15 Days of Service Success!

We had an amazing 15 days of serving in the community from beautifying the local school to detailing police cars, 15 Days of Service provided outreach opportunities for everyone. Visiting local orphans to preparing “survival” kits for stressed-out teachers,sorting clothing at the Salvation Army to the interactive experience of serving meals to military families. CRB made a huge IMPACT by showing the love of Christ to people in our community and being an example of what it means to have an active faith.

We had 34 CRB leaders serving at 22 organizations/partners in our community. There were 625 volunteers from CRB and we served for a total of 1800 hours! In monetary terms, this equates to $18,000 if we paid the volunteers at $10 an hour. We spent $12,000 on the projects, for a total of $30,000 of donated time and resources!

You can view some for the photos for all the projects at: http://buff.ly/15u21KK. And you can see the 15 Days of Service highlight video and Abraxas thank you video on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchatrb.

http://chognews.org/2013/10/07/california-church-completes-15-days-of-service/.

Anti-Human Trafficking

humantrafficking

CRB is taking on the cause of fighting Human Trafficking in our community. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It involves controlling a person through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victim for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both.

Last Sunday the newly formed Human Trafficking Ministry held an Awareness Forum to help educate and raise awareness of what human trafficking is and how it is affecting our community. District Deputy Attorney Wendy Patrick from the Sex Crimes and Stalking Division spoke about Human Trafficking in Our Backyard. She discussed how traffickers recruit at our middle school and high school campuses for the purposes of sexually exploiting them. f
San Diego has been identified by the FBI as the 8th largest population of human trafficking crimes in the US, superseding Las Vegas and New York because it is a tourist location, has nice weather and is close to an international border. Most of the victims identified in San Diego are not from other countries but from within our own country’s borders, the majority are runaway youths from broken families the average age between 12 to 17 years of age. Unfortunately, there are not enough services available to help rescue and rehabilitate victims of this crime in San Diego.

To learn more about Human Trafficking and how you can help fight it alongside CRB, come to an awareness event. Email us at crb.humantrafficking@gmail.com to join the mailing list so that we can keep you informed of upcoming events and outreaches.

Nate Alcorn

Covering the Hands and Feet of Homeless

Shoe and glove donations proved to be a huge blessing for thousands of homeless in San Diego with over three thousand pairs of shoes and two thousand pairs gloves being collected! We surpassed our goal of shoes and feel so very blessed to share with others in need.  Thanks to all who donated and to the awesome CRB volunteers. Without the donations and the 15 to 20 volunteers per service, this would not have been possible.

On December 24th CRB’s Hands of Hope outreach ministry distributed the much-needed shoes and gloves to the homeless in downtown San Diego. The remainder of shoes and gloves were provided for the San Diego Rescue Mission, Community Interfaith and the Salvation Army.

Over the course of all the Christmas Services, 150 people took up Pastor Jeanette’s challenge to donate the shoes from their feet and to leave the church shoeless. How awesome was it to see the bare feet walking out of the church.

Thank you to all who donated shoes and took time this Christmas to help others.

 

Selfless Service

Saturday, December 8th CRB hosted its third Alabastar Jar Event. This outreach is meant to connect with women who are in safe homes and saved from the streets of San   Diego. Our evening was to serve dinner and provide a relaxing spa night to seven beautiful women (ages 17 and up) from Generate Hope home. These women are coming from the horrible and unthinkable world of sex trafficking.

I attended this outreach knowing it was going to be hard, but rewarding to help these women. However, to my surprise I left confused and unsure of what happened. These women came into the dinner with somber faces and looking a bit confused as to what the evening would entail. The dinner was served with the best china and women dressed in tux shirts looking professional. The servers hosted with class and made each woman there feel like a princess.

After dinner the women were led to the spa area. Each volunteer was assigned a person to tend to. My job was to assist the spa attendant who was hands on with our woman (I will give her the name Katie) handling the facial, hand and foot scrubs and massage. I was a bit nervous because Katie was young and in the home for less than one week. She had a black eye and was very reserved, showing no emotions. As the night progressed, Katie was able to relax, lower her guard and start to open with a smile on occasion.

Throughout the evening, Susan Johnson (Alabaster leader) discussed Gods love and shared stories from the Bible. She talked about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and how we are honored to be washing their feet. As the night came to a close, we showered the girls with gifts and I observed Katie go through her gift bags. To my surprise Katie was happy but not ecstatic over the gifts! When saying goodbye I got a hug from her but felt distance was there.

Going home I thought I would have a good cry and feel better but this did not happen because I did not feel that “warm and fuzzy” feeling you feel when you help to serve. I was confused and wondering if she enjoyed her time at the Alabaster Jar event. Were the seeds planted for her to understand that there is good in this world and beyond? The feeling was selfish on my part because I did not think an impact was made on her life. Hello…welcome to reality! One night of being pampered is not going to take away the years of abuse!!

After contemplating over this evening in my head over and over for three days, I realized that Katie blessed me and taught me an important lesson. Jesus was here on this earth doing so many good deeds and did he get blessed with “thank you”? NO he was rejected, persecuted and put to death on the cross. Why should I expect to get that warm and fuzzy feeling every time I serve? Is that just to make ME feel better about myself? For Jesus it is about genuinely caring for others, putting others first even to the point of suffering for them. It is about selfless service. The important lesson I have learned is now to serve selflessly and put all my service into the hands of our Father.

