CSM Chicago will be posting a blog series called "Interrupted: The Unexpected Movements of God Working Through CSM's Ministry". If you have a story about how God interrupted your life through a CSM trip, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
CSM Washington DC Associate City Director
In the spring of 2012, Kyle Antinore was approached by people from his high school alma mater to be a chaperone on a middle school missions trip to CSM Washington, D.C. He was a sophomore at a community college in New Jersey, where he grew up, and he was pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. After college, he planned on trying to get into the criminal justice field and perhaps going to a police academy. Not only did he have his career planned, he even had the next few months of his life planned, as he had three classes left towards attaining his degree and wanted to complete them in the summer of 2012. He had a job at a deli that was practically full time. Kyle had his future fairly planned out, especially for someone his age, and, although he passionately loved the Lord, his plans did not involve ministry in any capacity. In addition, although he had a heart for the homeless and impoverished in a city called Camden, New Jersey (a few minutes away from his hometown), partially because his parents ran a ministry for the impoverished there, this passion for the inner city was not generalized to all cities. Washington, D.C. was completely off his radar. If anything, Kyle was going on the CSM trip to be of service, and he expected simply to be a role model for the middle school boys, bond with them, and help keep them in line. With all of that established, one-hundred percent of Kyle’s expectations were completely interrupted that week.
On the first night of his trip, his group was taken on a prayer tour that exposed them to the unique challenges faced by many in the city, and God was already working on Kyle’s heart by the end of this prayer tour. He came from a family background of many people who didn't know the Lord and had always felt a burden for them. God impressed on him that He was just as passionate and burdened for the unsaved in this city, as Kyle was for his own unsaved family members. As Kyle looked out over Washington, D.C., he felt a newly broken heart for the hundreds of thousands of broken people in the city. Throughout the week and with every experience Kyle had, God reinforced the things he was instilling in Kyle’s heart, and he felt himself changing.
On the last day of his trip, the director of CSM Washington, D.C., approached Kyle and asked him to be a city host for the summer of 2012, giving him a few days to think about it. As Kyle already had summer plans and also had a fairly consistent job, it was something he knew he had to think and pray about. He committed the idea to prayer and asked his parents and his former youth pastor to do the same, and within hours he got a call from his deli employer letting him go from his job. It was then that he knew God was very clearly and assertively calling him to the city host position. After only about a day, he took the job. After a summer of hosting, he was offered a job as the Associate City Director for CSM Washington, D.C., and he accepted it, going against the grain of the plans he had set out for himself. Kyle has been working for three years as the Associate City Director, and, at 22, he is the youngest director in the organization. Now, as a testament to how God has caused these things to come full circle in his life, CSM Philadelphia is in talks to become ministry partners with Seeds of Hope, which is the homeless, ex-convict, drug-addict, and prostitution ministry that Kyle’s parents run in Camden, New Jersey.
Kyle entered into his week-long CSM trip with no expectation of how fundamentally it would change him and no particular passion for Washington, D.C. He came out of it with a completely new passion and direction in life. He had so many plans and expectations for his life, and within a week, God called him to abandon his expectations. Let us allow his story to cause us to examine ourselves. There is nothing wrong with making plans, but remember that we serve a God who is in the habit of interrupting lives and calling us to abandon expectations in the most beautiful ways. God interrupted Kyle’s expectations; leave space for Him to give you the privilege of interrupting yours.