CampusSERVE

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


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CampusSERVE Summary | 02/20/10

Care [The Oaks] | Diana

Today, when we first arrived at the Oaks some of the residents were playing Bingo in the activity room. A few of the volunteers joined them and helped them play. We had about 15 or so volunteers this week.

The first person I visited was Becky. Me and a volunteer named Sam started talking about our involvement with missions and [Becky] kept mentioning that she wished we could have met her brother who was apparently a missionary. Next I visited a resident named Peggy. She ended up being a real encouragement to me. While we were talking she told me about all of her health concerns, and then she started crying and said that none of it mattered though because God gave the best gift anyone could ever give, salvation. It really brought joy to me to see that even though she was going through so much she was still rejoicing in the gift of God’s love.

A couple of the volunteers visited with James. Apparently when they first went to his door and asked if he wanted visitors, he was quiet. When they asked again, he invited them in but told them he wasn’t feeling well and that’s why he hesitated. He ended up being really glad that they came and visited him and it really cheered him up. According to the volunteers Hazel and Russel really need prayer because they are having some really bad health problems right now.

One of our volunteers Lauren, who visited for the first time with us this week told me that she talked to a new resident named Lilly and that they really related well. This volunteer was nervous because it was her first week visiting the Oaks, and this resident was also struggling with adjustment because she was new to the nursing home and didn’t know anyone.

At the end of the day we all got together and sang a few well-known hymns to the Residents while they were getting lunch, including, Come Thou Fount, Blessed Assurance, Power in the Blood, and Amazing Grace. It was so exciting to see some of the residents even sing along with us! We concluded the day by praying over their meal.

Greenfield | Elisa

Our sixty-some volunteers and Greenfield kids successfully transformed our snowy field into a puddle of mud today and I couldn’t be happier! The lesson today was how we are to be light to the world and based on the feedback from the volunteers, the children were able to grasp it fairly well. Once again we had [a girl] help out with the snack and she delegated a few of the other snack-related jobs to a few of her friends. Of course we did have a few LU students oversee this whole operation, but the kids did fairly well! The changes that I have seen in [her] since I first met her a couple of years ago have been incredible!

Dearington | Danielle

We told the kids about Jonah and his disobedience to God.  So many of the children had never heard this story and their eyes almost bulged out of their heads when they learned that God saved Jonah’s life by sending the whale to swallow him!  The kids learned that in the end “Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went…” and many of them were able to retell the story to the volunteers.

It seemed that a lesson on obedience was well-suited for today, since some of our older elementary children decided to throw snow/ice balls at a few of the four-year olds.  It took a while for the kids to listen and stop throwing snowballs.  The kids finally obeyed, but not without some tears, unkind words and poor attitudes.

We were able to see God working in many of our community relationships today.  Corey was invited into one of the family’s homes to wait on the little girl while she got ready.  He was able to connect with Nadia’s family for the first time.  I returned to Ms. Dorothy’s house for a quick visit and she invited me inside.  After telling me a little about her family and showing me some of her favorite trinkets, she gave me a teddy bear, a loofah, a shirt and some apple pie bites.  She blessed me tremendously and said she would be my Lynchburg grandma!  Some of our kids who haven’t been out all semester made an appearance today so it was exciting to catch up with them!

College Hill | Scott

“Grace, we found sleds! There are five kids that we’ve never seen before, and [boy] has only had two emotional breakdowns.” Most of our regular volunteers showed up ready, and with fairly high spirits. However I had a feeling the midst of my heart that we would have a fruitless day, or at least a difficult day.  Although today we encouraged the average CampusSERVE volunteers to understand what a successful day of ministry would be, I still had a lack of zeal to accomplish this mission. “Exchange in relationship, demonstrate the gospel with their lives, intentionally disciple, and meet needs as they confront them; in order to see the community grasp it and change, not just to know more.”

Something Grace and I began to work on is beginning to change the way we “do CampusSERVE.” Intentional volunteers are effective volunteers. I believe our volunteers are effective, however as a leader I know I must step up the initiative to go beyond the efforts of what was accomplished the week before. Needless to say I was not expecting greatness today. With the team ready, to pile up in the vehicles, and beginning to wake up, I was beginning to feel a sense that today may be a little bit different.

We slit up into two groups. One for the homes on the south side, one for the north side (the far reaches) each with specific goals in mind. I asked them to knock on the door of every single home we have every had kids come from. “Come play basketball. Come out and play with us… lets go up to the community center.” More and more I began witnessing each volunteer take upon their own responsibility to make an effort to develop relationships. One by one it was becoming a reality.  Other than that the come and see part of the morning was beginning to go beyond expectations.  The kids’ morale was extremely high, so we matched it. One thing better than a hyper nine-year-old is a hyper nineteen-year-old.

