Thursday, July 27, 2006

Changes for Homeless in Los Angeles

We recently came across a great story from National Public Radio on the latest changes for LA's homeless population. The Union Rescue Mission (URM) is a ministry site that CSM groups work with. It's a dynamic Christian mission based in the heart of Skid Row in LA. Click here to find out how you can serve with CSM in Los Angeles!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Friday, July 14, 2006

Why My Job Is Worth It

Ministry with the homeless was not something I've chosen to do. Not that I don't think it's good, it's just never crossed my mind before. Now I don't know why, but for this summer God told me to go reach the homeless and so by coincidence I ended up working at CSM. Being hit with so many things alien to me, I have to reconsider many presuppositions and the like that I have. With a job with little sleep, working with a bunch of teens that are whiny at time, having the stress of dealing with leaders and still trying to keep up friendships with the staff, I was forced to consider: is my job really worth it? For one who is used to going out all gung ho for straight preaching evangelism and seeing souls saved (and getting really excited about it!!), is going out there and doing petty work like framing ministry sites and folding beds and talking about random issues with homeless people really worth it? For three reasons I can answer the question with a yes and another YES. First, this summer has been an eye opener and a learning experience for me and it did challenge me to think differently about the gospel. Second, we've had youths who came to CSM and it completely changed their lives. In one account, a student told his group that he did not want to be a Christian before the trip because he liked the party and drugs lifestyle. He decided to go home and get baptized. On another occasion a girl who was just entering college for Biology major decided instead to go into full time ministry. Finally, this summer I anchor at a soup kitchen called St. Felix Center. Here I make lunch for the homeless and have a chance to build some relationships. Here is where I met Lana, a very nice, sweet Vietnamese lady. One day she told me this: "Thank you so much Lindsay for being so kind. It is because of people like you that life is worth living." Yes, my job is worth all the trouble. It is for moments like these that my job is completely worth it. It is seeing the gospel unfold in front of my eyes and seeing Jesus being glorified that makes my job completely, absolutely worth it.
-Lindsay Tsang, Toronto CSM City Host Summer 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Peak at CSM Nashville

Summer is going by so quickly! It's becoming a normal thing for me to meet amazing people and hear mind boggling stories everyday. I meet walking miracles on a regular basis. It still amazes me that this is my job-- discovering life and listening to people!
Last week we were at Adult Day Services, a ministry that takes care of elderly people during the day while their families are at work. I was touched by the activities coordinator there. She is one of the most upbeat people I have ever met, and she always finds something to laugh about. Her goal there is just to make people happy, and the people there aren't always very responsive to her entertainment, or to a lot of things. Yet she's so persistent in her efforts and she never loses her joy, or her perspective. It's inspiring to see that kind of dedication and its clear that she relies on God to sustain her and fill her with joy.

I've also had the blessing of getting to talk occasionally with a homeless man who goes by the name of Isaac. Every time I talk to Isaac, he is quoting Scripture left and right, and connecting life to the Bible and stories from the Bible to other stories and parables. He's always got 50 million things to share about God and his blessings. Last week he caught me off guard and just asked me to share what God had been delivering me from lately. Surprised at the question, I gave it some thought, but I felt uncomfortable and unsure and I didn't really come up with anything to tell him. In the most gentle, loving way, he reminded me that God is always teaching me things, and just getting to spend time with Him is a blessing. He quoted the verse from 1 Peter 3:15 about always being ready to give an answer for the hope that you have, and we prayed, and he went about his day. But from Isaac's humility, combined with the truth of Scripture, I felt convicted and humbled. I hope I will always have something to say about God's goodness when I'm asked, and I love that I am able to be ministered to by the same people I am serving.

- Sara Kandt, CSM Nashville City Host Summer 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006