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Each year, hundreds of thousands of college students head to the coasts, seeking out warm sun and beaches during spring break.
But what if they were to go in the opposite direction, and run deeper into the cities?
Here’s Life Inner City provides a different opportunity for college students each year: Urban Immersion, the chance to change a city.
By working with local churches, each group will bring help to under-resourced areas. Everybody wins during this week: churches receive aid, and students have the chance to see God’s heart and vision for the world.
Recently, Tom Norris, coordinator for Urban Immersion, spoke to the pastor of a church who hosted his first Urban Immersion students.
“He stopped me and tears started. He said, ‘I was thinking of quitting, but if God can send me 20 college students, God still wants me here.’ Our help kept him in ministry,” recounted Tom.
This year, Urban Immersion is taking place in 7 cities from the end of February until the end of March: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, and Seattle.
Each experience is different depending on the church and location, but all will have the chance to work with inner city youth, do evangelism and/or help with building projects.
Students can travel across the States to participate in any Urban Immersion, like Florida student Erin Fisher who helped a church in Seattle. There, she met a man named Frank whose life allowed her to see God’s bigger vision for the world.
“Talking to Frank really showed me how Christians need to be open and genuine about their struggles. No person is perfect. God spared Frank’s life when he overdosed, but God has also spared my life through salvation,” said Erin. “Also, just how Frank has his struggles with drugs, every Christian struggles with sin. We need to acknowledge that, be open about it, and repent and seek the Lord and allow Him to change us.”
“People tend to think living in the inner city is one thing, but this a more accurate picture,” says Tom. “We also do devotions on not just how to reach the poor, but why. It’s a good cross-cultural experience. We challenge our students to take it back to their campuses.”
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