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Service Site Highlight: The City School

Service Site Highlight: The City School

Every year, Mission Year partners with local organizations, supporting the work they do in the neighborhoods where we work. This summer we’ll be highlighting them, their work, and their needs on our blog. Interested in learning more about our service partners? Check them out here.    1. How long has The City School been in Philadelphia and whom do you predominantly serve? The City School has a rich cultural heritage, drawing from three excellent Christian schools. Our elementary campus was founded […]

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Biblical Justice vs. Human Justice

Biblical Justice vs. Human Justice

I’m afraid we don’t understand what justice is. I think many of us get our idea of justice from Hollywood action movies (getting even with our enemy) or episodes of Law and Order (giving the bad guy what they deserve). This human understanding of justice, heavily influenced by American culture, is a very different picture of justice than we see in scripture. I am realizing human justice is a far cry from biblical justice. Too often people think they are […]

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Service Site Highlight: Generation One

Service Site Highlight: Generation One

  Every year, Mission Year partners with local organizations, supporting the work they do in the neighborhoods where we work. This summer we’ll be highlighting them, their work, and their needs on our blog. Interested in learning more about our service partners? Check them out here.    1. How long has Generation One been in Houston and whom do you predominantly serve? Generation One has been in Houston for seven years. We primarily serve families in the Third Ward area. Most of our […]

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This is Church

This is Church

Mission Year is wrapping up with only a few weeks left to go. School has ended and summer camps will be starting soon. A big part of my time here in Philly has been my church. I absolutely love it and how it’s taught me about vulnerability, unity, diversity, passion, and hope. It’s beautiful. Recently, I’ve been finding church outside of the walls of a building though, recognizing that the body of Christ is, and should be, alive outside of […]

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Service Site Highlight: The Atlanta Community ToolBank

Service Site Highlight: The Atlanta Community ToolBank

    Every year, Mission Year partners with local organizations, supporting the work they do in the neighborhoods where we work. This summer we’ll be highlighting them on our blog. Interested in learning more about our service partners? Check them out here.    1. How long has The Atlanta Community ToolBank been in Atlanta and whom do you predominantly serve? The Atlanta Community ToolBank was founded in 1991 and is currently the largest tool-lending resource in the US dedicated to serving […]

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A Spectator

A Spectator

I recently read Packing Light a fantastic book about adventure by Allison Vesterfelt . I love how books about crazy adventures can be so applicable to every day life. It’s as if those small adventures fit a microcosm of one life full of lessons to be learned and passed on to others. At the end of this book, the author wrote something that I thought was very interesting. She said that in life we should be in a constant state […]

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Resolve

Resolve

“My Mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.” –Maya Angelou On West Cayuga Street between 5th and Lawrence there are eighteen houses. Eighteen houses holding people who are tattooed, old, young, generous, African American, Dominican, Puerto Rican, white, hospitable, poor, introverts, rich, wise, alone, hardworking, inspiring, community organizers, gardeners, cooks, and my friends. One of those houses holds […]

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Fear of Complacency

Fear of Complacency

After I said goodbye to my parents – who were visiting for Come and See weekend – I took the green line back home. I sat in the back of the car, near this weird corner room in the back of the train people like to stand in. That day, I noticed there was a guy there, clearly a bit inebriated, drinking alcohol, and zoning out every so often. I didn’t think much of it, because he seemed fairly safe sitting […]

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Nails to be Hammered

Nails to be Hammered

I live in the St. John’s team house in Third Ward, Houston and serve at the Star of Hope Women and Family Shelter. When I first decided to come to Mission Year, I was ready to get my hands dirty with some good ol’ fashion good deeds. It was all about the things I would DO and the people I would HELP. I couldn’t wait to get to my service site and begin work, or get out in the neighborhood […]

