I've got 11 students, and they are serving in a cool variety of ways:
- Habitat for Humanity - supporting the staff and learning how a local chapter runs
- Providence Hall High School (2 interns) - student teaching
- Local churches (2 interns) - one student is leading the 5th/6th ministry, another is assisting with church worship and music for children
- A Rocha creation care ministry (2 interns) - these students are reviving the organic garden on campus at Westmont (located behind the tennis courts). The goal is to grow some produce for families in need and also offer a hands-on gardening experience for the children of those families
- The Village (3 interns) - this is a tremendous project on Santa Barbara's Westside. The Turner Foundation purchased a large and crowded apartment complex that was rundown and full of "activity" that was not safe for families. They renovated the apartments and interviewed each new tenant family in order to cultivate "buy in" on the goals of the community. During Westmont's Spring Break this year 45 students served for a week there, running after school Kids Club, installing a play structure, painting and repairing areas of the building, praying daily throughout the neighborhood. Out of that group several students opted to remain for the summer to maintain some of the ministries they started, and 3 of them took my course.
- Arts outreach - one Fine Arts major is shaping an arts outreach program that I hope to continuously staff with art students from Westmont. As more and more elective programs get cut from school budgets, we hope to still let children at The Village experience the arts and see how God designed us to be creative.
One of the more exciting goals for me in this class is not only to serve local ministries by training and providing gifted students to them, but to also help these ministries work together. We plan to have the Westside interns bring their Latino youth up to the A Rocha garden to work at it. I also hope that interns from Providence Hall can bring students to work at the garden, and in turn meet the Westside... We've also talked about bringing in the church interns from this class to meet the children at the Village and invite them to youth group activities... This warms my little networking heart :)
Many thanks to those of you who have prayed for me about this class and asked me about it. I'm enjoying the adventure of it, and trusting that Jesus will open doors if he wants me to continue in the fall.
I was reading this morning in 1 John 2 in the Message, and these words stood out most:
Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!