It's not JUST college students and college campuses that are transformed through InterVarsity's ministry though they are the lifeblood of our mission. At the end of the summer, I co-directed a week-long urban experience, Sacramento Sankofa, for high school students from a local church. I was impressed by these students who chose to look back and learn and encounter life on the streets and other neighborhoods than the privileged one many of them are from. They gleaned both literal food (from a garden) as well as spiritual food from those who are seeking God's justice in neighborhoods around the city. It was an honor to hear stories from Joe Contrarez, a man who has loved his neighborhood well and even served and created various neighborhood and city advisory positions to advocate for the place he lives. We spent time with InterVarsity alumni who had similar urban experiences in college and still seek justice in communities and systems around the city; I'm particularly thankful for Ruth Buller, Rachel Davis, Jim & Ningnoy Downing, Brian Heller de Leon, Deborah Elliot and Ed Manansala who brought students into their contexts to show them how God is at work in them and the places they live and work. It was the stories, the people, and the neighborhoods that shed light on God's heart for this city and some ways He wants us to move forward to engage in the work of transformation that happens first in ourselves and then overflows into our neighborhoods, our schools, and our city. Thank you to everyone who helped -- from meals to transporting kids to giving of your time to your prayers -- it's an honor to work alongside of you as God moves and transforms!
Reflections on Urban Dip, April 2013
Shasta College, Simpson University & UC Davis
What is success?
Graduating from college so you could be the best?
The best, the best, the best of what?
So you can get out of college stuck in a rut?
They tell you that money is the ultimate prize
You go to college to make bank, to grow smarter, grow wise
But is that all that there is to life?
To go to school, to work, to avoid struggle and strife?
I feel like my calling in bigger than that
A dream that sours above all STATs
Don't you see that the big picture is above what they say
more important, more immense than the sum of your pay
God had a word for what it means to live right
SHALOM, piece onto you, a world without blight
So stop counting, and start amounting to the ultimate goal
Help, give, repent, renew your soul
(used with permission)
SUP and Dip season is over.
I'm thankful for the incredible ways God moved, transforming me, students (and staff), and this city.
To avoid post-SUP malaise, I'm investing in our little people A LOT and engaging with continued immersion in issues connected to SUP by reading Roots (by Alex Haley).
I'm also determined to find Barefoot Donna, particularly with an online siting the other day!
How are you investing yourself this summer?
A student at SUP. Big. Tough. Has lived lots of life in his couple decades. Aware of insecurities.
His life transformed, by Jesus. Less rough around the edges, but some still present.
Shared this morning about family and personal history with white supremacy. Deepest secret revealed.
Hesitant to share.
Thankful to receive grace and prayer.
Invited into breaking generational sin and walk into transformation of people and systemic or communal hate and evil.