I am returning to the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia with a team of eight Cedarville University students in just over two weeks. This trip will be my third visit and the second year serving as the student leader.
Urban Hope is very much a training center. They equip teams like ours almost every week to help in various aspects of urban ministry. In the six days that we are in Philly, we will minister to homeless, drug dealers, children, teens, and young adults. This service will take place through a variety of activities including street evangelism, after-school programs, youth programs, etc.
My favorite aspect of this ministry is the method in which they work. Jason is the only full-time staff member who receives financial support through CE National. The rest of the team is tentmaker missionaries employed as educators and other roles in the community. All of the staff live within ten blocks of the church campus, creating an incredible sense of community. A typical church staff member has the same kids in their public elementary school classroom, church Sunday school class, and as a next door neighbor. They have thoroughly immersed themselves in their field, which is a concept somewhat rare in an American Christian culture arguably dominated by middle-class white suburbia. The ministry began as only a children’s program, and God has worked through children’s hearts over the years to reach their families for the Gospel as well.
I ask you to bathe our team in prayer as we embark on this journey. We are expecting God to do great things in our lives as well as possibly use us to shine the light of Christ to the people of Philly.