To our surprise we found two cheep long plastic toboggan sleds. It was absolutely, beyond any other explanation a gift.  The cry of the day soon was, “me next! ME NEXT!” With the occasional “it’s my turn!” All smiles. The remaining nine inches of snow/ice on the basketball court became prime ingredients to make a snow “castle.”

By far, what was most glorious to witness, was when I saw the hearts of most of our volunteers being poured out on certain students. Not many high school students enjoy hanging out on Saturday mornings, but the ones that do linger around are interested with us Liberty Students.

Yoder | Alyssa

So, today was better than last Saturday! Praise the Lord!!!

We had a few new people and lots of familiar faces, which is nice. We split up and headed down to Yoder… We brainstormed through the 4 objectives of volunteer success. It was good to hear the ways they want to do them and then for me to give them some ideas as well. We split up into about four or five groups and went door to door. The objective was to have conversations with people and to play inside with kids if they got the opportunity. The playground was very icy and the basketball court wasn’t cleared off.

Some students took a shovel and helped some houses out.

I went with two students that had been there before and we went to Jonelle’s house (last week I left her a note saying that we would stop by around 11 the next Saturday.) She was home and let us in. Her sister, Nancy, was there. Kyle, one of the volunteers with me, had met Jonelle with me and then, Kendra, the other volunteer, met Jonelle and Nancy today. Both woman are strong believers seemingly. Jonelle is always giving glory to Jesus 🙂

Jonelle had been in the hospital the last 2 weeks so she talked about how wonderful the Liberty nurses were to her. They talked about life and we read Scripture when it was brought up. I shared from James 1:2-5 and told them what my teacher had taught me that week. It was good fellowship and they both hugged and kissed us when we left. And Jonelle was craving to pray together so towards the end we prayed for them and some people they wanted us to pray for.

I think that my favorite way to disciple my volunteers is to take them with me and show them how to start conversations and encourage people and then push them to take ownership of it…

Birchwood | Kailey

Birchwood was so great this week! We had 30+ volunteers, which, coming off of last week where we had very few kids, that felt very intimidating.

However, we had a lot of kids, so it worked out well! It gave us the opportunity to pick up trash, and it allowed me as a site leader to interact with volunteers, since all of the work was being done. We did a lot of sledding again, and the lesson was well delivered and well received. I reviewed some of the information from last week, and they really responded well! 😀

Because CampusSERVE defined the four goals/successes for the volunteer, I think people had something to guide their actions and approach. I challenged the team to pick their strength and weakness from the list, and walk in both of them intentionally this week. This opened up a lot of room for conversation and growth among our team. 
Overall our week was fun, productive, and encouraging! We had a great turnout of kids and volunteers, and I am so blessed to have a team of 30 people who come out consistently.

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CampusSERVE Summary | 2-13-10

Langview | Tim

We had some fun today in the snow. A lot of kids were out despite the cold (mostly boys). We had a bunch of new volunteers that fit in well. Me and 2 other guys will be taking some kids to the basketball game on Tuesday.

My heart is hurting for the family that was broken in Langview a couple of weeks ago. The six year-old girl seemed really upset for much of the morning. The ten year old girl mentioned that she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

Greenfield | Elisa

I am so thankful to have a weekend without a blizzard! Even though the ratio of Liberty students to kids was about two to one, we filled our time with plenty of snowball-making and the like. Eli headed up the lesson today with a focus on God as the creator of fun, and once again we put Kimayha in charge of passing out the cookies. I appreciate her willingness to do it… I did get to have an interesting conversation with Jaylin about Satan’s origin and was very surprised to find out how much he already knew! And of course I was ecstatic to hear little Darius chime in, “The Devil’s bad; I don’t like him.”

The Meadows | Matt

Today went really well overall. Kids were able to come out by the mobs once again, and we had a pretty solid crew of volunteers including six or seven first-timers. Things went smoothly, though we decided for Amanda to not give the lesson early as planned due to the kids being far too excited about us being there and snow. It worked out pretty well, as we had time to repeatedly physically punish kids in football and snow-ballin’, re-establish relationships, and fill 4 ginormous bags with trash.

The lesson was on Valentine’s Day and God’s love and was not given till the very end. It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and really brought to light our need for a focused, contextualized lesson plan for the semester, as compared with bouncing around and switching gears from one week to the next. We closed by having small group prayer time, which God continued to use to build deeper relationships between our volunteers and the kids.

