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Jan 14, 2016

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Ministering alongside the urban poor may be incredibly rewarding, but it certainly isn’t easy. If you or anyone you know has ever explored a call to urban ministry, you have probably wondered how to best prepare for and meet its unique challenges, and how to find joy on the other side of them. In this practical guide, T. Aaron Smith invites 100 fellow incarnational leaders to join him in answering those questions.

Jul 8, 2015

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JOURNEY OF HOPE| Servant Partners Worldwide Update
June 2015
Pomona is one of the largest cities in Los Angeles County, with an ethnically and economically diverse population.  Eighteen percent of the population lives in poverty, with even higher rates among the city's children.  Unemployment and underemployment is widespread, especially amongst people with limited English proficiency and low levels of educational achievement.  As one of the first Servant Partners sites, many of our staff and interns have spent significant time in Pomona, and it is also the home of our administrative office.
Planting Seeds
As I was getting out of my truck one day this week, a young man called out to me from across the street.  He waved and he and another young man started to come over to me.  From the way he spoke to me it was clear that he expected me to recognize him but I didn't.  As he and the other young man spoke I put the pieces together that they were kids who had grown up across the street and who had participated in the kids club we and our neighbors hosted for a couple years before we ourselves had kids.  It was a rough group.  There were usually only four of them but it took all four adults to maintain some semblance of order.
Meet Alison!
 
Meet Alison, a former Servant Partners intern-turned-office staff...(read more)

After Alison graduated from college, she spent two years in the Servant Partners Internship in Lincoln Heights, and even after the internship finished decided to remain in the neighborhood to be a part of the church and ministry there.  She says, "I love Servant Partners as an organization.  When I heard about the job opening in the office, I was excited to keep working with an organization I support."
GUTS
Our annual training for new staff is called the "Global Urban Training School," or "GUTS" for short.  After a week and a half here in the Los Angeles area, our new staff go to Manila, Philippines for five more weeks of living in a "majority world" urban slum community, learning more about global poverty, and how to respond to it in the Name of Jesus.  This year's GUTS training started on Saturday, June 13 with twelve new staff.  After the training they will continue on in ministry at their various sites.  In this year's class we have attendees from several of our sites in the US, including Los Angeles, San Jose, San Antonio, and Philadelphia.  We also have an attendee who will continue on at our site in Manila, and another who plans to join the new team we are forming for South Asia. 
Please pray for these twelve new workers for the harvest!
Pray that the trainers will have insight and love from God to best equip and prepare these new ambassadors of God's Kingdom.  
Praise God for the transformation happening in Pomona!

In His Hope,

Derek & Lisa Engdahl
General Directors
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For the Sake of Communion
Be subversive for the sake of communion. The theater of the Spirit is peopled with thrilling images of love and mercy in a community centered around a table from which no one is excluded. The images of a subversive Eucharistic table set the political and social agenda for our being in the world.
~Rev. Alan Jones, Episcopal Priest 
Urbana
Join us and thousands of others at the Urbana Student Missions Conference, December 27-31, 2015, for five days filled with inspiration, insight, and opportunities to help you know what story your life could tell. Take the next steps in finding your place in God's global mission. Register by June 30 for the best rate.
Servant Partners | office@servantpartners.org
P.O. Box 3144
Pomona, CA 91769
May 28, 2015

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JOURNEY OF HOPE| Servant Partners Worldwide Update
May 2015
East Side San Antonio has experienced decades of decline, leaving it economically depressed. Many people in the neighborhood do not attend church and have lost hope that God cares about them in the midst of a culture of poverty and despair. Our team in San Antonio seeks to live out the love and hope of Christ as they build relationships and plant seeds for a neighborhood church.
Feeding Bodies and Souls
For Mary and Martin, who are believers in the neighborhood, these communal dinners have been encouraging to them. They are part of our weekly Bible Study, and had been feeling discouraged that so few neighbors attend on a regular basis.  When we first explained to them what we were planning to do, they seemed a little hesitant, but once we had the Easter dinner and they saw how many neighbors came and seemed interested in hearing about new life in Jesus, they were really encouraged and excited. Now they look forward to coming every week to the communal dinner, and have taken an active role in leading and planning the spiritual content of the dinners.
Learning from Our Moms
Sarah shares about a recent meeting of mothers and tutors from the After School Program. God is answering her prayers that the program would be a place of empowerment for adults and children...(read more) 

During the discussion, one mom raised her hand over and over, and told the group, "I'm sorry I keep raising my hand, but when I was in school I never felt brave enough to share my thoughts and opinions, but now I feel free to make them known and as often as possible!" This was a very encouraging meeting for us, because the moms were able to talk through an incident and we became learners as they helped us understand what their kids need.
Meet the Clohertys!
Mark, Jennie and daughter Kora are some of our newest missionaries, having arrived in San Antonio just this past February. Read their very short biography on our blog to learn more about their journey in joining Servant Partners...(read more)

Please keep Mark and Jennie in your prayers as they continue settling into life in San Antonio.  Pray for:
  • The Sunday gatherings to be a place of engaging neighbors and building relationships
  • Jennie's pregnancy to continue with good health
  • Deeper integration into Servant Partners through GUTS (our training for new staff) and our All Staff Gathering this summer
  • Wisdom and guidance for the San Antonio team as they continue getting to know each other and develop their team culture
Praise God for the transformation happening in San Antonio!

