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Unity at Fullerton Union

Unity at Fullerton Union

Yesterday was Day Two of the Fullerton Union’s Outreach Week, and the students were pumped for their guest speaker Nick, a college student from a local church, to share a message about unity through Christ during their lunch time. The students got pizza to give to everyone who came to the event, and were able to promote by walking around the quad shouting “Pizza and Jesus!” We saw 10-15 extra students come to the event, filling the classroom with 32 students.

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Nick’s message focused on what it means to be unified as a school and to stand up for truth, and he challenged the students to think about why they should be standing up and who they should set as their example for breaking borders. He asked them if they had considered Jesus, and explained the Good News of Jesus. Three students accepted Christ into their lives! It was an amazing day for Fullerton Union and for the Kingdom!

The Fullerton students are having a prayer meeting on Wednesday during lunch in the middle of the quad, and they will be praying over their school and for the world. They also want to start witnessing and sharing their faith on campus more frequently, so there should be more exciting news to come!

Here are a few prayer requests for Fullerton:

  • Prayer for their club members to get involved and stay passionate about sharing their faith
  • Pray that God would protect and strengthen them as they pray and witness on their campus
  • Pray for their rally on Thursday where a guest speaker will be sharing the gospel and inviting students to respond
  • Pray for the three new members of the kingdom who dedicated their lives to Jesus on Tuesday!

 

Thank you for your prayers and stay tuned for more stories about Fullerton Union!
~ Kelly Vine // Biola Student Leader

Back to School for Spring Break!

Back to School for Spring Break!

Some CSP leaders from the Biola chapter choosing to help their schools with outreach during Biola's spring break.
Some CSP leaders from the Biola chapter choosing to help their schools with outreach during Biola’s spring break.

During our Spring Break instead of hanging at the beach or putting in an extra 12 hours of sleep a day, some members of CSP are going back to school to share the love of Christ! As a part of the California School Project, this week we are helping out a high schools with a full week of events meant to ultimately share Christ’s love to a student body that struggles with finding hope and restoration in their lives.

Fullerton Union High School (FUHS) will be having events and activities nearly everyday this week all centered around the idea of breaking down borders that prevent us from creating unity in the body of Christ. Yesterday for their rally to promote the whole week of outreach, the club created their own presentation of breaking down borders. They did this by gathering at the quad and kicking down boxes with words regarding pain and suffering written on them, symbolizing the need to stand up for the hurting together in unity, striving for peace with all people.

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Fullerton desires to create unity and pursue peace with all people, hoping to influence their school to unite together in Christ. CSP desires to help out the school in the best way we can to accomplish their mission of sharing God’s love through breaking down borders. Please join us in prayer as we seek to do God’s will at FUHS!

Here are a few prayer requests for the week:

  • Pray for God to move the hearts of students at Fullerton Union High School, giving them the willingness to attend these events and have open ears and hearts!
  • Pray for club leaders and members to be strong and courageous in Christ as they share their faith on campus!
  • Pray for our witnessing conversations after school, that students will be open and willing to hear the Good News!

 

Thank you everyone for your prayers and for supporting us this week! Be strong and courageous!
~Hannah McLaughlin// Biola Campus Mentor (also Alumni of FUHS)

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

Till Every Student has HEARD – LA/Orange County Outreach

Till Every Student has HEARD – LA/Orange County Outreach

We invite you to follow and pray for CSP as we head into local high schools within LA County where we hope to see God at work this week. As apart of California School Project, we don’t plan on stopping until every student has been given the opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus. Our team of Biola students and CSP staff members will be working alongside the Christian club leaders as we aim to give every student that opportunity to hear about Jesus. The Lord’s presence is definitely at work here and we’re praying He becomes present in the lives of students who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus this week. We ask you to join us on our trip and follow the events and conversations we encounter as well as praying with us this week.

The schools we have the pleasure of serving with this week are Downey HS, Whittier HS, and La Habra HS. The Christian clubs in all three of these schools  have planned and prepped to put on events such as Gospel and Apologetics Rallies, promotion events, and discipleship opportunities. These students are eager to see God at work in their schools and for Him to shed light on their fellow peers. As we will assist them with their events, our team will also be going along side them during opportunities to initiate conversations with other students regarding the work of Christ available for them. God desires for us to be his disciples, and these students are giving it their all to shed light into the dark places.

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This is the Team on the trip this week! (From the Left: Nathan, Hannah, Gabe, Leina, Nic, Melissa, Desmond, Cynthia, Jenica, and Shannon)

As much as my team and the Christian club leaders are working to give these students the opportunity to hear about Jesus, the rest lies in God’s hands as we lift up this week to Him and His plans.

Join us and Pray with us this week. Here are a few requests:

  • Pray for God’s will to be done this week and that the Lord will prevail
  • Pray for the club leaders to be encouraged and to trust God’s plans over their own plans
  • Pray that the students’ hearts be opened to hear the messages they’re receiving
  • Pray for an energetic and safe week as we attend each school’s events
  • Pray that we have the right words to say in conversations that would point students to God

We hoped you enjoyed this brief overview of the week ahead and we encourage you to follow us through these blog posts throughout the week for more updates on God’s works happening in these high schools. Thank you for your support and prayers with us this week!

