Monday, February 16, 2009

College Students on a Mission

Below is are a few of the stories that have been shared from UCC Medfield's trip with CSM to New York City. Big thanks to their leader, Carol, for sharing these experiences with us. Enjoy!

"At the Relief Bus, I met a man, who had just lost his apartment that morning. Through resources at the site, I was able to find shelter for him that night and connect him with resources for future housing. Being able to help him in that way, beyond the instant gratification of the soup and hot chocolate we were handing out, was truly God working through me which was an indescribable feeling."

"Mission trips have always re-energized both my faith and my soul. The two trips I went on in high school really helped me to grow and strengthen my beliefs while this year as a (hopefully) more mature college student, I really thought about what my faith meant to me. It was incredible to work with the staff of Operation Exodus. They were teenagers and young adults like ourselves who had committed themselves to teaching grade school kids - who absolutely adored them - about God as well as their schoolwork. The love in that church basement was contagious."

"One of the core beliefs that was mentioned at two of the mission sites we visited, Furnish a Future and Father's Heart, dealt with restoring the dignity of the people that they served. Restoring dignity, this is truly God's work."

"today i saw...the results of God's vision put to work by his people.
today i felt...the joy of giving and its impact on those who received.
today i scripture can speak to us in different ways."

"This past mission trip was an eye-opening experience. Although I have served on three mission trips in the past, this one proved to be the most influential in my motivation to continue serving others. It has prompted me to look for more service opportunities at school and in the city, and to show my friends the need in our own local area."
"Hope for the Future
When I think back on our trip to Brooklyn I remember many things, pushing furniture with John and Carlos, helping Marisa, Edwin, and Jesus get the clothes they needed to stay warm on the cold winter streets, playing and praying with children I barely knew, seeing the joy on the faces of the two ESL students I got to help, and spending time with and getting to know a great group of friends all come to mind. But on top of all those memories there is one thing that always seems to be the first thing to come to my mind. It is a Bible verse from one of our daily devotions. In the story a man is explaining to Jesus how he was amazed that Jesus had known who he was without ever meeting him, and was quick to declare him the Son of God. Jesus noted the man's excitement and told him "…you will see greater things than that" (John 1:50). As amazing as our trip to Brooklyn was, and it was, I truly hope that these words ring true in every participant's lives and in the lives of all our church and in the lives of all Christ's people. What we got to do in Brooklyn was exciting, important, and transformative, but it was only 3 days. There are so many opportunities to serve and so many disadvantaged and marginalized people who need to be served and reminded that they too are children of Christ. Our trip was a chance to help those people, but hopefully it will only be the start of something greater. I loved every minute of our time in Brooklyn, and if Christ has greater things than that in store for us all, then I can't wait."

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in New York City!

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