…I’m especially excited to see God move in ways beyond our imaginations and hopes this semester!

Respond | Krystal

Today was so AWESOME!!! All of Respond seemed very excited to see the families in Greenfield again. Sam and I spoke with the team before we assigned cars about how we want to REALLY get to know them as well as the Greenfield community. Sam and I organized and presented an excel spreadsheet with categories (Name of Person, Bldg & Apt #, Goals God has laid on your heart for this person, Focus Scripture for the week, Salvation status, Physical Needs, Prayer Requests, and Your Prayer Requests/Concerns).

With that mindset, we split into groups and went out to old and new relationships. The volunteers returned a few minutes earlier, so we could get back to the Rot to DEBRIEF. The Debriefing was awesome! One of the volunteers met the same guy he had witnessed to in the mall the previous week. Also, another group of volunteers was able to buy groceries for a Christian lady in the community who needed encouragement. Likewise, another lady in the community expressed her concern with the violence, prostitution, rebellion, and desperation all around her. We were able to pray with her and encourage her to join the Bible studies.

The Bible studies are still fluctuating, but they are making and will continue to make an impact, preparing the men and women of Greenfield to be LIGHTS in their own neighborhood. We still have not found a central place to meet up, so at times we don’t get to see all of the families that we’ve connected with, but we still have HOPE for greater things. God is really moving, and the volunteers are so COMMITTED and DEDICATED.

We’re really going DEEP and WIDE this semester; we are setting deeper relationships based on the Gospel, and we’re reaching a lot more families with the limited time we have. Overall, it was so wonderful to see God moving in Greenfield, even in the midst of despair. I’m truly excited for RESPOND!

Brookside | Jaci

Another fun and interesting day at Brookside. We had a big football game with about 20 students and older boys going on in the street and then everyone else building a pretty sweet two room snow fort. The numbers were large with both volunteers and kids. There were also about three or four parents outside too. It was funny watching the guys play football and great to see the students connecting with and having fun with the boys.

…Gabby had the opportunity to talk to the same mom after prayer and she shared a lot with her about the community. She told Gabby that some of the families leave there kids locked out after school and she takes them in and feeds them…

I was told all of this in the car, so I need to call Rich and talk to him about it. I know that the best thing I can do right now is to be diligently praying for him and his family.

College Hill | Grace

College Hill was rough starting up logistically today. As we went to go pick up the kids we were able to talk to this young man, and he saw that we had basketballs with us and said if it was not so (insert-expletive) cold outside he would come play! That was really exciting and a further confirmation that when we go out, we need to actually have in our hands what we are going to do and invite people specifically to do A, B, or C especially with older kids, teenagers and adults.

And my volunteers really showed up and talked to the man for a while, asking him questions about teams, how long he had been playing etc…It was just so great, to be back in the College Hill and see kids that I have not seen in two plus weeks. Another young man Bradley, that Scott and I talked to last Thursday, was there on Saturday am and God just really has laid him on my heart. In a world where truth is relative, how do people wade through lies and get to the truth? That thought really brought brokenness to my heart and desperation for God to do a work in my life so I can be demonstrating the gospel to him consistently.

Yoder | Alyssa

We had about eight of us who went out to Yoder and prayed together and then split up into groups to go out and get the kids while I went to a house with another girl (Dawn) to visit a lady we met a few weeks ago. The lady wasn’t home so my friend Dawn and I headed back to the site to get some paper so that we could write her a note. The other groups came back and there was no one with them. No kids were able to come out – they said that either they had moved, weren’t home, or their parents wouldn’t let them come out.

It was slightly discouraging at first. But we all sat/stood around in a circle and I got a piece of paper out and I had them all give me their advice and suggestions for the site. We worked through what we could do better and how we could delegate out jobs and how we could reach the community. We talked about having a plan B each week to go out and be HELPS if no kids were able to come out and we talked about what we could do with the kids. It was a productive time together and I am thankful to the Lord that we had that opportunity Saturday. We each prayed for different aspects of the community and ministry…

Dearington | Brandon

Saturday was a good day for us even with all the snow/ice covering our field. This time I had a chance to go in to the houses and talk with families and what-not. It was a good time and I met a few more people today whom I haven’t seen there before in the neighborhood. As we made it back to the field I was a little unsure of how all the activities would play out because of all the snow. But it didn’t seem to put a damper on anything. The children decided to play games of tag and try to climb the snow mounds, others even played a little basketball and threw the footballs around, while the rest stayed under the canopy and did some arts and crafts or talked. Like I said it was much better than I expected.

