New York City
The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World, Gotham, Empire City, and The Melting Pot are some of the nicknames given to New York City. NYC is a myriad of different things to its many inhabitants, visitors and those who have only dreamed of New York. More songs have been written about NYC that any other city, with various song writers proclaiming their love, frustration, excitement and commitment to this remarkable city. If any city could be considered a living organism, it’s New York. Just walking the streets of NYC can be an invigorating experience that can also overwhelm with countless new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. It’s a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives and for some, it’s a place they could never imagine leaving.
New York City is often considered the financial, cultural, music and fashion capitol of the world. It is a city filled with glitz and glamour. It has the highest rents and real estate prices in the country. Many of the worlds’ wealthiest people live or own property in NYC. These things only make the contrast that much greater as some of the most deprived in our country are also claiming New York City as their home. It is impossible to overlook the thousands of homeless men, women and children that are living on those same streets where just above residents are paying anywhere from $2,000-$15,000 in rent per month. One cannot fail to notice the thousands of immigrants attempting to make it on nothing more than minimum wage jobs in restaurants where patrons are spending anywhere from $20-$200 for a meal.
The glimmers of light are all the churches, ministries, social services and justice organizations that are working along side of and on behalf of those who are considered the poor and powerless. They are hard working, passionate people who labor daily to create change in the lives of people and change in oppressive systems. They are people who are living out God’s call to be his hands and feet in practical ways and they are willing to let us help!
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR TRIP
Our serving sites in New York give us a wide range of opportunities: food banks, breakfast soup kitchens, after school programs, and during the summer season we serve in community gardens. We also have long standing partnerships with various churches around the city, and we help them host community events and parties. Many of our serving sites create easy spaces for students to engage with people experiencing homelessness and addiction. Many of our sites are gospel-centered, and the staff prioritize sharing the gospel with the community members who attend their programs/services. Our students have had opportunities to share devotionals or share their testimonies at some of these sites. Overall, we have a good balance of both relational sites and work sites in 4 out of 5 NYC boroughs.
During your trip, we will be using the subway to travel to, from, and between serving sites & meals. For trips longer than 2 nights, there will be an automatic $33/person charge added to your trip when you register.
Meet the Directors
CJ is from Brooklyn and is an NYC lifer. He enjoys playing and watching basketball, lifting heavy things at the gym, reading books of all types, writing a few poems from time to time and cooking. He graduated from Western Seminary in 2014 with an MA in Biblical and Theological Studies. He is passionate about helping people and seeing the gospel change lives, when the two intersect, he's living the dream. As City Director for CSM he is looking forward to seeing the love of Christ spread throughout a city that desperately needs it.
Joelle is a Minnesota native and majored in Advocacy Communications and International Studies in college. As someone who is experienced with international missions, hosting with CSM in college opened her eyes to the need for gospel restoration domestically. Her passion for Biblical justice and seeing the inner city transformed by the gospel has cultivated a desire to work for CSM full time. Her hope is that individuals would see Jesus' command to "love as I have loved you", and live that out with grace and truth towards others. Joelle's international experience in the Middle East and North Africa has also given her a love for culture, and she enjoys being able to see the diversity of cultures present in New York City. She is excited to start her journey with CSM as the Associate Director in New York City!