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In or Out – Are we all in with Jesus? – LA/Orange County Outreach

In or Out – Are we all in with Jesus? – LA/Orange County Outreach

Yesterday Leina, Hannah, Melissa, Nic and I had to opportunity to attend La Habra High School, assisting their Christian club “Campus Light” as they put on their Gospel Rally for the week! Campus Light is revolving their outreach week around the theme ‘In or Out.’ The club brought in Pastor Jackson of Grace EV Free La Mirada who tied in a message of being IN or OUT in our faith with the example of surfing. He challenged the students, asking them if they were Christians sitting on the outside in the comfort of what they already know, comparing them to those surfers who sit on the outside as the waves go by afraid to take that jump to ride a wave. Pastor Jackson encourage the students to “charge” in their faith and be all in with Jesus.

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La Habra HS. Pastor Jackson speaking on being In or Out with God.

Before and after the rally I was blessed with conversations with two club members of Campus Light. Before the rally I spoke with Joseph, a freshman at La Habra who – having been homeschooled all his life – is making the transition to high school quite nicely because of his interactions with the club. He spoke of how the club is providing him a comfortable place with those who have the same beliefs, and he told me about that he’s enjoyed this week’s rallies because he wants more students to know Jesus.

After the rally I spoke with Summer, a senior at La Habra who loved the message at the rally! To her, it served as a great reminder and a push to grow in her faith. This week, she’s eager to invite family members attending La Habra HS because some aren’t believers, and she desires an opportunity for them to respond and hear the good news of Jesus. Let us not forget that this story is coming from real Christian high school students who are desperately praying for a revival to happen on their campus and in their families!

God’s work and light is at work here in the Los Angeles area this week, and the momentum is only going to grow as these Christian Clubs continue to put on events for their peers to come and learn about Jesus Christ.

Join us in prayer. Here are some Requests:

  • Pray for the students attending the rallies this week, for strengthened and renewed relationships with God as well as students coming to Christ for the first time
  • Pray that God’s presence would fill the gym at La Habra High School during the Gospel presentation on Thursday during lunch
  • Pray for the conversations on campus to be centered around Jesus Christ
  • Pray for the Christian Clubs putting on the events this week, that they would stay well-rested and eager to bring students to Christ

– Gabe Plendcio // Biola Student Leader

Light and Truth spread through Conversations – LA/Orange County Outreach

Light and Truth spread through Conversations – LA/Orange County Outreach

A few months ago, I saw witnessing as an obligation. Yes, we Christians are called to share the Gospel, but fear would taint the excitement. The fear of rejection and the fear of saying the wrong thing was something that I always carried in the back of my mind. There should be joy by just knowing that I get to spread the love of Jesus, but that wasn’t what I felt before. This week started of differently though as I walked with the Christian Club leaders at Downey High School to witness to their peers. I decided to trust God and allowed Him to completely use me. I put aside my doubts and fears and God changed my perspective on witnessing.

I began to see witnessing as a privilege.

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Whittier High School, was the sight of some conversations members of our team had with students as they were heading off campus yesterday.

As 2 Corinthians 5:20 proclaims: “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” As followers of Jesus, we have the opportunity to share the Gospel with these high school students. What a privilege to walk along side God to reconcile the world.

For me, that ounce of fear still comes up every time before I go witnessing, but after I have these conversations with these high school students, I get this unexplainable feeling of joy. I begin to see witnessing as a privilege and I am amazed how God enables me and gives me the opportunity to partner with Him to change the world.

Continue praying that the students hearts may be open to go to the events of the outreach weeks and listen to the message. Pray for all members of our team to be equipped for the outreach week in helping these students.

– Cynthia Ramirez & Melissa Valle // Biola Student Leader & Campus Mentor

More than a High School Ministry

More than a High School Ministry

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Meet Josh Johnson.

“It was Spring semester 2013 of my sophomore year at Azusa Pacific University, when I was first introduced to CSP. At the time, I was a shy and timid personality, with almost no skills or interest in leadership. After some thought, I decided to go to an info meeting. I had no idea that who I was as a person and believer was about to change dramatically forever.

I immediately fell in love with the mission and vision of CSP, and began as a Campus Mentor for a high school in Chino Hills.” That year at Chino Hills High School, Josh helped the students plan a spring Outreach Week and also had the opportunity to share his testimony of how he had come to know the Lord.

“Over the course of the semester, my passion for the position I was in grew stronger, and I decided I wanted to return the following year where I mentored at Glendora High School.” The next year, at Glendora High School, he worked with students who had such a passion to see their peers reached that they put on two Outreach Weeks – one in the fall and one in the spring!