I even heard a story about one of the little girls who decided she wanted to collect ice-sickels and eat them. Kristin told her that they had dirt in them and probably were not a good idea to eat because they were dirty. The girl responded “God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. Pick it up and make it work!” I thought that was pretty funny. Today we also decided to hand out CampusSERVE hearts for Valentine’s day that had our logo on the outside along with “Know that you’re always loved” on it. Inside we put the verse 1 John 4:10 (MSG). We were able to get one to every door!


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CampusSERVE Summary – 1/23/10

A summary of our first two weeks this spring: don’t forget to follow us at http://www.twitter.com/CampusSERVE for immediate updates during CampusSERVE…

Respond | Sam | 1/23

Man, today was a good day! The Lord really showed up today and answered our prayers. There were some relationships that had to end early because people had left, but it was very easy to pick back up where everyone was before the break. There were a couple opportunities to share the Gospel with individuals, and also an opportunity to help someone move some beds in.

The people there seemed to really want to open up to us, and it was really good to have two new solid volunteers come and help with Respond… The Lord was really amazing in how He answered our prayers that He would come before us and clear a way for us to make an impact. Praise God!

Greenfield | Elisa | 1/23

Today turned out to be what I consider a success. We only had thirty-some kids come out which is below average for Greenfield, but it made for an excellent student-child ratio considering there were about twenty Liberty students. All of the volunteers seemed to be eager and very sacrificial when it came to giving shoulder rides. I saw huge improvements in two of our most difficult children today, all because of the worth they felt when given extra responsibility.

One nine-year old girl who tends to bully boys and girls alike was put in charge of handing out the cookies to the children who could recall what they learned from the story. Her assertive personality was very beneficial because she could control the crowd, but even as a nine-year old she had enough discernment to require less or more information on the lesson based on the child’s age.

Another child, Nassir, assisted me in picking up all of the trash and he even shared some food with me! Disregarding the fact that these instances were spattered between verbal threats, dramatic behavior, and curse words, I still feel as if he’s making progress!

While drawing with sidewalk chalk a Greenfield resident whom I had never met or seen before declared how thankful he is for CampusSERVE and our impact on his community!

Brookside | Jaci | 1/23

…The first door I went to was Steve’s and he was already getting the kids dressed. …I asked him to tell me how things were going and he told me about his daughters stitches, Christmas, Tony’s love for basketball… finally he stopped what he was doing, stood up and looked at me and said, but the greatest thing is that I got a job. I told him how awesome that was and how I was praying and was so thankful God provided that for him. Steve is now working in demolition and the job gives him good hours, but Jessica can also keep her job.

For some reason this meant a lot to me…Steve and Jessica’s daughter Sophia is very quiet and shy so it usually takes her a while to warm up. Although this weekend she was so different. When she came running out the door she walked right up to me and held her hand out for me to hold. Then a few minutes later she ran up to another student named Laura and started playing with her. This seemed to be how it was with all of the kids that came out. I wan’t expecting it to be a challenge to reconnect, but I also wasn’t expecting it to be so easy.

Myself and another student also had the opportunity to talk to an older lady who attends Tree of Life. She is a very kind Christian lady who is worried, stressed, but in prayer daily for her grown kids who are not saved. She has five kids and thirteen grandchildren that she takes care of often. Her oldest daughter Dianna was a close friend of a family of three that were all shot and killed in the shooting this week. She said her daughter is very emotional and will need a lot of prayer. We were able to pray with her for her daughter and other needs she mention to us while talking. It was great to have the opportunity to encourage a sister in Christ who’s heart breaks to see salvation among her family and community.

The final great story from today happened to two very consistent students name Liz and Brooke. While knocking on doors they met Kay, a young single mom. Kay is about 26 years old and her daughter is 6. Her daughter was visiting other family members for the weekend so Kay was home alone. Kay told the girl that she had a really bad sinus infection and has had it for a while. The girls asked if they could help in anyway so she invited them in. While in her house Brooke and Liz made soup for her and then sat and talked with her for about forty-five minutes while she ate. Kay told them that last month she was going to lose her apartment because she was unemployed and couldn’t pay rent, but Jess (Steve’s wife) paid her rent. Awesome! Kay told the girls how lonely she was all the time and how badly she wants a job for the money, but also to have something to do. We are excited for the future opportunities to minister to Kay and build a relationship with her.

I really felt God working in Brookside today and Rich and I are so excited for the potential this semester holds!

