Monday, February 27, 2006

CSM 2006 Summer Theme

Well it's been decided - this summer's theme is officially "Authentic Compassion-Seek God, Serve Others". It's been taken from Luke 10:25-37 and James 2:14-17. Both passages deal with serving others with compassionate hearts (the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke and the verse about faith being dead without works in James). Who is someone you can serve humbly and with compassion today?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

City Highlight - Los Angeles

If you have never been to LA with CSM or you haven't been recently...let me tell you how God has been working! CSM-LA had a record year in 2005 with more groups serving than ever before in our 18 year history. Not only that, but God is opening up new connections with amazing ministries around Los Angeles.

Four new Christian ministries have asked us to bring High School, Junior High and Adults to come and partner with them. And some of our current partners have opened doors to more avenues of ministry for our groups. Now we are able to serve families struggling with AIDS in an amazing transitional living environment. We are bringing crafts and friendship to children and mothers who are homeless on Skid Row. We are working with a relatively new ministry in South LA who has an amazing facility, but not enough staff to run kids programs in all the activity rooms that they have - CSM groups will have the chance to reach a great number of children in the part of Los Angeles hardest hit by poverty and crime. One last ministry I will mention reaches a segment of elderly people desperately in need of prayer, encouragement and conversation. We have the opportunity to help lead a chapel service at a Retirement Home and to meet and pray with people afterwards. God is truly moving to open doors for so many to minister in LA.

When you hear about Los Angeles, you may hear about gangs or crime. These issues plague many neighborhoods, but one of our biggest problems today is homelessness. I could give you more articles than you want about how Los Angeles has the largest homeless population in the United States. But I would rather share a story of hope. We always share with our groups on our Prayer Tour that God's healing touch is a gradual process brought to life by many people caring enough to help. People that we meet who live on the streets are broken and in desperate need of God's healing. Our groups are a part of that when they stop to have a conversation, stay to pray, or just lend a helping hand. For a great example of this kind of powerful love, please read about Nathaniel and how this LA Times reporter has been one of many people helping this mentally disturbed homeless man to take a hold of the healing that God is offering him.

I hope to see some of you soon so that you can see first hand the amazing work that God is doing through humble servants like you here in LA.

Peace in Christ,

Rachel Hamilton

City Director, Los Angeles