We're in this together
Recently, we had the chance to be a part of two national gatherings of like-minded organizations, learning from each other and spurring each other on to love and good deeds for the glory of Christ. CCDA
In mid November over 3,300 people from all over the world converged on Memphis, TN for one purpose - to be refreshed, challenged, and to learn how to love and care for the marginalized as a response to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They came here to attend the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference (LINK). CCDA is a network of Christians committed to seeing people and communities wholistically restored. CCDA offers a wealth of resources to equip those working among world’s poor. There were plenary sessions covering topics like urban education, immigrants, and youth leadership development. And then there dozens of workshops covering a wide range of topics all related to biblically caring for the “least of these” in our world.
SOS served on the host committee and helped out in a variety of ways. We housed over 100 conference participants looking for more affordable housing options during the conference. It was like having summer camp in November! It was great seeing so many people from literally all over the world staying in our facility for this conference. We also hosted a “Go and See” workshop - basically, a group of conference attendees hopped on a bus and came to our facility to learn more about the work we do in Binghampton and Orange Mound. It was encouraging to share with them and hear about the work they are doing all over the country.
Lastly, we were able to sit in on a small gathering of short term missions leaders to discuss how CCDA principles apply to and influence our work. It was a great time of encouragement and has opened the door for new relationships that we believe will only enhance the work we are doing here in Memphis.
We thank God for the opportunity to be a part of hosting this amazing conference in Memphis this year!
In early November I (Philip) traveled to Johnson City, TN to attend the annual Reframe Conference. The Reframe Conference is put on by the Reframe Association (link: http://www.reframeassociation.org/), a national network of nonprofit home repair organizations committed to providing occupants of substandard housing with safer, more liveable shelter.
This conference provided me with many new ideas and strategies to do the work we do better. Particularly challenging was the keynote address by long time urban ministry practitioner Robert Lupton. If you haven’t read any of his stuff and you want to learn more about how to love and serve those living in marginalized communities, we recommend it. Try Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life (link) or Toxic Charity (link).
While at the conference I was also able to connect with many others doing similar work. This was so refreshing! Sometimes we feel like we’re the only people in the world running a home repair mission camp. It was encouraging to fellowship with and learn from so many other great leaders and their ministries. Some of the ministries we connected with while there were Appalachia Service Project (http://www.asphome.org/), Mountain TOP (http://mountain-top.org/), Next Step Ministries (http://www.nextstepministries.com/), Reach Work Camps (http://www.reachwc.org/), Alabama Rural Ministry (http://www.arm-al.org/), Raise the Roof Project (http://www.dauphinwayumc.org/raisetheroof), and Sierra Service Project (http://www.sierraserviceproject.org/). There were many more in attendance and all are doing great work.
If you work in the nonprofit home repair world, you should consider joining the Reframe Association. In addition to the annual conference, there is an online shared resource library for members only and there are webinars throughout the year covering topics relevant to home repair ministry. You can find more information on becoming a member (either individual or organization) HERE.