Introducing students to the city. Introducing the city to Jesus.

Leave a comment

CampusSERVE Summary – 11/14/09

Brookside – Jaci

“Today seemed a little weird though because most of the older girls weren’t home, but there a bunch(at least 7) of toddlers running around. The cool part about that was some of the young moms hung out over at the playground so we got a chance to hang out and talk to them too… There is an ll year old named Alexis and she absolutely loves when we do singing and give a lesson. Alexis came to me with an idea to start a Brookside worship team, She wants to get a few other girls to practice songs during the week and then lead singing on Saturdays. I thought it was a great idea and I really hope it works. So, in the end it was a good week and the weather was beautiful.”

The Meadows – Amanda

“We had a great week at the Meadows. Matt got the opportunity to spend a lot of time talking with families and with Ms. Toni. He went back after lunch to take Ms. Toni on some errands. Several others were able to enter into conversations with some of the parents. I had several favorite parts today.

1. Alex, an adorable little boy probably around 4 or 5, came up to me, reached up and said “I picked this purple flower for you!” It was so cute, but I had to mix my thankfulness with an explanation about which plants we can pick (the grass and clovers) and which we shouldn’t (the newly planted landscape flowers…).

2. Siriyah, who spent most of the day proudly perched on a Liberty student’s shoulders, looked down at Matt menacingly and said, “You are going to DIE!” When I asked her if I was too, she opened her big brown eyes wide, shook her head and said “nooo.” Then her eyes narrowed again as she looked back at Matt and said again, “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE!!!!”

3. Probably my favorite part of today was watching the relationship between Mark and Jalyn grow. Jalyn can be the sweetest boy, but when he’s treated unfairly by someone, he gets very angry and can’t keep himself under control. He is one that I’ve been praying for- specifically that God would put it on the heart of one of the Liberty guys to pour into this boy. Since the first time Mark came, he’s singled Jalyn out. Jalyn has really attached himself to Mark too. They both help each other; Mark talks with Jalyn when he gets upset, they hang out together, and Jayln has become attentive to what Mark needs in order to get around and helps him however he can. Mark has been able to talk with Jalyn’s family a bit and their relationship has been growing a lot. It’s been so cool to see.”

Greenfield – Elisa

“Because of the beautiful weather, we must have had thirty students and well over sixty kids because we ran out of both the cookies and cups. Today’s lesson was on the second greatest commandment and made sure to emphasize the importance of putting that verse into practice. While I don’t think many of the children really understood the importance of loving one’s neighbor, there was one child who decided to pick up all of the cups in the field. I consider that to be a victory :)”

Birchwood – Kailey

“Today I encouraged our team to really act on the idea of exchange, promoting real conversations and value return.

I didn’t realize I personally would be the one getting to sow so much!

Our -first- opportunity for exchange came instantly. As my friend Henry and I walked up to our assigned apartment building, immediately we encountered a man sitting outside. We greeted, and I sensed that awkward “I want to talk to you but am not sure how” sort of conversational tension, so I lingered for a minute, introducing myself and Henry. We all talked for a while, discovering him to be a very solid believer with good theology (a rarity at Birchwood) and found out about his life. We talked about this community in which we were standing and sharing in, recognizing the difficulty of ministering to a broken, disinterested world. An encouraging and challenging person, I found myself encouraged and spurred by this brief, 10 minute encounter. Kenneth Lee, retired Army man. Exchange was not faked. It took place.

Another amazing opportunity came up with the -last- door of our rounds. A young mom of two, Gail, is another solid believer I love to talk to. She welcomed us (again) into her home after she was asked what we could be praying for. She gave two requests, both of which I believe go for every site CampusSERVE visits:

1) marriages. That Satan will no longer have dominion to attack the marriages in the community. and

2) safety. She specifically said the safety of the kids, including her own. My mind instantly went to the unseen physical, emotional, and sexual abuse a majority of these kids endure.

