CSM Boston: Friday

Serving at BRM

This morning started off at Boston Rescue Mission again. While some were cooking, organizing the cabinets of cans, others were testing their knife skills chopping squash, or doing dishes. We had a busy morning sorting through all the food donations, discarding food that had gone rotten, and getting the meal prepared.

The meal that we served was for the employees and residents of Boston Rescue Mission. Those who are in BRM’s program are men and women who have been released from prison or are recovering addicts (you need to be “clean” for a certain period of time before being admitted to their program). BRM provides a case worker to each resident who helps them spiritually, emotionally, and mentally so they can get back on their feet. Many of the residents we spoke with have families they hope to reconnect with and have some real job skills to put into action. For many, their biggest challenges include finding an employer who will take a risk on someone with a criminal record and re-earning the trust of family members.

Pray for these men and women who have a steep hill to climb. Pray that they were remain clean, make good choices consistently, and that they would find their hope and strength through Jesus Christ.

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After eating lunch at Boston Rescue Mission, we hopped on the T and headed to Community Servings. This is a fantastic organization which provides five frozen meals each week for low-income families with a family member who is critically ill. These meals are all cooked fresh on site, then frozen and hand-packaged within a day or two before delivery. Each family member receives one meal per day, and they have kids meals too! What a great and tangible way to help families who are struggling with an uncertain future. They deliver 8200 lunches/dinners to nearly 875 people each week from communities ranging from Brockton to Boston to Worcester and anywhere in-between.

IMG_3308Our team of students and leaders worked hard all week and represented Emmanuel very very well. We all learned a ton about homelessness and preventing gang-involvement by providing strong support networks.

Among the chief lessons we learned, some included:

  • How few people fit the stereotype of “homeless.” Many of the homeless men and women we met were educated, had jobs for a long time until being laid off, or had so much medical debt that they couldn’t meet their financial commitments.
  • The number one cause of homelessness: Lack of support-network. Most of us have someone to help us we need someone to pick us up. When a person has no one to fall back on, they often tall into the street.
  • Come Back! This was the message the boys at the Eagle’s Nest Landing Center sent us. They want us to come back, and we want to! It’s great to go and serve for a week… but how will we continue serving the other 51 weeks of the year?
  • “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). All three are important. Loving mercy is like rescuing someone from drowning in the river, while doing justly is going up the river and stopping the person from pushing other into it. As Christians, we are called to both mercy and justice ministry for the sake of glorifying the God we humbly serve.

 

2014 Boston Missions Team

I’m VERY excited to announce our 2014 missions trip is going to be to Boston through Center for Student Missions (CSM). We partnered with CSM a few years ago when we served in Toronto and had a fantastic experience (I blogged each night about our experiences throughout the week, you can read those posts HERE).

What will we be doing?
Each day we’ll serve in a few different ways. In the morning we could be in a food pantry, in the afternoon we could be helping in an ESL (English as a Second Language) program, and one or two nights we’ll be distributing food to men and women experiencing homelessness. Each day will be different, giving our team a wide glimpse of the needs in our own city that we’ve probably never seen before.

Why are we going to Boston? That’s boring!
Sure, going half an hour away isn’t as exciting as flying to another country, but there are serious needs in our own backyard that you’ve probably walked by a hundred times without noticing. Going far away to serve is great, but if we aren’t willing to serve here then why go there?! This is a powerful opportunity for you to grow new eyes to see the needs around you, even in a familiar city.

Who can go?
Any current High School students. Unfortunately, we can only currently accept the first 14 team members (leaders included).

Note about Group-Size
In order to meet their commitments, CSM accepts groups between 8-14 members and 20+, but groups with between 15-19 are too large for one ministry site but too small for two sites. Therefore, we will only be able to accept the first 11 students (three slots must be reserved for adult leaders) and the additional applicants will be put on a waiting list. If we are able to have a 20-person team or if someone on the team needs to withdraw then those on the waiting list will be invited to join the team. Thanks for understanding… and get those applications in ASAP! 🙂

What are the requirements to go?

  1. Regular attendance/participation in Sunday morning worship, Sunday School, and Youth Group meetings.
  2. Active participation in special Youth Group events such as retreats, service projects, etc.
  3. Active participation in Boston Mission Team Meetings (dates TBD, usually Saturdays 9-12 once a month for the 4 months leading up to the trip).
  4. Involvement in Fundraising Efforts to an estimated $400/person to cover costs. Actual cost of $500 ($100 deposit, fundraise $400).
  5. Completion of the Boston Team Application and submission of $100 by March 2nd (youth should contribute towards this deposit).
  6. Respect must be shown at all times to one’s teammates and Team Leaders must be obeyed.
  7. Possession of or acquiring alcohol and illegal drugs, involvement in sexual or violent activity will be grounds for immediate dismissal. You will be responsible for reimbursing Emmanuel Baptist Church for related expenses incurred.

Download the Boston Mission Team Info & Forms