RTW Connection: Josiah Project (Team 12) Graduate
Current ministry: Full-time volunteer leader, Central City Community Outreach
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Q: What are you currently doing in student ministry?
A: I’m one of three leaders of the S.T.A.N.D. (Striving Towards a New Destiny) after-school program at Central City Community Outreach, based in skid row, Los Angeles. I am helping to lead the youth (sixth grade through high school) through tutoring, homework help, individualized lesson plans, group games and activities, Bible teaching times and group discussions, field trips to sports games, etc.
Q: What is the most exciting thing God is doing in your life & ministry right now?
A: Several boys who are affiliated with a gang in South LA have been coming to our program on Tuesday nights, and although they are rough around the edges, some of them have shown more interest in God than our regular kids. Will, who is the ringleader, has been excited to participate in most of our activities, and I am excited to see what God does in his life!
Q: What challenges do you face in your ministry right now?
A: Right now, Central City Community Outreach is going through a lot of transition. Two months ago, we lost our head Youth Director, and two weeks ago, we lost our Program Director, and we are going through much financial difficulty. Because of losing some staff, it has been difficult for the kids to feel that we are there for them, so some have started coming less regularly, or not at all.
Q: Do you have any recent stories of God transforming a young person's life in a radical way?
A: One of our youth has recently shown interest in the things of God—he still clings to his lifestyle of partying and keeping up with as many girls as possible, but has also shown a desire to change his lifestyle to follow Jesus. We are praying that God will show him the incomparable greatness of Jesus to all others in life.
Q: What specific training from your time at Rock the World are you applying to your current ministry?
A: Rock the World gave me a solid basis in Christian community and ministry to the poor, such that I have committed my life to serve Jesus in the margins. Only recently, when I started working here at the after-school program in skid row, did I realize that His plan included youth as well, another gift from my time with RTW