Urban Project - Los Angeles

  • Urban Project- Los Angeles: Let every facet of your life reflect christ

    Section: Urban Project

    Today marks the final day of Urban Project-Los Angeles. Three weeks ago, when I first arrived at in LA, I never thought that it would be so hard to leave, but today as we begin to say goodbye and each depart to our various cites I realized how much this place has impacted me. Community is a beautiful thing. We were never meant to live in isolation from each other. Learning, growing, crying, serving, loving each other and just living life alongside each other has been an amazing picture of how the body of Christ should be.  

    As I depart, a big piece of my heart is still in LA. This experience changed me. I gained a new perspective and I fell in love with a community. But as I leave, I know that this is only the beginning. The need for justice extends into every area of the world. What we have experienced and learned at UP-LA was amazing and life changing, but if we were to stop here, that would be a great waist. God is calling us to live out the Gospel wherever we are placed. He has given us so much more than what we deserve and our lives should be a thank you response to what He has done for us. As Flo, one of our community mission site leaders said, “Let every facet of your life reflect Christ.”

    Thank you for your continued support and prayers and thank you for investing in what God is doing here in LA. As we take all that we have learned and go back to our separate homes, campuses, and communities, we invite you to join us in living out God’s call for reconciliation and bringing the gospel to all ends of the earth. 

    - Sarah - 

  • Urban Project- Los Angeles: Magnum Opus

    Section: Urban Project

    The last day of Urban Project - Los Angeles was a blur, but a fantastic one. We began with time to work on our Magnum Opus, or "great work".

    This piece of writing is meant to be a reflection on what we have learned over the project and where we go next. We can use it to articulate concrete ways that we can put into practice what God is calling us to do and be. A question I had was whether the Magnum Opus was the piece of work- the document itself- or the life we are to live afterwards. The conclusion we came to was both. The vision and passion God has given us at this time are great works, and the days we are blessed to live from here on out are also opportunities for great work of God through us.

    After a short afternoon at ministry sites and emotional goodbyes we all came together for the end-of-project banquet. A wonderful final dinner was cooked by Martha and the house was beautifully decorated by Dee, Liza and their team. The Talent Show was definitely a highlight; we had performances of rap, dance, poetry, singing, lip sync, and science lessons! 

    We finished the night with reflections from both students and staff. It was sweet to hear how God had moved in people's hearts and lives over the last 3 weeks! We had to the opportunity to pray for our strong leaders, Mike and Dee Slyvester, and their family, as they move on to another project! God is doing great work through them, no doubt.

    It has been a privilege to come to Los Angeles this month. My magnum opus is rather long, which is expected because of how much I have learned through this intense and encompassing schedule, and of course our because our God wants to reveal himself more to us every day. Leaving this house and the people I now call family will be hard. But, memories have been made, and I'm excited to build on these relationships as we go off into the world!

    Thank you for reading and God bless. 

    - Elisha - 

  • Urban Project - Los Angeles: Redistributions

    Section: Urban Project

    Tolerhate

    The injury is deep but the hate runs deeper.

    My life is not just downhill, no, it’s steeper. 

    You say you have tolerance and you’re willing to put up with what you don’t like.

    Don’t falsify this as compassion, this screams,  “I love you, SIKE.”

    “I’ll love the sinner but hate their sin,” they said.

    Did you know they constantly feel like they’d rather be dead?

    IGNORED and INVISIBLE, because they and their sin are indivisible.

    Shhh, do you hear that? S I L E N C E

    “It’s not OUR issue,” they plead

    NO, it’s a HUMAN issue, A NEED!

    This is a burden we all must carry, 

    Brother I know it’s all too scary.

    Could you begin to understand,

    That maybe it’s by God’s hand, 

    This is where they were supposed to land?

    Could you be the first to take a stand?

    Chalked up to a calling for single life.

    Lord, I was born with no intention for a wife.

    Just hand me the knife, I wasn’t made for this life

    Honestly, who really knows?

    We’re all just stepping on each other’s toes,

    Crying out our deepest woes,

    Trying to rise from all the lows.

    Were you aware, the way she wears her hair, makes you stare, and she says, “I DON’T CARE,” you’ve lengthened our longest tear, in a place you’d never dare?

    Yeah…all of this we bear. 

    HOMELESS, HATED, no longer HUMAN.

    HIT and HURT in the name of the Lord, due to an affliction never asked for.

    HERE, HINDERED, HOLDING my HEART which now HANGS HOPLESS.

    The cries are louder than ever, deep ties in in hate only God can sever. 

    Spelling out pain right on their sleeve, what would Jesus do, claim naïve

    IT ONLY TAKES ONE; just one to suffer and another to shine the light of the SON on the other. 

    At the end of the day, in the place that I lay, I remember IN CHRIST is my identity, so you can keep any other amenity.

    To the cross I’ve been humbly beckoned,

    Life without God ain’t how it ended.

    He said, “Sammie, love me and then together we will love the rest. This isn’t time to rest, for the best is at the end of this test.”

    Is the goal of this life to bring Christ to ALL?

    Or to cause a brother to stumble and FALL?

    Will YOU follow the Lord’s CALL?

    Or is this order too TALL?

    Love the Lord our God above all with your whole heart and soul,

    And love your neighbor as yourself no matter the toll. 

    God, you’re a good, good Father --- It’s who you are and I’m loved by you, it’s who I am. Your love is UNDENIABLE ---PERFECT--- Yet we cry out for answers for “perfect.” But God, You’re the answer, you’re perfect; and so is your will and your way, it’s perfect. 

    Forget me, myself, and I

    Because I’m not the Big Guy.

    Really, can I just say goodbye

    To whatever I think, for God doesn’t lie!

    So Jesus take the wheel,

    Because this is what’s real.

    This is our opportunity, grab a hand,

    LOVE IN UNITY!

    - Sammie - 

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