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Share My Table

Share My Table

  We’re excited to announce the release of a project recorded by our 2013-14 Houston Arts teams! “Share My Table” is a 5-track recording of spoken word and original songs composed throughout this year. The collective behind this project set out to creatively share experiences of living, serving, seeking justice, and building beloved community in several of Houston’s low-income neighborhoods. Centering on the values of simplicity, community, justice, and solidarity, this album was recorded and produced by Houston City Director, […]

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The Houston I Know

The Houston I Know

Sitting on our front lawn on a weekend afternoon tends to be the perfect spot to see what’s going on in our neighborhood. Next door to our left, family members are in and out throughout the day in a steady stream. If we’re outside while the kids are outside, we inevitably end up watching them as they run around our yard and in and out of our house. If I’m lucky, someone from next door will fix me up a […]

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Lots and Gardens

Lots and Gardens

Each year, Mission Year asks teams to plan or participate in a project that will benefit an immediate need in their neighborhood. One weekend this month I got to be part of a justice project in our Pittsburg, Atlanta neighborhood. Overgrown bushes, tree stumps, weeds and litter block a lot of our streets. What’s sad about it all is that most of the reason our sidewalks and streets are messy and not useable is because of bushes and plants being […]

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From One Beggar to Another

From One Beggar to Another

I met Sharon when she came up to my table at Panera. I was downtown trying to get some work done and she walked up to my table and asked what I was doing. I had papers scattered all across the table with scribbling all over them, a universal sign for “leave me alone I’m busy!” I told her I was working and she took my response as an invitation to sit down across from me in my booth. She […]

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God has been here

God has been here

East Garfield Park, Chicago team member, Amy Cardenas, shares what she’s learned in her west-side neighborhood.  

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Shalom

Shalom

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. – Maya Angelou The innate desire to feel safe, cared for, valued, and seen is felt by us all. It is what it means to be human. This desire, I believe, is the very thing that connects us to the Divine and speaks to the reality that God dwells within each of us. I love the word “Shalom” because it encompasses this idea of home. Shalom […]

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That is Me

That is Me

“That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.” – Ann Voscamp Recently, I’ve been heavy with the weight of the hurt and pain I see around me. In the people I know and share life with. In the neighborhood and city I’ve come to love. In my […]

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Finding A New Picture of God

Finding A New Picture of God

  When I was growing up, I somehow developed in my own mind an understanding of God in which He was a large being, extremely tall, with His face hidden in the clouds.  I viewed myself as being smaller than an ant at God’s feet. Because of my understanding of God and how I thought He worked, I became extremely fearful, anxious, and even struggled with depression during my college years. However, through family, friends, mentors, service, and scripture reading, God began […]

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A Psalm for the Neighborhood: A Meditation on Psalm 29

A Psalm for the Neighborhood: A Meditation on Psalm 29

Give the Lord some credit, for crying out loud. Roll your eyes less, and look for some matching socks once in awhile, unless you can’t. Then, he doesn’t care.   The voice of the Lord is across the street yelling into the kitchen about spaghetti, asking about basil. The voice of the Lord is unruffled; The voice of the Lord is like apple butter on biscuits. The voice of the Lord insists on vacuuming the carpet; And on opening up […]

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Let the Children Come to Me

Let the Children Come to Me

If you’ve ever spent extended time with children, you will likely agree that children’s laughter is one of the world’s sweetest gifts. There’s something strange that overcomes me when it comes to children. I feel tenderness in a way that nothing else makes me feel. I also feel rage at times in a way that nothing else makes me feel! In Chicago, June is a pretty critical month for our youth. It’s the month school lets out and summer begins. […]

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Art & Expression

Art & Expression

I am now entering the final trimester of Mission Year – the past months have flown by incredibly fast and I cannot believe that I will be leaving Philadelphia soon! In the next few months, I hope to continue my commitment to live intentionally and build meaningful relationships with those in my home, neighborhood, church, service site, and community. In June, we’ll begin our justice project - during which our team will address an area of injustice that we have identified within our […]

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