Friday, December 30, 2011

Authentic Ministry in the Mile High City

As I sit and reflect on 2011 I am so grateful for the opportunity to be connected to what the Lord is doing in Denver. One of my favorite memories from this year is a week I spent with 6 amazing women. I had the opportunity this fall to host a very special group that was unlike any I have served beside. They were a group of women who are currently homeless and living in a transitional housing program here in Denver. As part of their program the education coordinator wanted to implement a time to serve together, so we spent 3 days volunteering around Denver. I will admit that I was a little nervous at first, because our program is usually geared towards suburban and rural youth coming from outside the city. It was such a humbling week for me and so encouraging and refreshing to serve alongside women who are used to being served. They did a fantastic job!
The first day we worked with a refugee employment program, Safari Thrift. The women were very interested in learning about refugees and it was eye opening for them to make the connection that they had a lot of similarities with their new refugee friends. Many of them made comments about how similar their programs were in regards to helping people get a fresh start and become self-sufficient.  It was one of those days when the world seems a bit smaller. 
My favorite part of the week was taking them on the prayer tour. I’ve given our prayer tour about a hundred times, but this was a unique one that I won’t soon forget. It was a special time for us to pray over our own city, and to learn together through conversation and story. At times I was sharing with them and sometimes they were teaching me. I felt privileged that they were so willing to share openly and honestly. 
We worked with World Vision one morning and also went to a residence for seniors with low-income for their regular Thursday  afternoon dance. Watching the women serve at the senior center was really fun. They were dancing and visiting, and I didn’t have to encourage them at all. The just jumped right in! 
My hope is that this would become a regular part of the education curriculum at the Transitional House and we can do this every year. I would love to partner with a local church women’s group where they would each “sponsor” one of the women and also come serve alongside us. 
I desire to grow and challenge myself with what authentic ministry really looks like and the week I spent with these six women definitely continued that journey for me. I really appreciate the many different ways CSM can be connected and a resource to the city. 

-Keysha Boggess, CSM Denver City Director

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