I asked her to be praying for us as we struggle with this busy time in the semester, and she seemed delighted to have established a spiritual connection, not endured a pity prayer. She also has a physical need she asked for help with:

3) tutoring, so we are working on setting that up.

Before we left, she invited me to a “high fashion jewelry” party that night. So at 5:30, Mahalia (a Birchwood regular), Jessica (a friend of mine), and I all went back to Birchwood to attend. I saw it as an opportunity to enter in to the community naturally, establishing relationships with women in Gail’s circle. I am so glad we went, because the three of us were the only women who came outside of the host, the saleswoman, and one of their mutual friends. It was a great time! We conversed and played games and ate together, sharing in faith and love. We all believe in the Savior, and the 6 of us, with seemingly nothing in common, found unity in laughter, food, and our sisterhood. Jessica walked away with contacts for cooking engagements, and Mahalia and I left poorer in wallet but richer in relationships (and full-bellied!). It was a privilege to be invited and hosted.

I believe it is in THIS way that CampusSERVE will make the difference it desires to make. The answer lies in individuals reaching out in their own community, being their own church. Let us seek answers in exchange, relationships, community, and Christ.

All of these conversations and experiences happened in addition to the normal hair-braiding, tackle football-ing, lesson-teaching, craft-making activities at Birchwood.  I love that community, and consider the honor of leading the site one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my time at Liberty. Even as a missional person, I have learned more about ministry and being Jesus doing this than anything else in my life. To Him be the glory.”

Yoder – Alyssa

“We went to the site and prayed and then headed out in groups. Three groups went to get kids and look for flyers on doors and two groups went straight to project houses…

The first house was a lady wanting her leaves raked and she provided the materials for us. I left a group of two girls and a guy there and they knocked on the door and talked to the lady who owned the house. I also asked them to see if they could raked the yard next door because the lady who lives there has a heart condition so it is hard for her to do yard work.

Then I took the second group to a house to wash a guy’s dishes, but he wasn’t home so we left a message with the woman who answered the door.

Then one of the students called me and told me that there was a few projects at 707 First Street. So, Ayla, Syd, and I went to this house. We met an older woman named Shirley who lived in a well kept house.  She had left the flyer on the outside of her door with a list of tasks for us to do. She showed us where the rake was and gave us a trash bag to rake up leaves in the yard. Ayla and I decided to tackle that job while Syd washed the fence. Before we began, she and her friend Dorothy asked us to remove the air conditioner from the window. Right after we did that, Shirley asked us if we’d like her to make a few sandwiches for us!!! It was such an awesome offer because I immediately said “YES” and knew that the Lord was showing me EXCHANGE 🙂 My first instinct was to say “no thank you” but I knew I was supposed to say yes. The other two volunteers gave me a weird and surprised look, so I took them to the side and explained to them the idea of exchange. It was cool to explain it because I felt like I better understood it as I explained it and experienced it. (I’d been praying for the Lord give us an exchange experience this weekend, since I knew we needed one and I wasn’t sure how to go about it. It was awesome to experience his answer!)…

Here’s one of my favorite parts – [Patrick came and] put down his camera and began to pick up leaves. I was so encouraged and he spent the rest of the time helping me and having conversation with me. I was blessed to have the company of someone when I did feel alone and slightly discouraged earlier.

Around 1 PM Shirley called us into her house and gave us all crab cakes and chicken nuggets and soda! She was so sweet to do so and we all thanked her. It was so cool to see that she was willing to sacrifice food and time to serve us back. We asked her to join us, but she said that she needed to clean up.

Did I tell you that one of the students did the lesson today? It was wonderful to have a volunteer do that! She brought candy and did the lesson at the beginning. I heard that it went well and that the kids listened.