– Gabe Plendcio // Biola Campus Mentor

 

 

 

 

Rise and Shine: A Call to Action – San Jose Outreach Immersion 2017

Rise and Shine: A Call to Action – San Jose Outreach Immersion 2017

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
                                                                                                                         – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Leland High School Pastor Dan
Leland High School
Pastor Dan

The California School Project (CSP) has one goal:  to help mentor and encourage high school students to share the good news of Jesus Christ with their peers. Although there are multiple ways to share the love of Jesus Christ, the most successful way is often through hosting rallies, which is an event put together by the school’s Christian Club.

Joseph, Lauren, Laura, and I had the tremendous pleasure yesterday to assist Leland High School with their January rally titled, “Rise and Shine”, which reminded the students that it is never too late to wholeheartedly search for a relationship God. Although the rally was directed mainly towards students who were believers of the Christian faith, all students were welcome to attend. Dan, a local pastor, shared with the students that they do not have to be perfect in order to be loved by God.

After interviewing Sam, a club member, he said the best part about putting together outreach weeks was witnessing God work throughout the semester and bring many students to the Christian Club’s gatherings. Sam and I, along with other club members understand that God isn’t done working in our lives. The rally yesterday was only the beginning of sharing God’s love with those surrounding us.

Left to Right: John, Laura, Lauren, Nick, Joseph, and Sam
Left to Right: John, Laura, Lauren, Nick, Joseph, and Sam

 

Ministry Year After Year – Fall Training Weekend 2016

Ministry Year After Year – Fall Training Weekend 2016

Today, during FTW, Caleb Morin, a current Student Leader in Kern County Chapter, shared with us a story he felt blessed to witness. It’s a story of one of his fellow Student Leaders in Kern County:

The current Kern County Chapter. Including Micah, middle left, and Caleb, right.
The current Kern County Chapter. Including Micah, middle left, and Caleb, right.

Micah Yursik was coached by the California School Project (CSP) when she was in high school. During that time, she passionately desired to pray with, encourage, and share the Gospel with every student on her high school campus, and, with CSP’s help, she worked hard to do just that. She later went on to assist Ollie Mulligan in establishing the Kern County Chapter.

Three years after her high school graduation, Micah returned to her former high school to speak at a Gospel rally set up by then Christian club president Caleb. After she spoke, a student, we’ll call her Sarah, approached her.

Sarah, crying, told Micah that four years before, when Sarah was a Freshman and Micah a Senior, Micah prayed with her. Sarah said that it really impacted her. She said that even though Micah had no idea what was going on in Sarah’s life she took the time to pray for her. She said Micah encouraged her by taking the time to personally witness to her and pray with her. Now, as a Senior, Sarah attended a rally set up by a completely different Christian club leader. But this time she heard the Gospel, she responded and gave her life to Jesus! She thanked Micah for what she had done for her!

This is a perfect example of CSP’s first campus objective:  Reach every student.

CSP aims to give every student the opportunity to hear about Christ, respond, grow as a new believer, and plug into a local church. We want to reach students in a multitude of ways so that everyone can hear, and we want to give every student as many opportunities as possible to hear the message!

Thanks to veteran Student Leaders, Staff, and veteran campus mentors, FTW is full of encouraging stories like this that help communicate to our new campus mentors what can be achieved through God working in CSP and them.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you two little peeks into the sessions of FTW. A little bit of the how of achieving these incredible stories, addressing this very campus objective (reach every student). And a little of the Biblical emphasis we place on everything we do.

“Why not be made fun of for the best thing?”

“Why not be made fun of for the best thing?”

Today we’re going to share about two bold leaders reaching their school for Christ, both thirteen year old students at Rincon Middle School in Escondido.

Meet Taylor:

 

After God transformed her life at summer camp in 2015, she came back to School with a passion to reach others with the love of Christ. Encouraged by her sister Amber, a CSP Student Leader at Azusa Pacific University, Taylor started a Christian club at her school to gather other Christians and reach her peers for Christ.

Meet McKayla:

 

A friend of Taylor’s, McKayla joined leadership when the club began, excited to reach her school. At CSP’s first mentoring meeting with the club, CSP mentor Hannah asked McKayla about the biggest challenges her peers face every day. “Depression and self-harm, bullying, gang activity, and drugs,” she answered. Then, with tears in her eyes, she said, “how can we, having the hope they need – the hope of Jesus – not share it with them?”

Though the club started with seven leaders, it quickly shrank to four, and by the middle of spring it was down to just Taylor and McKayla.  Through adversity, disappointment, and social isolation, the two persevered and remained obedient to God’s call. Their perseverance led to tremendous personal growth and to hundreds hearing the gospel!

Taylor and McKayla with their CSP mentor Hannah.

