Wednesday, November 18, 2015

34 Days In

The following is an update from CSM Los Angeles' 2015-2016 Apprentice, Lilian. Please be sure to follow her journey and consider giving towards CSM's Apprenticeship Program.
34 days in.
The first month of my apprenticeship program has gone by. I’m still in awe of how God works - placing me all the way on the other side of the United States in Los Angeles.
Spent the first month getting settled into a new season (no longer a CSM host but an apprentice now). Hosted a California and then an Arizona group. Virtually met the other eight CSM apprentices (New York City, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco Bay area) and apprentice coordinator. Met with my ministry site volunteer coordinator to discuss my involvement with their organization for the next ten months. Boy, was I excited to hear that I get to shadow almost every position they have to see how their organization work and learn how they are equipping families to stay out of the cycle of homelessness. Entered into a mentoring relationship with my directors where we talked about my goals for the next ten months, my responsibilities as an apprentice (a bunch of fun stuff), and finalized on my personal mission statement.
For the last nine summers (plus some spring and fall seasons), I have been a part of my home church’s vacation bible school and after school ministry. So it was easy to jump right into Door of Hope’s after school program last week- helping with students’ homework, facilitating free time, and building a relationship with each child.
Just thinking about the possibility of what tomorrow or the next week or the next month holds for me, I am super excited to wake up and get right to it!
Enjoy these photos and I hope to be TAKING and posting more photos in the following weeks:
Served with a CSM group at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank where we sorted through a ton of food that will be donated to non-profit organizations around LA.
A morning activity with a previous CSM group called “Pastries in the Park” where the group gets to interact with people experiencing homelessness and share pastries and a word of God.
Me biking at Hermosa Beach with the little biking skills I have from growing up in a metropolis.
My ministry partner for the next ten months, Door of Hope in Pasadena.
Snacks ready to be eaten by the children at the after school program.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Urban Farm Sprouting in Oakland

Elaine Brown has created something both promising and powerful. By generating farming jobs in a forgotten community for those who people consider a loss cause, Elaine has sent hope and health to West Oakland. I love her project and what it means for West Oakland, it is both inspiring and affordable. She is teaching the people in the community the importance of healthy and fresh eating, while giving second chances to prisoners. Elaine’s project is transforming West Oakland and reestablishing it so that the world can be reminded of the beauty and family neighborhood feel that it was once known for.  

I am hopeful and praying for success for this project, based on the potential I already see so far. Elaine Brown saw a problem in her community and found a way to bring forth a solution that helps reestablish and reintegrate ex-prisoners, as well as positively impact the health of the neighborhood residents. For this, I am fortunate enough to witness this as a CSM Bay Area Apprentice, and hope that we maybe able to partner with them one day in the future.

AshleySan Francisco Bay Area Apprentice

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Reflecting on Summer Highlights in the Bay Area

CSM San Francisco Bay Area City Directors, Apprentice, and Summer Staff
Dan Reeve, the President of CSM, came to meet this past summer's staff and help with training for a couple of days. One of the highlights from training was hearing him say, “This job, CSM, is not your life. Christ is your life.” (Colossians 3:1-4) Later in the week, one of our staff was still in awe that the president would come to meet them and say that. His visit made a big impact on our team and “Christ is your life” became our unofficial theme for the entire summer.
We did a lot of praying this summer and every week at the beginning of our staff meetings we shared what God had been teaching us over the last week.  It was a rich time of connecting before being sent out to minister and host groups. We look forward to hearing about where God leads each of the “hosts” beyond their season with CSM.  They are a dynamic group wanting to follow Christ and minister to others.  

Another highlight from this last season, has been what has developed  from a desire of Jason’s heart. For a few years now, he's wanted to find churches to partner with and prayer walk in their communities. This became a reality this summer through a church called SF Mission with Brent Kompelien.  The idea was sparked for Kim at our Winter Training in Nashville when a local man shared about the beginnings of the ministry “we” started… “We being just me and the Holy Spirit because there was no one else with us.”  

When we returned home, we heard an update at our church, Solano Community, from Brent who moved to SF a year ago with his wife (Sarah) to plant a church.  He finished, sat down and Jason said, “We need to pray with him.”  Between that and the Barna article recognizing the San Francisco Bay Area is the least churched area in the country, God solidified for Kim that CSM SF Bay Area needs to be partnering with more churches to build the Kingdom of God HERE to have a lasting impact for eternity.  

Brent led 2 hour prayer walks each week, through different neighborhoods around the city, praying for people.  He taught students to prayer walk, stopping to ask what God was drawing to their attention and saw them grow even during this short activity.  SF Mission’s hope is for “a new gospel-centered ‘simple church’ in every neighborhood, within walking distance of every resident of San Francisco.”  

Please pray for SF Mission and for people to come to Christ and live for Jesus in the Bay Area. 

- Kim and Jason Foster, CSM San Francisco Bay Area City Directors