By the time I got back, the students were leaving, but the group in my car was still there of course. Patrick and a little boy named DeDe joined us and we all prayed before we headed home. Well, that’s the story of exchange from our site from this weekend :)”

College Hill – Grace

“College Hill was great today, we had a huge turn out and could hardly get everyone into cars but God provided and we fit everyone in! Some LU students brought rakes and went down Jackson St. and got to build relationships with new families who did not know what CampusSERVE was. The weather was amazing so we had lots of kids come out.

I had three favorite moments:

1. I challenged LU students to be creative and use whatever was around them to be intentional about sharing the gospel. I walked passed a student telling the story of David and Goliath using woodchips and a sunflower to represent the Philistine army and Goliath!

2. An elderly woman named Joyce who lives across the street from the center called me over to help her out, which is significant because we always ask if there is anything we can do, and she always says no. She asked if my friend and I if we could help her organize her medicine container and twist off the caps of bottles because her arthritis inhibited her from doing so. It was really simple but a great moment.

3. One of the volunteers Chelsea,who has come out a couple times this semester is just so full of joy and is always smiling she really brightens up the world around her. After we broke up to pray I just saw her going around to the other LU students just giving them hugs and expressing how much she cared for them and loved seeing them every Saturday. I think that is one of my favorite things about CampusSERVE seeing the LU students build unity and enjoy community with one another.”

Dearington – Brandon

“For the last couple of weeks Danielle and I have been using the colors of salvation as our lessons, with each week moving on to the next color. This week’s color was White. Which symbolizes our hearts becoming pure after coming to the Lord and giving everything to Him everyday.

Danielle put together some small hearts to represent our own hearts. One side was black symbolizing sin and our dark hearts and the other side was white, symbolizing our pure hearts when we walk with the Lord after accepting His sacrifice. PS. 51:10 was our verse. It’s when David is crying out to the Lord asking him to create in him a pure heart. Only good comes from the Lord and pure motives, and we thought it was important that the community knew that.

We also had a guest this week Finley. He brought along a boom-box with break music and taped together some card-board for a dance-floor. The children loved it and joined in as well as some of our students from Liberty. We also had a few of the parents down at the site and we were able to communicate with them a little more. It was an exciting day with great weather and a great lesson that we pray would change people’s lives in this community!

Thanks to all who come out! We love you and are praying for you! We also hope that you have an awesome Thanksgiving. God Bless.”

Langview – Tim

“Saturday Morning: We had some great weather and a lot of fun with kids. There were a couple of kids from different neighborhoods hanging around waiting for the block party. We had a good lesson time and some of the kids were asking very good theological questions…

I am going to meet up with a 17 year old kid named Sam again this week to help him work on his resume. Last time I was with him we were buying clothes for job interviews.”



CampusSERVE Summary 11/7/09

CampusSERVE kickoff happened outside the 2nd CFAW weekend of the semester.

One of my favorite memories of the weekend was this shot from The Meadows:

meadows 11-7

I arrived at The Meadows and overheard the Gospel being shared and them praying together there.  Praise the Lord for the encouragement He gives us on tough days.

Here’s another picture of small groups happening at Greenfield this weekend.

greenfield 11-7

Here are the rest of the happenings around CampusSERVE this weekend:

BIRCHWOOD – Danielle

“Everything went really well at Birchwood today.  It was a typical Saturday with footballs games, b-ball, jump-roping, side-walk chalk, crafts and all that fun stuff.  With the beautiful weather we had a good number of kids come out and also had a Bible lesson shared by some of the Liberty guys. We had some good conversations with some of the kids and enjoyed sweet fellowship.”


“It turned out to be such a beautiful day, so we had well over fifty children come out. All of the students were very eager to minister to the community; one guy wants to fix up the playground by getting new swing seats and chains, so we’re going to call the office this coming week to get their permission.

So far this semester we’ve been tight on car space, but we had plenty of room this week – I was even able to take Tyrek and Tyshawn back to the rot for lunch! Ben, who was helping me out for the day, was able to talk to a gentleman who kept saying how much of a blessing we were to the community. Overall, it was a great Saturday!”


