I wrote a little earlier in my blog about how hard it is being a college student in this day and age, and being drawn further and further away from our heavenly father. But it isn’t just the college aged generation that has been effected. I am happy to say that I am a leader of my church’s youth group, and it is an amazing time to see these young men and women grow. But the more I get involved in it, the more I see what these kids go through. These young high school and middle schoolers have so much pressure these days. They are dealing with social media at such a young age, telling them who to be and how to “fit” into the world. And a lot of times honestly, fitting in doesn’t usually involve God anymore. So now we have a war of these youth students, going through so much, and so many times lacking guidance.
Well, thank goodness for company’s out there that are reaching our youth aged students! CSM, Center for Student Missions, is here to help and offer short term mission trips to youth groups across the United States. The CSM started in 1988, and their focus was on giving youth groups and churches a life changing short term urban experience. It started in LA and then shortly expanded to Washington DC and Chicago.
Their mission statement is to “provide an effective urban ministry experience that transforms lives, influences churches and communities, and honors Christ.” Their vision is to serve the city, and the often-forgotten communities in the urban area.
What do they do to help reach the urban communities within the city?
The CSM helps you to experience a city living. Their housing locations are right in the heart of the city you choose to go to, so you can experience the sights, sounds, and smells. This also allows you to have the chance to experience my favorite thing… the food! But besides things like amazing sights, smells and food, this allows you to really become one and learn about the city. It helps you to see the unique issues and problems that each city faces, and how God is present in each and every one of them, in different ways. At CSM, they are giving you the opportunity to become part of the solution for the city. You will be included in a variety of hands-on ministry, helping you to dive right in to the culture and problems that these city dwellers face every single day! This is all about opening your eyes to a broken world within our country, and showing that you don’t have to travel across the ocean to find poverty and broken relationships.
The trip can go on if you want it too, they have options that are as short as 24 hours, to a week-long trip. They have moved beyond their original locations, and now have institutes and offices in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, LA, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tijuana, and Washington DC. So anywhere you feel led to go country wide, they have you covered. The cost of the trip is $68 dollars per person, per night, and this is not including transportation costs. There are six different group types while on the trip: Junior High, Senior High, Mixed, College, Adult, and Family, so they allow you to relate to your own age group, to have amazing fellowship.
This is an amazing trip that you can take with your local church, or even your friends! And you get to experience and amazing city, and see our amazing God at work. So, what isn’t to love?
Check out their website! http://www.csm.org/about/
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