Home

Wikidepia says that Homelessness is the condition of people without a regular dwelling. It also says that homeless people are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.”

The dictionary says that Home is the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Homeless means you are without a home. Yet, home is so much more than just a structural building or a place to sleep.

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“Home is where the Heart is.”

“A house is made of walls and beams. A home is made of love and dreams.”

“Where we love is where our home is.”

Our loved ones are found in the places we call home and the places that make us feel at home.Those encountered on the streets are frequently without family or loved ones. There is an emptiness that goes beyond lack of having a roof over head and warm bed. Often times, there are two homes that homeless are without: the physical home and the spiritual and emotional home that loved ones provide. The suffering of being homeless cannot just by alleviated by providing food and shelter. There is something missing that is much harder to be without.

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Divine Providence

I live completely off of Divine Providence; my mission is possible only through the generosity of others. I have given my year and availability, and have to trust that God will take care of the rest.

“Your heavenly Father knows what you need. Seek first his kingdom and all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:31-33).

Looking at Sunday’s Gospel, the message is pretty similar. Jesus doesn’t say pack a bunch of stuff and bring everything you could ever possibly need. He’s pretty clear, pack lightly because He is going to provide.

This whole divine providence thing has really caused me to depend on God in a much greater way than ever before. I’ve had to surrender myself completely to him. Everything including where this 6,000 dollars in going to come from.

Because I can’t do it alone. Because my support comes from Him.

Part of faith is relying on and depending on Him. It helps me to remember that the Lord is bigger, greater, and better than me.  He loves me greatly and is leading me down this road for a reason. He called me to this. He is in control. He is going to make this happen. I can rely on God completely. The Lord knows what I need, and he will meet those needs, on his time table, of course.

In Gratitude,

Emily

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I Need Your Help

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am writing you today because I am going to serve the poor and forgotten of Denver. I am giving a year of my life to participate in CHRIST IN THE CITY’s service program. I will be serving both Christ and The Church through CHRIST IN THE CITY. I believe in the mission, and I have seen the impact it has made on former missionaries. Ultimately, I want that for myself. To cover my costs for the year, I need to fundraise $6,000 by August 17th, 2015. A I need God’s grace through people willing to support me in order to make this happen. Any donation can be given in one payment or spread out monthly. Donations are tax deductible. For example, a $200 donation can be given in a one-time donation or spread out $20 a month over 10 months.

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As a young adult -I can attest that the war for my soul in today’s society is brutally real. I also know in taking on this mission year, I am enlisting for battle to fight for the souls of my fellow brothers and sisters in a unique way on the streets of Denver. In the fall, along with other young adults, I will be trained and then sent out onto the streets to share Christ’s love with the poor while receiving spiritual, intellectual and charitable formation.

In this experience (like many missionaries before me) I will have the opportunity to be further trained in my faith, develop lasting friendships, possibly change the lives of people struggling with homelessness and receive transformative ongoing formation. I will be better prepared to fight for something I truly believe in. This will continue for years to come. Please consider partnering with me in order that I may embark on this mission.

DONATE online or Via Check – Made out to “Christ in the City”, a 501c3 Tax Deductible NonProfit (please list Emily and total amount being donated and indicate whether it’s a one time or monthly recurring donation.)

Mail checks to: Christ in the City 605 W. 6th Ave. Denver, CO 80204 (with name Emily in memo field) or donate at https://christinthecity.webconnex.com/CIC

Enter Emily as “who invited you to donate”

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About Me

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Hi, I’m Emily

 I just graduated from college where I majored in Biology where I spent most of the time avoiding all the things my major is about labs, science, and microscopes. 

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I am going to be a missionary for Christ in the City. After 22 years in Texas, in August I am moving to Denver.

But this journey is not all about me. It’s about my Jesus and the adventure he is taking me on.

I love Jesus, laughing a lot, taking pictures, the outdoors, marveling about the world God created, sunny days, Fleetwood Mac, Anthropologie, bear hugs, seeing the bright side, open sun roofs, chocolate chip cookies, good books, heart to hearts, trying new foods, and the ocean.

I started this blog to tell my story of becoming a missionary and my missionary work. Although, I have found myself wanting to write about randoms thing from my life.

I’m extroverted with a big empathetic heart. You’ll find me at daily mass shocking the old ladies about young people in daily mass or at the post office mailing letters because I love writing letters or being a child with the special needs kids I work with.

