At Christian Service Mission, we exist to utilize our connective network of churches, partners, volunteers and resources to influence our city’s communities with the values of the Kingdom. Our mission at CSM is to provide opportunities for community engagement alongside of our strategic ministry partners to incite Gospel-centered heart change and to see our partnering communities develop into healthy, thriving communities. We believe that this starts with the engagement with and preaching of God’s holy word through His church.
In a very tangible way, one example of how we have seen this played out this year is through one of our longest standing relationship with Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in West End, pastored by Dr. Michael Wesley Sr. For the last year, we have partnered with Greater Shiloh through their YouthBuild program that seeks to invest in individuals ages 18 – 24 to prepare them for the workforce and to influence their lives with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. It has been through this partnership with YouthBuild that we have formed a relationship with one of the students in the program and have come to see that his personal needs go much deeper than that of needing employment or job skills.
This young man exhibited great aptitude for the work and training provided by the YouthBuild program. He proved to be a very quick learner with an incredible work ethic and desire to generate an income for himself and for his family. However, this young man did not have access to reliable transportation and therefore did not have one of the major prerequisites for gainful employment. Once Aaron Parsons, our Housing Ministry Director, and his team found out about his situation, the need was quickly communicated back to CSM and then even more quickly we began to see the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of several of CSM’s relational ministry partners.
The first to answer the call was the Specialized Landscaping company that just so happens to share a backyard with our Christian Service Mission warehouse. This group of young entrepreneurs have converted an old warehouse space and a few pieces of lawn equipment into a very successful landscaping company and due to their quick success, they just so happened to be in search of some capable and hirable labor. Once they connected with CSM, the Spirit led us to connect them with this young man through our partnership with the YouthBuild program through Greater Shiloh Church and he began work shortly thereafter. However, one glaring problem still existed… the absence of a car and the reliance upon the public transit system.
”Through the faithfulness of a few, many have come to see the glory and power of an almighty God. Praise be to the author and orchestrator of such happenings and praise be to Him for allowing us to witness and be a part of his grand story.
After recommitting this need to our God through prayer, we once again quickly found the Spirit moving through yet another connection to CSM. One of the members of another partnering church, Mountain Brook Community Church, felt the Lord calling him to donate a truck to CSM and asked us if we knew of someone who could use it. We serve an amazing God who does some amazing things and we are blessed and humbled to play a small part in connecting God’s resources to the needs of His children. Shortly thereafter, this young man received a free truck with a new transmission and fully equipped not only for his transportation to and from work, but also for transportation of the lawn equipment and tools needed for the work on his job sites. We would have settled for a car, but God never settles. God knew exactly what this young man’s needs were and he was gracious enough to bring all of these different pieces and partnerships together to prove to us and everyone involved that He is God.
Our relationship with this young man has continued. He is quite literally in our backyard almost every day. We are committed, alongside of each of our partners, to see stories like this continue to happen every day, every week and every year through us and through our like-minded strategic partners. This is one example of many of ways that people, churches, organizations and members of the body can meet the needs of the least of these. Through prayer, partnerships and listening to the Spirit of God, these connections continue to be made. Through the faithfulness of a few, many have come to see the glory and power of an almighty God. Praise be to the author and orchestrator of such happenings and praise be to Him for allowing us to witness and be a part of his grand story.
Your partnering to connect in this campaign allows CSM to be in this position to connect recourses with needs through our impact partners for the gospel to change lives.