How Being in CSP Changed His Life

“Being a campus mentor cultivated my abilities to be a leader, being able to teach material and generate ideas and discussion. It also began to enhance my own personal confidence, motivating myself to give my full effort to whatever I was dedicated to.

1509051_751204001558963_1014541459_nAfter the 2013 – 2014 school year was finished, and after conversations and prayer with friends and family, I decided that I wanted to pursue a hired leadership position as a Student Director for the APU chapter of CSP.” Over the course of the past year, the APU team has grown from 14 to 23 mentors and has hit it’s goal of reaching 14 campuses this spring, thanks in large part to the hard work of Josh and the other team leaders!

“CSP has been a life changing experience for me, and one that I will be able to take away so much from for my future career. I constantly have an amazing staff and other student leaders around to support and pray for me, and an amazing team that I have the privilege to be a part of leading over the course of this school year.  Every amount that goes into this ministry is playing a part in seeing lives changed.”

Pray with us!

Above is Josh with the rest of the APU leaders, Rich (APU Chapter Director) and Nicole (APU Student Director). Please pray for the APU and Biola chapters, specifically for the college campus mentors for wisdom in time management, that is juggling their school work, friendships, rest, fun time, and mentoring their high school students.

Also, please pray for protection from the evil one and his schemes, and for the college students to deepen in their knowledge of God’s love for them and to grow in the fear of God.

Amber’s Story

Amber’s Story

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My name is Amber Ellison and I’m currently a freshman at Azusa PacificUniversity and also a Campus Mentor and Cluster Leader for CSP. I grew up in Escondido (North San Diego County) and attended San Pasqual High School. The Christian Club on campus known as the WAY Club and my junior year in high school I was part of the leadership team. The following year I became the President of the WAY Club and strived to help our club grow and thrive.

God working in San Diego’s High Schools

Fun Fact about CSP and San Diego is that CSP was very present in Escondido and other San Diego schools about five or six years ago. After CSP left San Diego, Benji Horning, a youth pastor in the area, took initiative and continued aiding the high schoolers in planning rallies every year!

Benji would hold a prayer/planning meeting every February and invite all club leaders at every high school in Escondido, San Marcos, Fallbrook, and even some coastal schools. I was able to attend last years meeting and it was such a spirit fueled meeting. It was amazing to experience a group of young adults with a common goal of spreading the gospel to their peers gathering to pray and hear direction from God. In the meeting, we spent a lot of time in prayer, allowing God to guide our administrative decisions in planning a common week all schools would host the Outreach week. We even came up with a logo for the Outreach Week that combined with a Celebration event known as Unify/Anthem.

At this amazing outreach week, many individuals either recommitted themselves to or accepted Christ for the first time! My friend, Nic, was hardened by bad experiences at a Christian School; it was amazing to see him come to know Christ on a deeper level through our Outreach Week!

Transitioning to College

Now that I am in college and look back on my experiences in high school and parallel those experiences with what I’ve learned in CSP, I see a need for mentors in San Diego to aid in other things: Follow Up, Witnessing, even Promotion.  In addition to mentoring Los Osos high in Rancho Cucamonga, I will mentor SPHS.

“It doesn’t stop here”

“It doesn’t stop here”

Yesenia Porras, better known by her nickname “Yesi”, is a senior at Biola. A CSP rock star, this is her 6th year working with the ministry. She has been a high school club president, campus mentor, and a cluster leader, but is returning this year as a campus mentor so that she can have a more direct relationship with the students at Downey High School, which is not only her alma mater, but also the school she has mentored in three different years.Yesi 1

When asked why she wanted to come back this year, Yesi said that it is because she truly believes in CSP’s mission and vision – and especially because CSP is student-led, focusing on supporting and encouraging high school students to be Christ-centered and gospel-centered. “[CSP] is something that captivated my heart years ago and something that’s just been a part of my life; I don’t think I could see my life without it.”

However, being a campus mentor doesn’t come without its own unique sets of challenges. One in particular is helping students plan events. Last fall, the students at Downey High didn’t plan as much as they could have, so the rally week didn’t go as well as they had hoped. The second semester went significantly better, and Yesi added that “it was great for us, my partner and I, to see them learning that what we were telling them [about the necessity of planning far in advance] wasn’t useless information and then focus on planning for the spring.”

As a campus mentor, Yesi is hoping to pass on to the high school students what she has learned from working with CSP. She said, “It’s about helping them to see that it’s not just about what we’re doing right now. They’re learning life lessons: they’re learning how to share the gospel, how to lead a meeting and ask good questions, and to ask for help when you need it… I really want to share with them that this doesn’t stop here in high school. Wherever they go they can keep sharing the gospel and impacting other people.”

