Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The One who calls you is faithful..."

Over the fall, we have had the privilege of meeting with several of our ministry partners, with the intention of hearing stories from their summers and to thank them for all that they do to serve Philadelphia.  After each meeting, I left with a feeling of joy and excitement over the way that they have chosen to give and to celebrate and to be beacons of hope each and every day.  I was deeply challenged by their stories and so honored to be able to be a part of a ministry has the opportunity of partnering with them.  

A glimpse into some of the stories:
1. One woman that CSM has worked with for many years began to share with us some of the ups and downs of working with the homeless population.  We asked her how she stayed anchored when the days were long and discouraging, different than she ever thought they would be.  Her response was a simple, "Jesus is always better.  I have just given my life to the fact that Jesus is always best."  

2.  We had lunch one afternoon with some friends who run a rescue mission.  They told us stories of overflowing grace and forgiveness.  Their reason for continually forgiving and giving their guys a second (or third or fourth...) chance?  "We love these men and so desire to see them transform.  I'm a person that desperately needs a second chance every day, so I'm in no position to not extend the same."

3.  Over eggs and toast one morning, we asked another one of our ministry partners how she got involved in her ministry.  "I heard God was doing big things here and I wanted to be close to that.  So, I came."

4.  One after-school program that we partner with is headed up by a powerhouse leader.  As we met with her, she told us story after story of adversities that she has encountered in the world of education.  Yet after 25+ years of serving, her passion for seeing change within the school system has only grown.  She spends her time off taking her students on trips to further increase their worldview and love for one another.  "As long as the kids stay safe and learn something, I'll probably do it."

Their stories challenge me to expand my horizons.  To satisfied with Jesus alone.  To be full of grace.  To be deeply passionate.

Thank you, faithful ministry partners, for building up the kingdom.  Thank you for allowing us to glimpse your worlds and to walk alongside you.

- Brittany Nyce, CSM Philadelphia City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Philadelphia!

Monday, October 28, 2013

We love our ministry partners! Kid's Meals (Houston)

We are SO grateful for our partnership with Kid's Meals. Thanks for your sweet words! 

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Houston!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Heeding the call to serve those in need

Not only do we see poverty in CSM's 10 urban cities, and even your own town or city, but this is an issue the world faces every day. Take this quiz to see how much you know about poverty in the world. 

Or you can take a look at this US poverty map to learn the statistics in your backyard. 

"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12.13

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A True Redemption Story

This is such a beautiful story of redemption. So thankful for God's healing power on the streets on Nashville!

- Jes Williams, CSM Nashville City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Nashville!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Government Shutdown Affects More than Monuments in DC

The government shutdown has is having a unique impact on the city of Washington, DC. All monuments and memorials are closed and many city services are currently running on an emergency fund, but even more difficult is the closing of many government-run services that help DC residents. 

Mental illness is very common among our homeless population and is close to our hearts at CSM, because these are the people we serve. Read a recent article about how DC may end up losing many of it's critical services because of this decision...

- Chris Zwakenberg, CSM Washington DC City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Washington DC!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Running the good race

One of the ministry sites we go to the most at CSM LA is the Midnight Mission - a homeless shelter/recovery program in Skid Row for men.  All of our groups love this place and often say it is one of their favorite places to serve.  What makes the time so special is that often one of the men (or several) will share their story of addiction and journey of recovery with our groups.  It tends to be one of the most impactful and inspiring moments for our groups.  One man in particular, Ryan, has dedicated countless hours in sharing his amazing story with us.  Recently, he and 3 others from the Midnight Mission traveled to the other side of the world to run a marathon in Ghana, Africa. 

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- Rebekah Bolin, CSM Los Angeles Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Los Angeles!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Going Deeper

"The most challenging part of my CSM experience was facing my own issues and trying to overcome my prejudices"
These are words from a group leader's evaluation this summer.  Farther down the evaluation, he wrote, " When I get home, I commit to  learn to love others better and to work hard to lose all prejudice toward race, religion, and nationality."


In that moment, I was reminded of the profoundness that can be experienced on a CSM trip.  This group leader came to serve and love, and God called him to go deeper.  It was through his CSM experience, that God revealed to this man the obstacles in his life that keep him from being fully available to God's ministry in this world.

This man left CSM Nashville desiring to love others better.

And THAT is why I love what I do.
- Jes Williams, CSM Nashville City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Nashville!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Nashville Ministry Meets the Needs of Women Seeking a New Life

Here is a clip from ABC World News' story about Nashville's own Thistle Farms. Magdalene/Thistle Farms is a residential program and social enterprise of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. They inspire and challenge us. Check it out!

- Jes Williams, CSM Nashville City Director

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Quiz time!

Philadelphia is the poorest big city in America, with 28% of the population living in poverty. But do you know the breakdown of who is impoverished in the city? Check out this quiz to see, and please be in prayer for those struggling to get by.

- Nicole Engelhardt, CSM Philadelphia Associate City Director