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About Me

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The Hub exists to develop young adults into urban leaders through incarnational training. We understand that the continued growth of urban areas and the urbanization of rural and suburban areas require an empirical and experiential method of training up individuals who can help bring health and wholeness to the urban areas typically resourced for a myriad of reasons. We recognize that Biblical community is a process that we open ourselves to sharing our lives and having common commitments. We are committing ourselves to transparent relationships, pursuing consistent practice of honest and loving communication and confrontation. Knowing that major differences exist based on ethnicity, culture and gender, we pledge ourselves to a climate which facilitates reconciliation. In light of our calling, we believe that we are to be stretched beyond our comfort zone and be bold for the sake of the Kingdom. As leaders we seek to embody integrity, discipline, and the courage to do what’s right in the midst of conflict, spiritual warfare and unjust systems. We intentionally open ourselves up to the influence of more mature leaders, wanting to be faithful, available, and teachable.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hooray for CCDA!

For the first time in Hub history we were able to fly our four bright Hubbers to be a part of the 2011 Christian Community Development Association Conference in Indianapolis, IN. CCDA’s mission is to inspire, train and connect Christians who seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities. Here are some testimonies of what our Hub interns learned and are bringing back to the city.

Sam Kelly

At CCDA, Dr. Wayne Gordon made the point that if we expect to make a diffe-rence in our community we need to be there for 15 years. I'm not sure L.J. will let me stay at the Hub that long, but this lesson is still meaningful. It gives us permission not to cling to the idea that if we don't see results today, then there are no results at all. It's also a challenge: am I going to be willing to commit to a community for fifteen years at some time in my future? The Hub is certainly helping me to work these questions out.

Vicencia Abundis

One of the issues that was brought to my attention was the exposure to the darkness that exists in our communities when it comes to human trafficking. I just couldn’t believe my ignorance! This is happening in my own community and I have been oblivious to it. I’m now really interested in learning about what is being done in my city to prevent these horrific actions from affecting more innocent lives and about how to bring restoration. With my psychology background, I’d like to see if God may call me to bring therapy or counseling to the victims and bring hope and life back to them. It’s my prayer that God may use me as an instrument of hope and as an advocate to the churches and neighborhoods so that we can come together and fight this evil.

Emerald Gonzalez

One of the main things they talked about at CCDA is education and how the system is failing our children. God has given me a heart for middle schools and I felt a slight change toward elementary kids. In that I felt a call to change my major to education teaching instead of middle school. With this new change I would be able to do a lot more for the Kingdom and God’s children, through it will take me a bit longer to finish my credential and degree. I know this is where God has called me.

Molly Schengel

CCDA really helped to solidify my passion for education in our urban neighborhoods. Our schools are not the only ones failing our students. Broken families and broken communities leave these children lost, defenseless and hungry for attention and belonging. As a community and as followers of Christ, we can no longer stand idle. Through the workshops I attended I was encouraged to creatively incorporate the need for education assistance and while sharing and showing them Christ's love. As an after school program director I am given the unique opportunity to build personal relationships with our students which allows me to become invested in their lives both inside and outside of the classroom. CCDA taught me that with a holistic approach towards my after school kids, I can ensure that they are being listened to and encouraged both in their schoolwork and in their character. Our students not only need better grades and reading levels, but they need dedicated individuals who will tangibly show them Christ’s love. Even the smallest encouragement and math test victories help these kids realize the God-given greatness that is in each one of them.

L.J. Mariano

It was such an encouragement for me to be amongst great leaders who continue to fight the good fight and emerging leaders who are passionate about living out the gospel. I was challenged at one of my CCDA workshops of the utter importance of relationship between the church, para-church ministries, and community. The main message was to begin the dialogue of holistic transformation by asking the right questions before coming up with answers. Ministry is not about how well your program runs or the amount of attendees you bring in but the investment of relationships. My role as a youth pastor and community member gives me the unique opportunity to be a bridge between two and am excited for how God will use my influence.

This would all have not been done if weren’t for all your prayers and financial support leading up to this conference. Thank you for allowing us to come back home inspired, connected and well equipped to seek first the Kingdom of God in our city.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Newsletter 2011

When we launched our after-school program for the 2011 fall semester we had the strongest desire to holistically engage our students at the Courtyard Apartments, who we now call “Courtyard Champions”. Sure, we want to help them with math, catch them up on reading levels but more importantly we want to create a culture where Christ is at the center.

Before each program session we sit our students down with a snack and Bible story. No matter what story we tell, whether it’s about the “Ten Commandments” or “Peter Walking on Water”, our goal is to show our kids the realness of who Jesus can be in our lives. We want to share the gospel but we also want to create a culture where our kids can implement it. That is why we introduced our “Hug or Handshake Rule”. The rule is that each student has to express a form of gratitude to our tutors who helped them with their homework. What we teach may not retain all the time but if we can at least show them how to love like Christ, then maybe they can catch a glimpse of the Kingdom.

We’ve been hugging and handshaking every week since we started but I think this next story can speak for itself.
When talking about the evidence of the Holy Spirit at work I recall a story about one of our rougher elementary aged boys. He’s that one kid who’ll slap your hand harder than needed when giving a “high five”.
It happened at our first family movie night in the chaos of directing traffic, setting up a bed sheet, and movie projector. That rough “high fiver” I mentioned earlier walked toward me with the biggest smile, looked up and gave me the most heart-melting handshake. We really never know what God is up to when he is transforming a culture.

“...maybe he’s also in the form of a let you know he’s right in front of you.”

Have you ever looked to the sky and asked, “God, are you really out there!?” Why is it that every time something doesn’t go our way, we immediately point the finger at God and tell him, He’s messing up. Does God see how I see things or listen to what I hear everyday?

Maybe God is in the heavens looking down on us or maybe he’s in China comforting believers because of the oppression they face from their own country. But maybe he’s also in the form of a kindergartener that just wants to shake your hand to let you know he’s right in front of you.