The City: Chicago is a world-class city of 3 million people, and contains people from every country of the world in its 77 different communities. Because of the many different cultural groups, the opportunities for exploration and for ministry are endless. During the summer you will get a chance to spend time ministering in various communities and among various ethnic groups in the city. You will grow in your ability to relate cross-culturally as you spend time interacting with people of all different cultures: Whites, Latinos, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. Of course there will also be time to explore many of the famous landmarks of Chicago including one of the tall sky scrapers, Millenium Park, Wrigley Field, the Art Institute, and the lake front.
Finances: Basic housing and living expenses are covered in the cost of the trip. Scholarships are available for Chicagoland residents and ethnic minorities. Please contact mission leadership directly. You will be coached on how to raise financial support to cover the cost of the mission. If you raise the full cost of the trip you will receive a stipend of up to $500 at the end of the summer.
The Project: You will have the opportunity to share your faith each week in a variety of settings. One week may be in a Summer Day Camp for African-American children. The next week you may be lending a helping hand in a homeless shelter. The next week you may be helping to run a sports clinic in a Mexican-American community. Many of the ministries will focus on helping to raise up a new generation of godly young leaders in their neighborhood.
During the evenings we will also have trainings and small groups that focus on issues of social justice, racial unity, God's love for the poor, effective evangelism strategies, leadership development, and gaining a deeper passion for God. We will have many creative urban outreaches and have opportunities to worship at various urban churches on the weekends. You will also be paired up with a staff member for one-on-one discipleship. Inner City: Chicago summer mission is a great mixture of cross-cultural ministry, social justice, evangelism, discipleship, and FUN! Here are some of the Ministry Sites:
Pui Tak Center - This ministry has a summer school program geared for the children of Chinese immigrant families who live in the Chinatown community. Most of the children come from Buddhist backgrounds, and have not heard much about who Jesus is. You will have the opportunity to share your faith with the children and help them academically, socially, and recreationally.
Restoration Ministry - You will have the opportunity to teach a Bible study to senior citizens, help run a resale thrift shop alongside women in a drug rehab facility, and help run a day camp and share the gospel with Mexican-American children. During these full days fo ministry you will rub shoulders with the faithful staff and hear amazing stories of how God is transforming lives in this low-income area. You might even have time to visit the pottery classes and boxing club.
Agape Community Center - Here you will spend your day sharing God's love with 100 children who have grown up in a tough, inner-city neighborhood. You will have the chance to lead Bible lessons, go on trips to the beach, participate in gym games while helping to reach many fatherless children with the love of Christ. On Fridays you will help lead a basketball clinic for young teen boys and girls.
The Training: Be prepared to grow in a number of different ways this summer! You will gain experience in evangelism, cross-cultural ministry, and in ministry to the poor. You will have time to hear from urban pastors and missionaries on a variety of topics such as social justice and racial unity. We will also spend time learning about the Spirit-filled life, how to share our testimony with others, and how to live an abundant life. You will spend time each week in a small group of peers and also have the opportunity of being discipled one-on-one. We also help each person learn how to take back what they learn during the summer to their campus and community.
University Internship Credit Option: Your University may grant internship credit for your inner city summer community experience. This is especially true of those majoring in Sociology, Psychology, Elem. or Sec. Education, Early Childhood Development, or Social Work. Students must petition thier school's department and satisfy any application fees. Typical schools require students to keep a daily journal of their experience and submit a paper highlighting specific aspects of their summer effort. The Cru staff will act as your on-sight internship advisor, and will verify your learning experience to the college.
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