My truest identity is this: I’m a daughter of God.  I am a Catholic. I am striving. I am loved.

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My Experiences with Christ in the City

I guess before I tell you how I got to Christ in the City. I have to tell you how I came back to Catholicism.

I am a cradle Catholic. My faith journey really began in high school with Stubenville, Lifeteen, and Covecrest. Side note, if you are in high school these are three things you definitely want to experience. I wish I was 15 so I could go again.

I went to college and I wasn’t  really practicing my faith and was living for the world.The summer before my Junior year of college I was searching. My heart longed to know what it meant to be truly happy, the lasting kind. I also wanted to know what authentic womanhood looked like. I read every book under the sun on these topics from Ghandi to Delai Lami. I decided to return to my roots and started watching the girl’s sessions for Stubenville Conferences. I could feel in my heart calling me back to Church. So, I went to confession for the first time in years. I started going to daily mass and before I knew it I was learning more than ever about my faith and falling in love with it. My old ways became apart of the past. I had come Home to God and my faith.

So with my recent reversion to my faith I became open to a lot more things and was looking for adventure.

Then one day my best friend texted me this.

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Colorado sounded fun so I googled the organization, CiC, that we would we going to. I was inspired and amazed. I had not run across program as fully centered on the sacraments and the Catholic faith as CiC. I wanted to experience it.

I went with ten others from my college on a Alternative Spring Break Trip. Beautiful things happen when you drive across the country to serve others. It was kind of like getting my feet wet. For five days, I got a taste of what it would be to be missionary. Even though I was there a short amount of time I was formed. I went a few street walks. I learned about what it meant to be a missionary,  what it meant to served, and how service could be a prayer. I got to experience living with a huge group of people, many of whom I would not have chosen to live with. Overall, I liked it and it left me wanting to experience more.

So,  I went back in the summer for two weeks for Summer of Service. Those were the best two weeks of my life, but they were also intensive. Things like waking up for mass at 6 in the morning, hand washing dishes for thirty people, were my first taste of community life.There was even more formation and more talks. I sat in on the classes that the year long missionaries were taking. I even made a very close friend on the street who Christ in the City maintained a relationship with even after I left for the summer. I loved my summer community and I loved getting to live with people who were also trying to live out Catholicism.  When I got home, I felt complete culture shock. Suddenly, my life didn’t feel like real life anymore. My heart longed to go back.

God provided and I returned to Christ in the City once again for a second Alternative Spring Break Trip during my Senior year of college. This time I would be helping and doing a lot behind the scenes things but also participating in the Alternative Spring Break Trip. I began to see the importance of Alternative Spring Break trips this time. Spring breakers were only there for a week yet their experiences were profound.  It was enlighting to see the impact the experience had on those who came on alternative spring break trips. The missionaries provided a powerful witness. They gave everything to serve the Lord and that spoke volumes. People come from all over the country to spend a week at CiC and take back what they learn to their own lives. I loved how many lives the mission was able to touch by opening its doors to hundreds of college and high school students over spring break.

And now, I am going back for an entire year. I know God has many challenges and blessings in store for me. I can’t wait to go back home.

Why I Chose This Mission

After graduating college there were a lot of paths I could have chosen. Why did I choose this mission? Why did I choose to give a year of my life?

I want to be formed. I want to be different. I know I can be different. I want to a better person than I am now.I know I can be more patient, more loving and more forgiving.

I am going to Christ in the City because God needs me to.I am aware of what I have been given and I know that others are in need. I want to give generously with my time.

I want to witness the Gospel by the way I live my lie. Jesus sends us to be the light of truth to others.

Because the people who I serve have Christ in them.

Because the homeless are marginalized and ignored by the world.

I think going to daily mass and praying a lot is actually really awesome, and also very necessary.

I want to live with Catholicism and Christ at the center of life.  I want to be closer to the Lord.

I want the next part of my faith journey to be challenge.I’m okay with life not being easy. I don’t want life to be easy. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being comfortable. I want to be challenged always, so I can become who God created me to be.   

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I want to learn to love others. I believe that learning to love like Jesus does requires both action and prayer. I don’t want to just know my faith, I want to also live it in my actions.

