Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating a Decade

CSM Denver City Director, Keysha Boggess, celebrated a decade with CSM this past fall. What an honor it has been to have her on staff with us - all the way from trip participant to founding City Director of CSM's Denver site. Congratulations, Keysha! Thank you for your hard work, perseverance, and love that you've poured into each city you've served.

It is incredible to think that I have been working with CSM for a combined 10 years! I don’t feel like it is possible. I’ll never forget showing up in Chicago for my summer internship feeling nervous and excited. I was ready for a fun summer before graduation and then finding a “real” job. What I could never guess was that fun summer was really going to be a life changing experience. CSM has given me the freedom to grow into a leader and a mentor.  I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some incredible and inspiring people. I am who I am today because of their wisdom, patience and willingness to challenge me.

From the archive! Summer I Hosted in Chicago 2001

This past October I was able to take a month long sabbatical which was such a gift. I was able to pull away from work and spend some time in personal development. My goal was to come back refreshed and renewed. I was able to get into some creative spaces and tackled several fun house projects as well as take a photography class. It really showed me that I need to create more margin in my life and make space for more creative time. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to do this and the freedom it gave me to step away for a time to reflect and refocus.  I am so grateful the Lord has allowed me the opportunity to work for CSM...for 10 years!


Above are a few projects I finished during my sabbatical, and a picture of a place where I found great times of solitude. 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

SAME Cafe keeps serving up the good stuff!

Congratulations to SAME Cafe for winning the Naked Juice Video award! Check out their amazing video...and see if you can spot our awesome apprentice, Amanda!

Learn more about serving with CSM in Denver!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Continuing to serve in the midst of despair...

As one of CSM NYC's regular ministry partners, Bethel Gospel Assembly, mourns the loss of two of its church members who were killed in a building explosion on March 12. 

A gas leak caused the building, located at 116th St. and Park Ave in Harlem, to explode. This week, our CSM group was able to prepare lunch in their soup kitchen for hundreds who would be coming from the neighborhood and sort and help pick out clothing for their guests. We also worked in their food pantry, handing out bags of groceries to those in need. Since the explosion last week, their number of participants needing services more than doubled! 

It was such a blessing for us to be able to provide help for them in a very tangible way. With the increase in need, came a desperation for volunteers and the Lord placed us right in their path. 

When speaking with Julie Girard, the Program Coordinator, she expressed how much their church is grieving, but also how much God has begun to provide them with His healing and restoration. 

Please, please, please continue to pray for them as they tirelessly work to meet the needs of their community. You can read more about the story here.

- Marquita Farmer, CSM New York City Director

To further assist this crucial ministry, please considering sending a donation to:
The East Harlem Disaster Relief Fund
c/o Bethel Gospel Assembly, Inc.
New York, N.Y. 10035
Attn:  Rev. Joan M. Williams- Jarrell

Please note: The East Harlem Disaster Relief Fund must be noted in the memo section of your check.

In addition to financial donation, they are asking for donations of the following non-perishable items:
  • Toothbrushes
  • Combs
  • Hairbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Bath Soap
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
The above referenced items can be mailed to the same address above or dropped off at Beth-Hark Christian Counseling Center during the following hours:

Tuesdays 10 a.m.- 12 noon
Thursday  3;00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Giving up the beach

Last week, Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts came to Philadelphia with eight students and two leaders to spend their spring break in Philadelphia. Ashlee Downing, who was returning for her second CSM trip, was interviewed for the school's newspaper about why a group of college students would forsake the beach, raise money, and travel hours and hours on a train to serve in Philadelphia. You can read what she wrote here... 

I greatly enjoyed being able to host this group of diverse and dynamic students, and being allowed to become a part of their group for a week was such a blessing!  Thanks for your service.

- Nicole Engelhardt, CSM Philadelphia Associate City Director

Keep updated on all that's happening at CSM Philadelphia - follow them on Facebook or Twitter!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ministering in the midst of crisis

This past Wednesday, a building explosion occurred in an East Harlem neighborhood. A couple of groups serving with CSM New York City were working with ministries just a few blocks from where the explosion happened. Gratefully, everyone was fine and out of harms way. They were able to help prepare to emergency services to people in the neighborhood. 

As of yesterday, there were 4 who have lost their lives, 63 injured, and 9 people unaccounted for. This has hit our CSM NY team hard, as they have found out that 3 of the 4 who died were members of one of our partnering churches, Beth-Hark Christian Counseling Center

Our contact at Beth-Hark let us know that they are all grieving and feeling the tremendous loss. CSM has had a group serving there since the explosion and the church is so thankful that they are coming. This group has been such a blessing to Beth-Hark over these last two days. 
  • Please say a prayer for the families that are affected by this. 
  • Pray that the Lord would continue to use our groups in a mighty - through this church and as they feed and pray for people in the neighborhood. 
  • Pray as we continue to minister to the neighborhood, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.
To stay updated, please visit CSM New York City's Facebook Page for updates.