find the right path for their lives.
The Path Project is currently active in three mobile home communities in Gwinnett and Walton counties and Jim and Melinda have a vision of expanding to other communities across metro Atlanta and nationwide. According to Jim,
“We've found that there's not much community outreach ministry going on in trailer parks with the Latino demographic. There are 33 trailer parks in Gwinnett county alone and we want to reach out to all the kids in these communities with the love of Christ and help them find the right path for their lives.”
For more information on the The Path Project please visit the website or like the their Facebook page.