The time has once again come for my annual “what I did this summer” wrap-up. By far, it was the best summer I’ve had in serving at CSM.
At the beginning of the summer, Chris Zwakenberg, a youth pastor from Delaware, joined our Washington DC staff as the City Director. Chris had led more than a six trips with CSM and felt led by God to serve with us full-time. His leadership, heart for God, concern for people and passion for missions kept the city ministry moving forward during a time of transition.
While visiting our cities, I met some amazing leaders. In Philadelphia, I met a senior pastor of a large church in New England who cared enough about missions and his youth, that he joined his group in their mission trip. Another youth leader in Philadelphia was courageous enough to take a bunch of urban kids who had never left their city to go be missionaries to another inner-city where God showed them how much He can use them.
In Los Angeles, I accompanied one of our groups to a church on Skid Row, where they helped host a karaoke night for the homeless. The church pastor and his wife host this every Wednesday night so that they can build relationships with those on the street, give the homeless an opportunity for some good entertainment and help many feel like they have some talents that others can appreciate. There really is some great talent on Skid Row.
In Boston, I spent some time with partners who couldn’t wait to tell me how much of a difference our groups were making in “staffing” their children’s ministry.
In Chicago, I spoke to the groups at our weekly worship night and challenged them to not just have a mind for missions but also a heart to care for a lifetime.
In Nashville, a Junior High student told me how she led someone to Christ for the first time.
In Oakland, I had the privilege of preaching to the congregation of our housing church and encouraged them about vision that looks to the future.
In New York, I spent some time with our new staff member, Lauren, who grew up in my church. I wish you could watch Lauren as she interacts with group leaders, talks to children, leads summer interns and teaches youth – she’s amazing!
Over and over again this summer, I was reminded of the triple “whammy” of CSM. Students are trained to minister to the often forgotten, churches and ministries are resourced to do what God has called them to do and the children, families and people of the city are met with the love, grace and the good news of Christ so that He is glorified.
Those who support me and our team in prayer and financial backing brought this summer to you. Thanks so very much!
- Dan Reeve, CSM President
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