Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Housing Ministry Making Things New

Volunteer group from Grace United Methodist Church from Naperville, Illinois
beaming with a sense of accomplishment and connection to the community
after roofing this house for David King

What does it look like at CSM when a concrete mixer truck pulls up? A party, of course! Our S.W.A.T. (Serving With Available Time) team jumps to action, and you have never seen a happier bunch of fellas. All year around these volunteers come week after week to help Aaron with the Housing Ministry and all things construction and carpentry. Recently, they have been busy getting the back of the warehouse graded and the footings ready to build a stadium seating area off the back dock. This will be a meeting area for our volunteer groups, and a place where orientations and teaching can take place. You will see pictures throughout the current articles of large groups sitting on the floor or standing around. This construction project is actually a dream come true for our ministry, and will certainly create a better rally point for the camps and summer groups we host. 
The Housing Ministry is also assisted by groups that come from around the country to help create
David King
lasting change in Birmingham. One of the individuals our Housing Ministry has longed to help is Mr. David King. He worked alongside the S.W.A.T. team to help rehabilitate Howard Morris's house with such a generous spirit, and has shown deep appreciation for the new roof the summer volunteers helped to replace on his house. These connections with individuals and families in the communities we serve are life-changing and life-giving experiences for the teams who come to Birmingham to work with us. We are blessed to be a part of it and to be a steward of your support. If you are skilled in construction, engineering, or carpentry and would like to join the S.W.A.T. team, please contact Kirsten Agee:

SWAT teaching YouthBuild
Aaron rallies the troops to assist with endless projects around CSM
SWAT digging the stadium footing 

Thankful For An Amazing Summer!

Volunteer group from Glenkirk Church in Glendora, California
We would be remiss to let the summer end and to make ourselves busy with our plans for the fall without looking back on everything that God did through his hands and feet here at Christian Service Mission.  God sent us over a thousand volunteers during June and July and we put them all to work!  As a volunteer driven ministry, we have accepted God's call for us to steward the resources with which he has blessed us.  

Summer camp at New Rising Star
Our most valuable resource is the thousands of volunteers that come to us from all over our city and all over our country.  CSM is a Gospel-centered, volunteer driven and relationship oriented ministry that seeks to build the Kingdom of Christ here in the city of Birmingham.  This summer, we were blessed with so many opportunities to invest in the lives of our interns, our ministry partners and our volunteers.  Several of those opportunities came in the form of kids' camps, where our volunteers worked with local students (kindergarten through 8th grade) to further their education in math, reading, science, technology and scripture memory!  

We also worked with several community gardens to continue our initiative to produce healthy food for communities through our gardens and our cooking programs. Our housing ministry continues to work closely with homeowners all over Birmingham to build healthier homes and families through the restoration of houses in our partnering communities. Our volunteers worked all summer-long to advance CSM's relationships with our homeowners and communities.
Youth group from 6th Avenue Baptist Church pitching in
to help prepare the CSM gardens

And as always, our ministry center ("The Warehouse") was well taken care of by our volunteers as well.  Group after group came through to help us in our warehouse to sort, count, catalog and distribute resources to our communities of need through our local partners.  As CSM continues to stand in the gap to connect resources with needs, we know that we would not have near the ability or impact without our supporting Church family! Thank you to everyone who has volunteered with us this summer to help advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our city and to our partners around the globe!
A taste of summer at CSM:

Volunteers helping us with Summers Camps:

New Rising Star Summer Camp

True Vine Summer Camp

CSM Garden Center Volunteers:

Young gardeners ready to learn from summer gardening expert,
Tony (horticulture intern from Clemson)
Garden volunteers here all the way from California!

... and Tennessee! Franklin UMC Youth Group

Trinity UMC

Volunteers working in the CSM warehouse:

6th Ave Baptist

Aldersgate UMC

Bells Baptist, TN

Franklin UMC, TN

Haiti and Trinity UMC

Alabama Governor's Class

This list will give you an idea of how many groups were here from out of town (usually for a week at a time) and volunteering from around our city. A HUGE appreciation goes to Michael Bowen for his leadership and awesome management of these volunteer groups from around the country to make such a huge impact on our city!

Michael casting a vision for community development with summer volunteers
Out-of-Town (242 volunteers)

Boones Creek Christian Church (Johnson City, TN)
First Christian Church (Johnson City, TN)
Grace United Methodist Church (Napersville, IL)
Aldersgate United Methodist Church (Slidell, LA)
Glenkirk Church (Glendora, CA)
Bells First Baptist Church (Bells, TN)
First United Methodist Church of Franklin (Franklin, TN)
Poplar Ridge Christian Church (Piney Flats, TN)
First United Methodist Church of Cullman (Cullman, AL)
Church at Sandhurst (Florence, SC)

Local (610 volunteers)

Trinity United Methodist Church
Redeemer Community Church
Love Fellowship Christian Center
6th Avenue Baptist Church
Cornerstone Middle School
Junior Master Gardeners
BigTime Ministries
Samford Alabama Governor’s Class
United Ability
Riverchase Church of Christ
Church of the Highlands
Faith Presbyterian Church
Cahaba Park Presbyterian Church
The Church at Ross Bridge
Riverchase United Methodist Church
Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church
America’s First Federal Credit Union
Hillsboro School

Projects Included…

Housing – painting, roofing, siding, caulking & repair
Gardens – planting, harvesting, weeding, fertilizing, decorating, composting
Partners – kids’ camps, landscaping, thrift store, dormitory, painting, cleaning, demolition, outreach events, food packing & distribution
Schools – cleaning & school supply packing/delivery
Ministry Center – donation sorting, painting, demolition, landscaping, food distribution, diaper bundling, cleaning

Summer send-off for Michael and Jamie from interns, Caitlin and Corey