At a rally in January, McKayla shared her very vulnerable testimony in front of more than 100 of her peers. Her story gave hope and validation to many, but a few made fun of her for sharing the types of things she did. These vicious comments devastated McKayla.

After their Outreach Week in May, McKayla said, “in middle school you are going to be made fun of for something, so why not be made fun of for the best thing – Jesus” Her perspective had changed from fear and embarrassment to bold confidence. It is incredible to see the power of the Spirit at work in her life, calling her and sustaining her to serve the Lord faithfully through both joy and sorrow.

Through Taylor and McKayla’s simple obedience to the Lord, they put on two weeks of outreach with a total of eight rallies. Each rally averaged 70 people, with at least 200 different students in attendance throughout the rallies. More than 24 students made first time decisions to follow Jesus, and even more than that recommitted their lives to serving him!

A guest speaker shares the gospel during Rincon’s spring outreach week.

We are extremely proud of Taylor and McKayla, as well as the many other club leaders who have stayed faithful to the call to reach their schools with the gospel. We praise God, knowing that he has been greatly glorified in their commitment to him.

Signs of Revival

Signs of Revival

Something is stirring in McFarland High School.

McFarland High, the only high school in a small agricultural community 25 miles north of Bakersfield, has a student body of 850. Last week, CSP Kern County helped the leaders of the FOCUS (Followers of Christ United at School) host their first ever Outreach Week, and it was a sight to behold!

The club hosted gospel rallies on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each day, roughly 150 students came to hear the gospel clearly and lovingly proclaimed by guest speakers. That means that half the school could have heard the gospel that week! But the amazing part was not the number of attendees, it was their response.

Students speak at one of the McFarland rallies.

56 students indicated that they began relationships with God by committing their lives to Jesus for the first time. 98 students said that they recommitted their lives to Jesus. And 95 students packed into a classroom for the Follow Jesus Event on Friday, an event specifically advertised and geared for students who are interested in learning how to follow Jesus with their lives. That’s triple the number of students that we’ve ever had come to a Follow Jesus Event before! At least 30 students signed up to be part of an 8-week discipleship group where they’ll learn the basics of following Jesus.

 

Students pack into room for the Follow Jesus event.

Micah, McFarland’s CSP Mentor, describes it this way: “It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to the kind of revivals I have always heard and read about! I was just honored to be there when God decided to move!”

Caroline, President of the FOCUS club, who leads an absolutely dynamic group of leaders in the club, says, “I’m very happy that we had the opportunity to spread God’s word to people. Stepping out of my comfort zone to glorify God is a new feeling that I’m looking forward to continuing, and hopefully I can motivate others to be a part of this Jesus movement! Knowing I’m involved in something that shines light to his name and knowing he’d be proud is the best part.”

 

The McFarland club leadership team, with Micah (5th from the left) and Caroline (6th from the left).

Ollie, CSP Kern County Chapter Director, said, “In my 6 years of CSP, I’ve never seen a response like this at a school. During the Outreach Week, I believe I found one of the keys to this kind of response: two pastors of Family Life Worship Center in McFarland attended every one of the rallies that week. It turns out that they and other Christians in McFarland have been prayer walking the city for the last 10 years!”

The Power and Privilege of the Gospel

The Power and Privilege of the Gospel

Two weeks ago we shared a story from the South Bay of Los Angeles. The students in that area have become so passionate for the gospel that they now want to make initiative witnessing a normal activity at their schools. (Read about that here)

To do that, they’ve been laying plans to train the other Christian students on campus to share their faith with their friends and peers. They’ve been scheduling lunchtime and after school witnessing times where they can go out together on campus to start conversations about God.

Their hard work has produced fruit! Just this week at West High School in Torrance, Kent, one of the Christian club leaders, led a witnessing training event. Though it was separate from their normal club meeting, 18 students showed up. Their fellow students learned why they should share their faith, how they could start a conversation about God, and how to share the gospel clearly and succinctly.

Club leader Tommy gives biblical and practical training.

And as a result, 20 students joined Kent and Tommy later in the week for a lunchtime witnessing event! The two were overjoyed at the turnout.

 The Christian club gathers for a picture after sharing Christ at lunch.

Even more so, they were grateful at how God touched the lives of students on campus. At the end of lunch, the students had gathered to talk about how their conversations went when two girls came giddily bounding into the room! They had been able to talk with a girl on campus about Jesus and to pray with her. As they prayed, the girl started to cry. She thanked them for talking with her and opened up to them about the depression she’d been dealing with for quite some time. She was so blessed that two girls who didn’t even know her would take the time to talk and pray with her. She even asked if she could start coming to the Christian club with them. Praise God!

Just in that short 30 minute lunch period, a young girl’s life was touched by the love of Jesus. It really showed the students of the Christian club the power of the gospel and the privilege it is to be ambassadors of God.

Please continue to pray for West High School as these awesome leaders continue to lead a gospel movement on their campus. They’re so excited to continue having more conversations about Jesus with their peers on campus!