I want to serve and serve in a way that’s more than just putting tater tots on a plate and being able to say we fed a ton of people today.A lot of the people who live on the streets don’t know their dignity. However, they are daughters and sons of the King, just like you you me. I want to be an Instrument of God by helping to remind my brothers and sister of their dignity.

This is my mission because when someone is struggling just listening with an open heart and open mind goes a very long way. Because sometimes love is just listening and being there, not trying to fix  problems. Like Mary at the foot of the cross, I cannot change or fix sufferings of others. I can be with them on their journey.

Because I know that they need Jesus and not me. I can give them and their struggles to God in prayer.

I can be the hands and feet of Christ. God equips the called. I can be an instrument of God’s peace.

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About Christ in the City

“We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the person who has fallen into the darkness of dependancy perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: You can get up, you can stand up. It is difficult, but it is possible if you want to. The church and so many people are close to you. Look ahead with confidence. Yours is a long and difficult journey, but look ahead, there is  ”a sure future, set against a different horizon with regard to the illusory enticements of the idols of this world, yet granting new momentum and strength to our daily lives” (Lumen Fidei, 57). To all of you, I repeat: Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that, but I say to us all: Let us not rob others of hope, let us become bearers of hope.”
-Pope Francis

The Christ in the City program includes three types of formation: spiritual, charitable and intellectual. Charitable activity stems from a individual’s encounter with the Risen Christ. Charity is the natural outpouring of Christ who comes to us in prayer and the everyday circumstances of life. At CIC I will be formed to be Christ to one’s neighbor, loving “until the end” (Jn13:1). The needs of the whole human person go beyond physical needs. They include mind, body, and spirit. By learning all the resources available to the homeless and being trained to effectively identify the needs of individuals, I will be able to help address the real needs of others.

The Intellectual Formation of the CiC include taking courses in Theology. The courses are accredited through the University of Mary and are taken over trimesters. My courses will give a deeper understanding of my Catholic faith. The classes include topics such as the Catholic worldview, critical thinking, faith and reason, the human person and the social sphere. The three courses are called:
– Theology of the Human Person
– Faith and Justice
– Theology of the New Evangelization

Spiritual Formation of CIC forms missionaries to live a life of intense prayer and action, making daily acts a prayer themselves. Christ in the City is intensely Catholic. Everyday includes daily mass, liturgy of the hours, and individual prayer time. Christ is the one who works through us when spending time with the poor. In order to truly care for the homeless, time in prayer is necessary so He can work through us on the streets.

The missionaries of Christ in the City live together in one house. Community life among missionairies is the first place where we seek to live the mystery of divine love. In community we learn how to love others. By living in community I hope to grow in internal freedom, generosity, solidarity, and reconciliation. In community we learn mutual self-giving to the measure of our Lord Jesus. What you live in your community life will be what you transmit to the world.

Community life is the simple life. Only essential clothing is brought. Rooms are shared and have minimal furnishings. Food and money requires resourcefulness and dependence on divine providence. Chores provide the opportunity to love those you live with by keeping a clean space. Community life also includes common prayer:Daily Mass, Litrugy of the Hours, Divine Mercy Chaplet, prayer before meals, weekly Holy Hour, Spiritual Dialogues, and Retreats.

As a Christ in the City Missionary, I will be sent out daily “street walks” to meet the homeless where they are at. The goal of the walks is build relationships with those we encounter. We listen to their stories with a open mind and heart. While getting to know our friends on the street and hearing their stories, we hope to increase their dignity. We keep in mind the goals of substance free living, permanent housing, dignified work and reconciliation with God

The in-depth formation and training I receive will to better conform to Christ.  This will allow me to become effective in my service in Denver and wherever God calls me next.

My Mission

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To touch the living God, we do not need to attend a ‘refresher course’ but to enter into the  wounds of Jesus, and to do so, all we need to do is go out onto the street.” -Pope Francis

I have been blessed to be called to be a missionary for Christ in the City. Christ in the City is a missionary organization that reaches out to people experiencing homelessness. The program forms young adult Catholics with the three pillars of spiritual, intellectual, and charitable formation. My work includes going out to the streets daily to form relationships with people who may be experiencing homelessness, connect them to resources, and accompany them through their struggles to make a better life for themselves.I  want to out give a year of my life to be completely available God and to those in our own country who have nothing.

My mission is love and faithfulness. I work with the people that everyone has given up on.

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In Gratitude,

Emily