This year, Yesi said she is most excited to watch her students grow; to come alongside them in their challenges and in their victories. The Christian club at Downey High School is pulling for a lot of victories this year.

If you’d like to support Yesi and other campus mentors as they help high school students reach their campuses, click here to find out more.

Training Weekend Reflections

Training Weekend Reflections

For the past 4 weeks, we’ve asked you to pray that God would bring workers for the harvest. I’m happy to report that God answered our prayers: 68 mentors in CA and 44 in Chicago, for a total of 112 campus mentors!

We also prayed for their lives to be transformed: To show how God answered that prayer, hear it from 2 campus mentors!

10389338_10152518014457663_8615821397566618752_nFirst up is Adam, a sophomore at BiolaAdam is coming back for a 2nd year in CSP because of what he saw last year: high school students who had started out shy or unsure of their faith, by the end of the year were leading rallies, speaking out in front of their schools with boldness, and unafraid to share Christ with their friends. Seeing this change in his students and also remembering how encouraging it was to have strong male mentors in his life, are what made him to come back as a mentor.

“God really encouraged me and showed me that I am a VALUABLE contribution to His mission. I am valuable because He has called me and appointed me to go and bear fruit, NOT because I have ‘mad skills’ at mentoring. I have grown to be more confident in myself, and even more excited about what God will do this year.”

Adam left this weekend re-energized and reminded that he can serve in confidence because of his identity in Christ.

1908432_10152518014437663_6538310206359639854_nOlivia is a freshman at Biola who longs to share the gospel in a way for high schoolers to see the love of Christ, she knew that CSP was the ministry she had been praying about. On Fall Training Weekend, she stated, “I expected to simply go up and be trained in how to be a good mentor but God really worked in my heart by allowing me to see how deeply He cares about the intimate and intricate details of my life! I also realized that the Lord had known that I would be a part of this ministry since before I was born which was crazy! I also got super excited about what the Lord is going to do in and through this ministry this year!”

Leaving on Sunday, Olivia felt more excited than ever to work with the students at Bell Senior High, feeling the Lord’s blessing over this year.

Meet Caleb

Meet Caleb

Last year Caleb was the Christian club president at a small high school in Pomona called the School of Arts and Enterprises (the SAE). This year he is a college student campus mentor helping other Christian students share the gospel on their campuses. Here’s what he has to say.

IMG_0370How did you get involved with CSP?

My parents had found CSP online, and gotten me in touch with Rich Hung [the APU Chapter Director] We talked on the phone and I told him how hesitant I was to start a Christian club. The year before I tried to start one and it really hadn’t gone well. I had gotten really burnt out from it, and I didn’t see any impact it was having on the school. As we talked on the phone, I essentially said, “No, I really don’t want to start a Christian club.” And he said “Pray about it. Think about if God really wants to do something big in your school, and the only way to do that is by organizing the students?”

From there, I started thinking about it and praying about it. Then Rich invited me to the “High School Huddle” at APU; so I came and met him and a few other campus mentors and high school students. The really, really impactful thing – the thing that sold me on CSP – was the time of prayer we had later in the evening. All the students and the campus mentors gathered together and we prayer for about 20 minutes, for each school, so specifically. So I saw, not only that these other highschoolers really have a passion for their schools, like I do, but so do the mentors, and the people who run things from behind the scene in the office. And I was just so blessed, so encouraged, and thought, “Wow, there is actually a support network for me; why not go ahead, be bold, and start a club?” So that’s how I got involved with CSP.

What did you see God do last year?

One big moment was our outreach weekend. My school was really small (only 400 people), but over the course of that weekend 150 people heard the gospel. So it was really, really cool. The last day of our outreach, some members of the club and I were outside with a guitar doing some worship and talking, and this girl comes over and asks us about our club, and right there we got to share the gospel with her. After the whole outreach event, this last person comes up to us and gets to hear the gospel, and gets saved right there!

Why are you signing up to be a mentor this year?

Because I was really, really impacted by my mentors. The two of them (Rich and Tommy) really helped me with my club on campus. I got to see my school impacted, I got to see the lives of my close friends impacted, and my life was really impacted.

And I would love to see that happen from the other side. I would love to be that person that God uses to help mentor someone & see their lives change, see them become bold see them doing ministry in their school, see them taking the gospel to fellow high schoolers. And then there’s even a selfish reason, and that is I want to keep going with this thing that’s been a lot of fun, I want to keep going and growing with this thing I’ve loved so much.

 

Workers for the Harvest

Workers for the Harvest

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38

This time of year – the first 6 weeks of the fall semester – is always an intense time of recruiting campus mentors and enrolling high schools, laying the foundation for a year of ministry. This is a critical point in the year, and that’s why we have some special stories to share over the next 3 weeks that will invite you to pray with us and help send students to Fall Training.