In His Hope,

Derek & Lisa Engdahl
General Directors
Quick Links
Faith
Sometimes I wondered if
I had any faith.
I sat down and thought about it.
And when I had had enough
of that I got up
and went on my way.
And that-the getting up
and going-was faith.
-Mary Jean Irion, poet and author
Justice Partners
Those caught in poverty suffer injustice 24 hours a day.  Help Servant Partners walk alongside the urban poor to change this reality.  Become a Justice Partner today.
Servant Partners | office@servantpartners.org
P.O. Box 3144
Pomona, CA 91769
Apr 27, 2015

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JOURNEY OF HOPE| Servant Partners Worldwide Update
April 2015
Philadelphia is sometimes called "The Forgotten City," sandwiched in between the power cities of New York and Washington, D.C. Years of decline in the manufacturing industry created significant problems of unemployment, making Philadelphia the poorest large city in the United States.
Meet the Andersons!
Dan and Denise Anderson are pioneering a new Servant Partners site in North Philadelphia, a neighborhood of rowhomes, where tall, skinny houses share walls with the buildings on either side. As Dan and Denise enjoy singing loudly together, their neighbors also get to share in the Andersons' musical tastes and talents. They love hosting people in their home, and would welcome you in, whether or not you sing along!
Springtime Growth
The Andersons explain how they made it through the long Philadelphia winter...(read more)

Our neighborhood essentially shuts down in the winter. The rest of the year, there are people hanging out on front porches, on the corners, washing cars, chasing kids. But from December-March the place shuts down. The only people out are on street corners, and they're only out to make a profit. But this week the neighborhood started waking up again. Daffodils and tulips starting popping out of flower beds, and people were out on the street.
Not Abandoned
Although people and institutions have fled North Philly, the Andersons and other people of God are there, reminders of God's constant love...(read more)

Our neighborhood has a history of abandonment. Last year, the local Catholic parish church, St. Bonaventure, was torn down after being condemned by the city (see photo above). It had been vacant since the 1990's. The flight of money, resources, and structures from our neighborhood started in the 1960's...
Praise God for the transformation happening in Philadelphia!

In His Hope,

Derek & Lisa Engdahl
General Directors
Quick Links
Work Without Love
I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, "Love one another as I have loved you." Ask yourself "How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?" Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.
-Mother Teresa
Servant Partners | office@servantpartners.org
P.O. Box 3144
Pomona, CA 91769
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Apr 9, 2015

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JOURNEY OF HOPE| Servant Partners Worldwide Update
March 2015
While Marseille, France is a major tourist destination, it is also home to some of the highest levels of poverty in the country.  The Servant Partners staff and interns in Marseille are reaching out to immigrants who often find themselves on the fringes of society with little hope of social or economic integration.
Lenten Laments
We cry out for a new wave of God's Spirit-though prayers like Psalm 85 for peace, faithfulness and justice to be poured out, poured out in a land that has turned away from God and seems to not realize Jesus' promises.  We need a new path among Europe's millions of urban poor.
Bringing Hope to Muslims
Rachel, a recent intern in Marseille, wrestled with the question, "What does the daughter of Korean middle-class immigrants to Seattle have to offer urban poor immigrant kids from North Africa in Marseille?" (read more)

During Rachel's internship in Marseille, "McDonald's outings" (yes, McDonald's is a very popular restaurant in France!) became a weekly tradition. She would pick up 16-year-old Ruyah from her family's apartment, and they would walk together to share a meal at McDonald's. Fearing awkward silences, Rachel always tried to come prepared with different questions and topics of conversation.
The Man in White
 In January a missions trip went from our Lincoln Heights site to our Vancouver site, recounted in the article "Dreams Coming True."  Over the next few months, we'll share more stories from that trip and the encouraging results seen by our Vancouver staff and interns.

She told us that she was a Muslim, and that a man all in white had been appearing to her in dreams and visions throughout her life. Once he appeared telling her to name her first child "Dear One" in her language. And he appeared again when she left the room to fill out another name on the birth certificate, only to find the name "Dear One" written on the windows, walls and tables. Even her mother saw the writing. We asked her if she had ever asked the Man in White what his name was, but she had not.
Praise God for the hope He brings to Marseille and Vancouver!

In His Hope,

Derek & Lisa Engdahl
General Directors
Quick Links
Nahum 1:7
The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.
International Internship Deadline
Applications for the SP International Internship are due April 20, 2015.  Want some personal glimpses into the internship?  Check out biographies of some current interns on our blog.
Servant Partners | office@servantpartners.org
P.O. Box 3144
Pomona, CA 91769

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