“Today at College Hill was great…  We started something called “teachable moments”, where a student interacts one on one with a child and uses their time with them as their opportunity to grow a personal relationship with them and teach them about Christ.

Also today we were excited to have two children accept Christ! One of the girls, Amia, said the prayer a student had her repeat then she wrote it out for her to have which was pretty cool. We were also started thinking of ways as a group how we would become more involved in the teenagers in College Hill.”


“Today at Dearington we got to talk about the most important message in the world—the Gospel.  Students sat down in small groups with children and began telling them the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Kids answered questions about the meaning of salvation and some heard about the resurrection for the first time.  One of the volunteers brought her sister, who was here for College for a Weekend, and she was able to share her faith with a child.

‘Moose’, a six year old boy, told one of our volunteers today that she needed to listen to the devil because if she didn’t, the devil would kill her.  She was able to talk to him about the power of Jesus Christ and tell him why she listens to Jesus.  This was a reminder to me that God has called us to this community for reasons like this—He wants to show His power and transform lives, in the process freeing people from lies just like this one.

One of the students began making grass necklaces for the kids.  I told nine year old Toronzo that I really liked his necklace.  He said thank you, took it off, and told me I could have it.  I was blessed by this simple act of giving.”

YODER – Alyssa

“I was so glad that we were able to pass out [service] flyers to the community this weekend! We broke into five groups of two people and went door to door. I asked the teams to really try to have conversations with the community, to ask them what their needs are, and to see what they think we can be doing for the community.

I paired up with a guy named Paul Cameron. He encouraged me so much with how bold for Christ he was as he explained our purpose in the community and he was very charismatic as well. He charmed all the older ladies I’m sure 🙂

Every team had positive feedback when we got back. A few of us groups received a lot of requests for little jobs to be done like raking a lawn or putting up Christmas lights. It’s really exciting because we can use these jobs to form relationships!”


“… I ended up having several students go visit Ms. Toni to just talk to her, and had the rest pair almost one on one with kids for the craft and activity, so everything ended up running pretty smoothly.

We taught the kids this week to love others through our actions and not only through our words, and the memory verse was 1 John 3:18, and for the craft and activity we had the kids write letters to people they knew, probably even those they were having fights with, saying nice things and telling them they loved them… some of them were already talking about what they were going to do for my challenge them (to go out of their way to love someone else through their actions this week), and the kids side of things went well.

We are still working at reaching the families and some of the older kids, however, and we continue to be down in numbers as far the kids go, but God is continuing to move at The Meadows!”


“Respond went really well today. Jeff (head of our helps part) got to go out with another guy and help this older lady move some stuff. In Greenfield Kylee and Krystal and Sam Stevens tried to see Marquita and Bianca again but they weren’t there.

They and some other groups found some new contacts that could use some prayer and attention. A lady named Ms. Tina came over to our group before we had set out and said that we, as in CampusSERVE, were really encouraging to her and she felt blessed every time we come….

I got to talk to Venney a good amount and really got to reiterate the Gospel to him and this time he wasn’t drunk, so that definitely helped. Overall it was really good, and we are all looking forward to next week!”

THE OAKS  – Samantha

“We have someone new at the Oaks who transferred from the Summit. I talked to the family and they really love of what we do at the nursing home.It was awesome hearing how people appreciate us coming out.

We sing a few hymns before we leave there because the folks at the Oaks love it. We are always asked if we are going to sing. It is awesome to see the smiles on the folks.”


“Jimmy Phillips, who comes every week, brought a guy from the neighborhood to church this morning. I met the mother of a couple of kids for the first time this weekend. Alot of people in Langview are looking for jobs from what I can gather, including Russ still (the guy who rides the bike).

I was with Sam on Monday, a 17 year old kid that had a job interview the next day, but he wasn’t home yesterday and his cell phone plan ran out, so I’m not sure how that went yet. We have zeroed in on a couple of the Ten Commandments in our lessons recently, and today taught forgiveness.”