IMG_0280-copy-2Tori Edwards is an APU Senior returning as campus mentor for Mountain View High School in El Monte, CA. We asked about her decision to come back for a 2nd year, and here’s what she had to say:

“I almost decided not to come back because of my full schedule, but just going back to info nights and hearing from my students from last year really showed me that this is something I’m supposed to be involved with and I really have a passion for high school students.

I am really excited to watch my high school students grow more – in their faith, in their confidence. Last year, when I met the students I worked with they were so shy & unsure of how to do things, but they were so confident in what they wanted to accomplish. AND THEN BY THE END OF THE YEAR they were pulling out all the stops and talking to pastors and school administrators like it was no big deal; and going out and witnessing like it was no big deal – and it was just amazing to watch their growth.”

In addition to 2nd year mentors like Tori, the teams in California and Chicago are working hard to recruit a total of 192 mentors this year: almost 200 workers for the harvest!

Pray with us!

  1. Campus Mentors. Chapter teams are working hard to recruit around 100 university students to join the team in the next 3 weeks. Pray for God to draw the right people, with drive and skill to equip the next generation for Christ.
  2. School Enrollment. This year we hope to coach students at over 100 high schools. Pray for good connections with students to confirm partnership with another 80 schools in the next month.
  3. Fall Training Weekend. Coming up in just over 2 weeks, this intensive weekend event will be a launchpad for the rest of the year. Pray for the staff and student leaders planning this training time. Click here to find out how you can help a university student become trained as a campus mentor.
Sarah’s Story

Sarah’s Story

This week we’d like to share with you another story from Chicago. This story is told by Sarah, one of CSP’s newest staff members.

This trip was the first time I had ever been witnessing, which was incredibly intimidating, but also incredibly fruitful. At the beginning of our trip to Chicago, I can honestly say that I was not excited about witnessing and was, in fact, dreading it. However, after the first short time out talking to people, I was hooked. It was so exciting to see the way that the Lord worked in people’s hearts as they heard the gospel. For the remainder of the trip, I saw how the Lord gave me a spirit of boldness to be unashamed of the gospel, even in the face of rejection.

On our final day of witnessing, Brian, another CSP staff member, and I were paired up at the Lincoln Park Zoo for a few hours of sharing the gospel. We quickly realized it was going to be a difficult day as we were feeling discouraged and were continually being turned away by people who didn’t want to talk. In the span of two, almost three hours, we had spoken to a few Christians, but hadn’t been able to share the gospel yet. We were praying for an opportunity, but one had not presented itself.

However, on our way back to meeting our group, Brian approached a young man named Tyler, who was an employee of the zoo. Immediately, Tyler was interested in hearing the gospel and learning more about the Lord. Within a few minutes, we had shared the story of the gospel. Throughout the time talking with him, we could tell that Tyler’s heart was open, and soon after hearing the gospel message, he made the decision to follow Christ! We congratulated him, welcomed him into the Kingdom as a brother in Christ, and encouraged him to begin reading the Bible and attending a Church in his area.

It was so incredible to watch someone be so eager to accept the gospel message and pray for Christ to enter into his life. It reminds me that the Lord is so much bigger than I often make Him out to be and that His Spirit is moving even in the face of rejection and discouragement!

CSP Welcomes Four New Staff

CSP Welcomes Four New Staff

This summer God blessed CSP with four new staff members. Hear their hearts for the mission.

New StaffMat // Chapter Director: I joined CSP because I strongly felt the Lord calling me into this ministry and this position of working with college and high school students. Even though I have never worked with CSP before, I am really excited to see how the Lord will use me to pour out His love and glory in and through CSP!

Sarah // Partnership Coordinator: I joined CSP because I really felt that God was calling me to completely abandon myself to serve Him. I have always had a passion for working with youth, especially within the local schools, to reach them for Christ. After having worked in drug and alcohol recovery for adolescents, I saw the deep need for Christ within our public schools. I am incredibly excited to be expanding the community around CSP and to be fostering the growth of the ministry as a whole.

Ollie // Kern County Director: I joined CSP staff because I’m passionate about reaching students with the good news of Jesus and helping them follow Jesus, and especially passionate about reaching and discipling students in my hometown of Bakersfield. I’m excited about partnering with local high school students, club advisors, campus mentors, churches, youth pastors, and other Christian community members, to reach and disciple high school students in the Bakersfield area.

Brian // Event Coordinator: Before joining CSP I had been looking for a way to throw myself at gospel work. I loved seeing how students were being reached with the love of Christ by CSP, and I wanted to be a part of it. I had experience planning events and so I was happy to find an opportunity that took advantage of what I was good at.