It is another Wednesday morning in Starkville, MS for Carter Brinkley. The 22 year-old Memphis native is a recent Mississippi State graduate, as well as an employee at Deep South Pout. Every day, he comes to work ready to handle DSP’s shipment processing and stockroom for the main store. What seems routine to all of his peers and co-workers, however, is a world away from where he was just one month ago.
From July 2 until August 13 of this year, Carter was overseas serving on a church-planting mission trip in Botswana, Africa. He, along with his local mission partner, Kago, served the people of Lobatse and Tsabong, Botswana for six weeks. The on-site missionary couple on site welcomed Carter to this new place and helped him get acquainted with the people, as well as the work planned out for him and Kago. Carter spent his first and last weeks in Lobatse, but he spent the majority of his time in the target destination: Tsabong.
Carter and Kago lived in Tsabong, Botswana for approximately one month and actively engaged with the surrounding community during their stay. They met people, shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, and formed relationships. Consequently, their church plant hit the ground running and a church service was held the second Sunday of the trip. Carter watched this newborn church grow every week and by the end the beginnings of Tsabong Baptist Church was in place. In response to the progress he experienced, Carter said he was “overwhelmed by God’s work.”
Robert Fortenberry, Carter, Kago
Tsabong Baptist Church
You might be wondering: “How does Deep South Pout fit into the picture?” After all, this is DSP’s blog. Just like Carter’s story goes beyond product inventory at the store, Deep South Pout’s mission goes beyond clothing. The boutique’s owners, Shannon and Jason Stoker and Nicole and Justin Oswalt, founded the Reclaimed Project two years ago after being challenged to give a portion of the store's sales to charity. So there is a very strong relationship of support for Reclaimed Project by DSP. “You can see that the owners of Deep South Pout have a clear conviction to shepherd [this] ministry,” Carter said. Among many supportive efforts, DSP lets Reclaimed Project house itself in part of the store’s office space, as well as provides a couple of donation opportunities for the non-profit in the boutique. There is a clear presence of Reclaimed Project at Deep South Pout and an even greater support by its staff.
As a DSP customer, there are several ways YOU can get involved with Reclaimed Project. First, any Deep South Pout customer can donate 27 cents to Reclaimed Project during checkout at both the Starkville and Columbus locations. You can also purchase product from the Reclaimed Marketplace online; some paper bead necklaces are sold at DSP as well. Finally, you can visit Reclaimed’s website at www.ReclaimedProject.org for further inquiry about the non-profit, its mission, and more.
“I [Carter] have seen God do enormous things through Reclaimed Project and I’ve seen people actually become better off because of the things Reclaimed Project does; not because they have more money or a better job, but because they experience real life and they experience what they are created for.”
Want to learn more about the Reclaimed Project? Visit www.ReclaimedProject.org
Photography Credit: Masa Kathryn Photography, Carter Brinkley