College Hill | Grace | 1/23

College Hill went great this morning. We have started to split up to go pick up the kids and talk to families in teams. A team containing a few people who want to do sports activities, play with younger kids, and then the rest were designated to simply walk and talk among the community. This way we can be intentional about those we invite to be a part of what we do on Saturday mornings. And we were really able to see a difference in this approach. We had the most random and eclectic age group that I have ever seen, from 4yrs old to 17 years. We were able to find out more needs in the community, and were able to begin passing the word about Help-Portrait.

Birchwood | Kailey | 1/23

This week at Birchwood was petty ‘Business-as-usual’. We had a very interactive lesson about the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea (Thank you, Jacob!) and the kids loved it! The biggest difference was that our normal attendance of 35-ish kids became 50 today!! Praise God!

The real news for this week was our following meeting, where about 12 of us went to a restaurant for a vision/planning meeting. We are going to start some pretty big projects this semester! -Please be praying as we address the beginning of tutoring and supervising programs, and possibly starting a “house church” in the community.  I am SO blessed to have such a willing, passionate, Christ-loving team! I can’t help but feel like this is what Christ envisioned of His bride: serving, praying, and eating together. May we always be nothing short of that calling!

Yoder | Alyssa | 1/23

After praying, we split up into groups… And most of the groups went out to collect the kids. Two groups (one with Shannon and Joey and the other with Kyle and me) went door to door telling the community that we are back and asking if they wanted us to pray with them. Shannon and Joey were able to talk to 5-6 different people and prayed with one. Kyle and I went to 5 doors and no one answered. I knew that God was sovereign in the moment and that if no one answered, there was a reason.

At the next door, a middle-aged woman answered and asked us to come in because the owner of the house had back problems. I was SO excited to be invited in because I knew there was a greater chance of a deep conversation. We began to talk to the lady and through conversation we found out that she was a Christian. She has many health issues, lost her daughter last May, and has a granddaughter that is possibly being abused by her mom who is addicted to crack and alcohol. Kyle and I prayed with her towards the end and then continued in conversation. As we were preparing to leave, she asked us if we’d like coffee, but we told her that we’d love to have some coffee when we visit her next Saturday 🙂 It was awesome because there is exchange in that!

The Meadows | Amanda | 1/23

Saturday went really well. It was nice to be able to reconnect with the families in The Meadows. We had several LU volunteers who had never been out to CampusSERVE before and 3 of them went with me to visit Ms. Toni. We had a good conversation with her and we all had an opportunity to pray together before we left.

We decided to try something a little bit different with the lesson. We’re keeping the group lesson pretty short and then asking the LU volunteers to pray individually or in small groups with the kids. Since we have such a huge age range this gives the LU students a chance to sort of reiterate or expand on the group lesson at a level better suited to the individual kids. It seemed to work well this Saturday so we plan to keep it up.

I know Matt brought some of the older guys to Word of Life and Emily and I brought 2 of the older girls to TRBC this morning. It was great to be able to connect with them a little more outside of Saturday morning. One of the girls had some questions about some of the things that Pastor Falwell said and we were able to have a good discussion about it all.

Dearington | Brandon | 1/23

Saturday was an awesome day out in the community of Dearington even with the colder weather… While Sarah and I were waiting to pick up one of the boys at his door his mother (Rosaline) asked us to pray for her and her family. I’m glad that this seems to be happening a lot more lately :-). When we got back to the park we found some of the children painting the girls nails, and a few coloring and hanging out under the pavilion.

Our day went well as kids ran around and students chased them around. I also noticed some of the students talking about the Bible with some of them and even some praying with a group, before we even had given out the lesson to do in small groups. I thought that was just AWESOME!! I am getting excited for this semester because it seems now we are starting to connect better with this community.

Today’s lesson was about God’s love. First we wanted to know what they viewed love as and then explain to them what God’s love was. How pure it is, and how it is never failing, no matter what! The verse of the day was Jer. 31:3b “I have loved you with an everlasting love” to help explain from scripture His love. Today instead of telling them a story from the Bible we urged our students to share from their testimony a time they felt God’s love, and how it effected them in some way. We even had some of the children writing memory verses on construction paper. We even heard them quoting other verses, attributes of God, and even lessons from previous times we have visited. :-)!!


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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.”


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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.”

GREENFIELD – Elisa

“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!”

COLLEGE HILL – Shanta

“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.”

DEARINGTON – Danielle

“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!”

THE MEADOWS  – Matt

“… 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 – Sam

“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.”

LANGVIEW – Tim

“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.”

BROOKSIDE – Jaci

“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.”


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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.