A group of students at California Baptist University will be serving the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco for a few days during the semester for Urban Excursion service trips to serve the people of these cities.
Each year, teams of students led by Compassion Ministry are taken to large cities in need.
Compassion Ministry is an outreach group at CBU that offers service to the Riverside community and other urban areas to give students an opportunity to serve others during the school year.
With Los Angeles and San Francisco as two of the largest populated cities in California, the outreach of Urban Excursion helps build relationships with those in need in the cities.
Urban Excursion is designed to stretch students to have eyes for and like Christ and find needs that can be met by the students who serve.
Justin Park, graduate assistant for Compassion Ministry and leader of this year’s Urban Excursion trips, said the goal of these trips is to give back to the areas around Riverside so a difference can be made.
“That’s the core passion of Compassion Ministry, which is to give back to the community and serve God and glorify God through service in the community,” Park said.
Students participating in Urban Excursion have training once a week. During training, students learn how to converse with those they interact with and how to incorporate the gospel in their conversations.
Training is also used to help teams bond so they can effectively serve with one another on the trips.
Shelly Parks, sophomore communication disorders major and returning Urban Excursion servant, said she is excited to be going to Los Angeles to serve for the first time.
“We bond doing something like serving the Lord, so I’m just excited to see how different people react and how we can build off of each other for that one purpose,” Parks said.
Austin Rice, sophomore biology major, will volunteer in Los Angeles and said Urban Excursion gives students the opportunity to serve in their own backyard.
“I have a weekend free,” Rice said. “I can go serve somewhere close at home where there’s a need. Anyone can do Urban Excursion. You have to go with a mindset of ‘this is going to be a trip that is not about me.’”
Urban Excursion participants will serve in Los Angeles Feb. 27 to March 1, while other students will provide services in San Francisco March 13-18.
Students can visit the Office of Spiritual Life for more information about the ministry outreach.