One vital part of our vision is see the Gospel of Jesus Christ impact the world. By God's grace, we partner with the other Park locations and our global partners toward that vision. We want to keep you informed on what God is doing around the world, so each month we'll hear an update of lives being impacted and opportunities for us to take next steps together. There will also be a few helpful resources for further study. As followers of Christ, this is one of the ways we fulfill the Great Commission.
— Story —
Over 100 people hosted international students for a meal during the week of Thanksgiving!
Here is a story from a Park partner about her experience hosting as a small group:
"My small group and I took part in Friendsgiving this year and hosted 4 international students at our meal. It was a great opportunity for us to engage ourselves and our families with the beautiful diversity of the city. We ate a LOT of great food, made new friends, enjoyed time together as a community, and built bridges of love to some new Chicagoans." - Lindsey, Partner at Forest Glen
Stay tuned, this spring we will have another opportunity to host international students at our Easter worship gatherings and a meal!
• • •
— Opportunities —
Cross-Cultural Ministry Trips
Report from November Spain Team
Our team had the privilege of teaching as well as being taught in Spain. Teaching English to the children of North African immigrants was a blast but more importantly, it served the standing of the ministry center in their community and gave some well needed rest to their staff and volunteers. We also got a taste of what it is like to be thrown into a new language context as we sat through two Arabic classes. To hear and try to replicate the guttural sounds of the dialect humbled each of us, but also sensitized us to the realities of the immigrant experience. The initial dependence on others to navigate a new language and new way of doing almost everything provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with others with different backgrounds, and one that is easily transferable to Chicago. Our team was challenged to expand how we are engaging with the nations who have come to our doorstep here in Chicago!
Update from December Spain Team
A team of nine people from across three Park locations are still overcoming jet lag from getting back from Spain where they used their business skills to help the same ministry center where the former team taught English.
Here are ways we can continue praying for the two Spain teams:
A good foundation for the ongoing business incubation project
The Gospel to continue going forth from this partnership with local workers
Each team member will continue to have a greater understanding of the role they play in making disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20)
If you're looking for an opportunity to serve in the upcoming new year, I hope you’ll consider applying for an upcoming cross-cultural ministry trip!