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The worst part of the job...

Despite all the things about my job that thrill and excite me, there is definitely one part of my job that frustrates me to no end. Its inevitable - groups ALWAYS leave. Honestly? I hate that. Especially with the college teams; because since they are my age, I always seem to connect as almost more of a member of their group than as a leader. But trust me, there is no better position to be in than to see groups arrive at our housing site as strangers or simply team members, and to leave as great friends. The groups that come through CSM often literally shed blood, sweat, and tears alongside each other, and even though I hate watching them go at the end of a week of working in the city right there with them, I love knowing that they go home with such a strong support system to continue to process the week. Just yesterday I was logged into my Facebook account (ha) and found myself browsing pictures of one of my past groups as they were eating dinner and hanging out together a month after their trip. Not that we as CSM can take credit for the fact that they started the trip as little more than group members from a campus ministry back home, and got back on the church van resembling family members, but it’s definitely the nature of the week. CSM New York is not a flashy touristing trip. Rather, it’s a unique view of the city that allows you to literally see the dirt and grime of the Big Apple, and directly have a hang impacting what I like to call "the hope factor." We see a lot of pain, hurting, and community at the street level and while walking through the more upscale areas, and it’s unavoidable that you will leave a changed person. And the only people who truly understand what you saw and are continuing to process, are the people who were standing right alongside you the entire time. - Katie Filkins, CSM New York City Host Spring 2008