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

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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 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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Student Day of Caring Volunteers Needed

Needed: 2-3 LU students

Explanation: “The Student Day of Caring is an exciting project that will serve as a critical developmental tool for students who will learn key organization, presentation, project management, and supervisory skills.”

Our take: You’ll be a representative to meet other college students in Lynchburg and represent your school in a compassion event in our city.

Respond: email with your contact information if interested.

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Why Help-Portrait?

Why CampusSERVE is participating:

Fall 2009, CampusSERVE leadership began to explore how we can serve while not robbing dignity from those whom we love.  Have you ever had a friend that never lets you buy them a drink?  They serve you constantly and never let you return the favor?

These friendships do not work. They are one-way relationships. These relationships rob the served of an essential human relationship value – exchange.

Relationships grow deeper when the serving and the served exchange in something together.  One-way service cannot restore dignity. In order to be effective servants of Jesus Christ, we must creatively pursue avenues of exchange. Help-Portrait is an exchange of dignity/portraits for relationships/conversation/participation.

We need volunteers to be encourages, conversationalists, transporters, promoters, and specific volunteers. The community gives us participation in this event and friendships with us to follow-up on with CampusSERVE and we partner to give them a family/individual portrait and VIP treatment.

Two-fold commitment needed from you:

  1. Monday, January 25 from 7:00p – 8:00p
  2. If you need a ride Monday meet at the Prayer Chapel on campus @ 6:30p to leave by 6:40p.
  3. Saturday, February 6 from 10:00a – 4:00p [sign up for a 2-hr time block or all day]

Location of both events – 8th & Commerce, downtown Lynchburg:

For more info on Help-Portrait:

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CampusSERVE Spring 2010 Dates

CampusSERVE: consistently going to Jesus’ calling to local mission on the following dates this spring:

Jan 23
Jan 30
Feb 6
Feb 13
Feb 20
Feb 27
Mar 6
Mar 27
Apr 3
Apr 10
Apr 17
Apr 24
May 1
May 8

May we all see the Kingdom of God advance now in places never before in Lynchburg. May the fruits of love, patience, goodness, joy, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, peace, and gentleness be know to all people we encounter. And, may we partner faithfully with all others who do.

Until all have surrendered to Him,
-The CampusSERVE Team

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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.”