“I became a little more nervous when there was only four guys. Thankfully three more showed up at the site.

Hope came out to take pictures and was able to reconnect with the family we ministered to last week. When Hope came two years ago her and some friends had a baby shower for the lady, Jessica. Hope got to talk to them a lot and met Sophia who is almost two now. It was really cool to see… In the end, God was good and made things run so much smoother than I imagined.”

Leave a comment

Why? by Tim Milazzo


As I was thinking to myself, “why do I go to out into the community every Saturday?” I started listing possibilities in my head:

– Because I want to make a difference in this community.

– Because I want to help people in the community who have needs.


Then, I realized something and my mode of thought switched gears. I do not go out on Saturdays because of any reason that starts with “Because I”. I go out on Saturdays because of God. I go out because God loves the people in this city. I am not the solution that anyone is looking for. I do not have any magic formula for life or enough resources to solve significant problems.

I want everyone to humbly realize this morning that we are some dust that God has blessed. We are as beggars that can tell other beggars where to find a bit of food. Our objective for CampusSERVE is this: Tell, no, show people that God loves them and yearns for their redemption.

Leave a comment

Provoking Thought on our Culture

My greatest question of discontent right now:  What are the prevailing needs of our Lynchburg culture? Clean water is not one of them, but what is not just in our land that we can prevent from exponentially spreading?

The root to this question are these Hillsong videos:

“What’s happening inside those four walls is having no affect on the streets we traveled down to get there.” – excerpt from video.


Leave a comment

CampusSERVE Summary 10/31/09

What happened this weekend at CampusSERVE?  Here, find out from our leaders:

Greenfield (Elisa)

I ended up being the only one who dressed up, but the kids loved it.  I had two favorite moments of the day:

1) I told little Darius that I went home last weekend and saw my mom and he said in surprise “You have a mom?!!”

2) I was giving the story to Nasir, explaining the origin of sin. I told him that everyone sins, even me, and with just as much surprise he asked, “You sin?!!”

The Meadows (Amanda)

We had over 40 volunteers who wanted to come to The Meadows. We sent several to Yoder, but we still ended up with 37.  It was alright though because we needed a lot of help to run the Carnival-type thing we were doing for Halloween. We had several awesome LU students who agreed to plan and provide everything for various stations.

We had a station where kids threw a football at a target, a station with apple cider and doughnuts :-), a station where the kids raced while trying to keep a cotton ball on the end of a straw, a station where kids threw ping pong balls into cups of food-colored water and won prizes according to the color, a face painting station, a station where the kids could play a game after answering a review question based on the lessons we’ve been having, a bean bag toss station, and then an area where Finley and the kids danced.

One girl’s parents came for family weekend. Her dad helped her with a station and her mom volunteered to take Ms. Toni all over on errands.

Brookside (Jaci)

Myself and another LU student name Rich were able to drive a lady named Jess to Kroger so she could cash her check. Another LU student spent most of the morning talking to her [Jess’] husband and the kids were near by playing with other students. It was pretty exciting because they don’t normally leave their doorway or let the kids come out while we are there, but today all four of them spent the entire time with us.

We also had another weekend of intense four square which is always good!

College Hill (Grace)

This week was really awesome, I am truly so blessed to have such great volunteers. We were able to play an organized relay race which was tons of fun! Because of the holiday I went and got candy and apple cider. We had enough candy to give a bag to each kid and a cup or two of cider. We had a lot of new people (specifically guys) who brought a lot of needed energy and passion.

Yoder (Alyssa)

Deidre and I had a lot of volunteers Saturday at Yoder. Finley gave us some people and we had a large number to begin with. Thankfully, we had lots of kids too!!! Deidre had us all split up into groups and go out farther than we usually do spreading the word about Cserve. De said that the flyer [to connect with the community about how CampusSERVE can help them] should be ready for next week! We are both SO excited about it.