Katie has been treated horrible for so long how she can even fathom being excited over a night of pampering, bags of gifts and learn to trust others. This will take time for Katie and my prayers are with all these women with the hope that these seeds planted on that Saturday evening will eventually carry into trusting others and a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Bumper Crop Ministry Record Breaking Weekend

Bumper Crop had a record breaking weekend!! 211 bags this plus 24 cases of canned goods, and a few extra bags after the services on Sunday brings our total to 280 bags!!! Thank you so much to Morgan Cartusciello and the Geeky Guys for helping to collect, haul and lift all these bags! We have collected well over 1200 bags year-to-date!! Donations this month will be given to the Community Care Pantry on Thursday evening.

Respite Day – Fostering Hope Ministry

Fostering Hope event was a huge success on Saturday afternoon. A special day for Foster Parents to take some time and relax, visit and share experiences with other families. While the parents had their own lunch to attend at the Cove the children were excited to see The Little Mermaid production, eat lunch and make their wonderful art projects. Thank you to all the volunteers who have made this event so wonderful. Without your support this would not be possible. Please keep the children, foster parents, and biological parents in your prayers.

Thanks’GIVING’ Donations for Navy Families

Hope On the Homefront finished up the collections of clothing, toys, gift cards and small appliances to help support our local Navy families. This was the best collection to date and is a testament of the amazing congregation we have here at CRB. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event and the wonderful volunteers who spent many hours sorting items and packing the truck. All items will be distributed on base this Friday!

Sleepless in San Diego

Last week we took a mix of high school students and adults from our Hands of Hope homeless ministry and attended the Sleepless in San Diego Event.  The San Diego Rescue Mission put on the event in order to raise awareness of homelessness in San Diego.  We had the opportunity of hosting a booth informing people on ‘alternatives to giving money’.

One of our students, Dominick, shared with people about how we pack care kits and talk with homeless people.  Dominick is a senior at Poway High School.  He has a passion to help others and wants to gain more skills in college by studying International Development.   He spent all day at a swim meet and then spent 5 hours talking with people about homelessness. I was encouraged to see a young person who ‘gets it’; who has a desire to help others.  It is evident that he understands the gospel and the importance of putting our faith into action.  I can’t wait to see the impact Dominick will make in his lifetime!

Through the Eyes of a Child

Last night was Hands of Hope outreach event.  I asked my 15 year old exchange student from Germany if she would like to come downtown and feed the homeless with me. She was very excited and open to try a new adventure. Little did she know how it would pull at her heartstrings the way it did! Paulina has seen homeless in her hometown of Essen, Germany and also here in San Diego but has never paid much attention to the “person” on the street.  Here are a few words she said about her experience:

“Homeless is just a word, until you have a closer look, you don’t see the people until you look them in their eyes, you don’t know them until you talked to them and you don’t know how they feel, until they smiled at you so thankful and said, “thank you so much I will never forget you? God Bless you” They do that because you gave them a bag of socks, water and toothpaste. The youngest homeless person I saw today was three years old girl who took some water and a book.  That’s when you recognize how happy you are!”

Karen Cassedy
Community Outreach Coordinator

Hands of Hope: First Impressions

Hello all Blog Readers. My name is Nate Alcorn, and I was recently hired as the new Director of Missions & Community Outreach.

Monday night, I had the opportunity of joining the Hands of Hope Ministry downtown for their visit with the homeless. I felt at home. I don’t know how to explain it except that it always amazes me how ‘normal’ the people are. I say the word ‘normal’ because no matter how much I try to shake my misconceptions, I still have a thought in my head that says, “Something must be wrong with them for them to end up on the streets.” But when I interact with them, my misconceptions disappear, and I see that we are the same: people who God loves. We all have our misconceptions, and the only way to get over them is to confront them and find out the truth.

But each time, I am reminded they are people just like me except they have experienced countless misfortunes and have no support network to pick them back up. Some have made poor choices, and some continue to make poor choices, but many lack a support system to help them get through life.

It would be hard for me to end up homeless because of the strong support system I have.  Even if I experience a job loss, an addiction, or a mental disorder, I have a support system.  I know my wife, my parents, my brothers and sisters, and even my closest friends would do anything to help me out. I have learned that many homeless people are completely on their own, so they end up on the streets. There many other factors that contribute to homelessness, but I have found that lack of support is a major influence.

That being said, there is no answer or quick fix to helping end homelessness, but it does not mean we stop helping. Even if someone chooses to remain on the streets, which according to the 2012 Regional Task Force on the Homeless in SD report is only 7% of the homeless population in SD County (see page 22 of the report), I believe we should remain committed to building relationships them.

What can we do?

Pray. Yes, we always pray. Feed and clothe. Yes, because it is an aid to meet their most basic human needs and it brings dignity. Listen to and encourage them. Yes, so that they know we genuinely care for them. And we can guide them to rehabilitation programs that will assist and support them.

What beliefs do you hold about the homeless people you encounter? Ask God to reveal His truth about our homeless neighbors and to show you how He would have you go out and show His love.