Thursday, February 18, 2010

Celebrate Black History Month!

Looking for resources to share with your church and participate in celebrating Black History Month? Check out this website!

How's your congregation celebrating? Let us know!

Homelessness in America

Here are two great BBC videos about homelessness in America:

Homeless America changing because of financial crisis

A doctor helping the homeless

Learn how YOU can serve your homeless neighbors with CSM!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Choosing the car

What happens when the paychecks stop coming in? Homelessness can take many different forms and doesn't always look the same in every situation. It is becoming increasingly common for people who loose their jobs and their homes to avoid emergency shelters by choosing to live in their cars. This article from Time magazine shares stories of working Americans, many of whom could easily be our neighbors or friends, forced to choose to take shelter in their cars.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Empire State of Mind

This is why we <3 NY :)

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

A Previous City Host Reflects...

We stumbled upon this great blog, written by a previous CSM City Host. Check it out!
"Many of you may not know this, but back in 2003 I worked for an organization called Center for Student Missions (CSM). Our purpose was to facilitate three- to seven-day missions trips for junior high, high school, and college students in the inner-city. My job as "City Host" was to welcome, orientate, guide, and debrief my group's experience in the city -- essentially, we were the bridge between the groups and the ministries with whom we served. We worked in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, after-school and summer daycamp programs, food banks, churches, and other parachurch ministries. We led prayer tours the night of the group's arrival to introduce them to some of the issues the city faces. We took our groups to a different ethnic restaurant every night so they could experience the rich and diverse culture of the inner-city. We even dedicated an entire night to walking through the city with nothing but a dollar to experience the reality of a runaway or homeless person trying to make it on the streets. And we led debriefing sessions at the end of each day, often witnessing the shock, the admissions of ignorance and guilt, the pain, and the disgust our groups felt as they saw and processed the harsh reality of poverty in their own backyard."

Keep reading Alisha's reflection...

Learn how more about CSM's seasonal, paid internships...

Friday, February 12, 2010

True Love

"Love in its purest form is the most powerful weapon we have against hatred, indifference, prejudice, misunderstanding, and divisiveness. The more we genuinely love, the more we understand that this commandment is life-altering for everyone involved. Just as water rushing against hardened stone eventually erodes the stone, so love in action breaks down all barriers between people. It’s a commandment which works miracles and brings the kingdom of God closer to reality."
-Stephen Sciolino

Happy Valentines Day from your CSM friends!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Future of Short-Term Missions: An interview with Paul Borthwick recently posted a great interview with missions expert, Paul Borthwick. Check it out!

Here's one of our favorite questions/answers:
If you could advise church leaders to do any one thing before a trip to prepare their teams for success, what would it be?

The most important thing is to get people involved in some kind of local cross-cultural ministry, so that they don’t have to go 10,000 miles to find out they don’t like folks from other cultures. I live in New England, and many teams go from our area to Haiti, totally overlooking the fact that Boston has the third-largest population of Haitians in North America. Why is it that we’re so willing to serve in the Caribbean when we aren’t willing to serve across town?

Churches should provide some sort of local cross-cultural service before a trip—you can call it a “simulation.” People will see if they have what it takes for ministry to other people groups. When they go overseas, they’ll be more culturally sensitive and possess the attitude of a servant.

Want to learn how your church can serve on the local, urban mission field? Check out!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Denver School Makes Strides

A local Denver elementary school is making big steps in providing a quality, successful education to it's diverse student body. More than 13,500 students in the Denver area are English Language Learners which can provide for a huge learning curve as they enter the English based school system.
Goldrick Elementary School is taking a new approach - bilingual education. Check out a recent article!

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What a great idea!

Our New York City Director, Tracee, just passed this along - what a great idea! A friend has come up with an idea for an app that would allow homeless individuals to find/access resources that could help them get off the street.
Let's imagine the awesome possibility of this idea:
Say you come and serve with CSM on a short-term trip. Your group is sitting in the park, striking up a conversation with a new homeless friend. After sharing some lunch and learning about your new friend, you find out that he really wants to get off the streets, but doesn't know where to turn. Well, your hip youth pastor can get out his iPhone and use this app to find out where to direct your new friend. Awesome!

To make this a reality, though, it needs some serious votes. Head on over and vote now!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Food Banks Struggle to Keep Up with Demand

In our troubled economic times, many families find themselves struggling to make it to the end of the month. Food banks in Los Angeles (and across the country) are finding it more and more difficult to keep up with demand for cheaper food prices. This is especially the case as families are forced to make hard choices like buying food or paying for rent.

Check out a recent LA Times article...

-Jonathan Liu, CSM Los Angeles Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Los Angeles!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Restorer of streets...

“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
Isaiah 58:12