A vision from a black student when we were praying for the black community: there was a Black woman running down an empty street. It was night and the street was dirty and messy. She was crying and in a panic. She began to knock on the doors of the houses alongside the street. She screamed out help, help! However at each house she went to there was no answer. In fact many of the people inside the houses locked their doors and closed there blinds to her. You see the woman in my vision was the Black community. The Black community since they were brought here on the boats have been running down the street screaming out help, help! However people outside our community even many Christians refuse to come outside and in fact lock their doors on us. When seeing this vision I cried and asked God where he was in all this. He told me to open my eyes and look around the room. When I did I saw my brothers and sisters in Christ who did not look like me and came from different backgrounds praying and lamenting for the Black community. They were standing in the gaps with and for me and my people. When I closed my eyes, I saw the Black woman running. However this time when she knocked on the door of the house someone opened it. It was my fellow BayUpers at the door. They said to the women I hear you, and I see your pain. In that moment I saw God.
This vision powerfully portrays what went down at BayUP this summer. On our team of 27, from 12 different campuses and various ethnicities, the Lord awakened our hearts, healed our deafened ears and blindness so that we are able to feel, to hear, and to see the struggles and pain of our collective family. Then the Lord mobilized us to create change, to bring about shalom in and around us, through our partnership with local faith leaders, organizers, and communities members.
We served over 2700 hours at 8 local grassroots organizations, working with immigrants, youth, people struggling with addictions, and others who are fighting for affordable secure housing. We hosted a prayer vigil in front of the Richmond detention center to advocate for family reunification and immigration reform. We participated in Oakland's ceasefire peace walk to curb gun violence and promote interconnectedness in high-crime neighborhoods. We called Senator Feinstein to advocate for a humane procedures in dealing with migrant children crossing the border. The Lord is raising up agents of shalom who will love his family (especially the underserved, marginalized, and criminalized) intellegently, compassionately, and humbly.
In response to this invitation from the Lord, I am launching a year-round justice institute (name TBD), which includes this summer program (BayUP). The institute composes of several components to equip and disciple InterVarsity students on their journey of intergrating faith with social justice. The mission of this institute is to raise up leaders who recognize the deep connection between the Gospel and justice and are equiped in bringing the Lord's shalom on personal, interpersonal, and systemic levels. To live out the Lord's command in Micah 6:8 - to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord. The Lord has so graciously and generously been gathering a team of prayerful faith leaders, organizers, campus faculty and administrators, and community members to come around this institute. Please pray with me in this exciting planting stage - for continued groundedness in the Lord, favor in new partnerships, and funding. If you are interested in learning more and sharing your thoughts especially during this launching stage, I would love to meet up with you over gchat or in person! More to come!
27 multi-ethnic participants from 13 fellowships and 11 campuses in 3 housing sites and 7 work sites. After hours of laughter, tears, pearls, paletas, banh mi, fishbowl, prayer - want to know what they learned and how they survived it? Check out their blogs!
BayUP housing cohort of 10 at City Team (Chico State, UOP, Shasta College, UNR, Stanford, UCSC)! Check out their blog here
BayUP housing cohort of 5 from Cal (Kapwa, LaFe, and CCF)! Check out their blog here BayUP housing cohort of 7 from UC Davis and Sac State! Here's their blog
Another housing cohort - well, they are still working on theirs...
Four of our BayUP interns got to organize a prayer vigil for the detainees at the Richmond Detention Center last Saturday. The rest of us participated. It was a beautiful time of storytelling, prayer, and worship. Many of the detainees are undocumented, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, families with small children, the elderly, and lawful permanent residents with old or minor criminal record. Over 250 facilities across the country maintains a daily capacity of 33,400 beds. To see a snapshot, clink here and here
To read about students' reflections and experiences, go to these blogs (arranged by household assignments):
Bay Area Urban Project | seeking shalom in the city
Yu-Shuan Tarango-Sho | BayUP Director | Website | Donate
As you read this update, the class of BayUP’12 has faithfully completed the 6-week program, been apart from each other (their new found best friends) for over a month, and is now transitioning back to life on campus. I have switched hats from director to mama of my two little ones (3yr. & 16mo.) within minutes after the project, made up for the missed childcare hours with lots of laughter, wrestling (love language of little boys), intervention (before, during, and post meltdowns), book readings, and family outings.
As I reflect on my summer, it was truly a dream come true. God came through and glorified himself through countless conversion & transformation experiences.
Here are some snapshots:
On our Immigration Day, 2 undocumented Dream Act students from Educators for Fair Consideration shared their.jpg in immigration story. As they shared and listened to our reflections, one of the Dream Act students said, “This is the first time I have ever shared my story with allies like you (people with citizen privileges). You have demonstrated such compassion and good-heartedness. I was born into the Catholic faith but never practiced. You have made me want to explore the Catholic faith and how it connects to me and my situation.” (This student is currently at San Jose State and has been contacted by IVCF on campus.) Please pray for his faith journey.
In a justice & evangelism training on delegation visits, students were split up into small groups to visit their local state senators based on their voting zip codes. Every group were asked to present The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights to the Senator or their representatives, to share Christian values that make this an important issue to the faith community, and finally to pray with all the parties at the meeting. As nerve-racking as it was for most, after a role-playing session, we all dressed up and made our visits. Students felt empowered and proud of their accomplishment. One Chico student was determined to mobilize his fellowship for a delegation visit after learning that the Chico Senator was the most against this bill. Click here to watch a video about it!
2 Latino students were placed at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant with a team of skillful and compassionate attorneys, working on over 50 asylum cases a day, free of charge. They had 5 min. of orientation before jumping right in. Throughout the summer, they helped translate to attorneys (and in court), stories after stories of families fleeing from violence, rape, persecution, and death. Sometimes they got to see a case won. Other times, they turned clients away. As heartbreaking as this experience could be, one student shared that she learned about the critical and transformative dance between lament and hope.
After every program day, we came before this cross, knowing that behind every injustice, there are root lies and strongholds that keep it going and that only Jesus can break by his resurrection power. In our weekly listening prayer times, we prayerfully identified the lies (in the broken system of education, social ecology, immigration, human trafficking, criminal justice), write them on paper and nail them on this cross. In these powerful times of intercession, we also have folks stand in place of communities that are victimized by these broken systems as we pray for God’s shalom over them.
(UC Merced & Chico State at City Team; UC Santa Cruz team #1 at OBUGS; UC Santa Cruz team #2 at People’s Groceries; Santa Rosa Jr. College & College of San Mateo at Covenant House)
(Santa Rosa Jr. College at Freedom School; Mills College & UCB at East Bay Sanctuary; Mills & Cal State East Bay at BOSS)
(folks making beads and writing letters to themselves to remind them of God’s movement at BayUP and their commitments)
Here’s a video a BayUP team made to give you a better idea of their experience this summer.
I want to thank you for your prayers that carried us through this summer. But BayUP is not over. These paradigm shifts (conversions) that students have made require much Holy Spirit and community tending. Please pray for the students as they re-enter back to campus life.
Here are some of the commitments made:
Exploring and growing in their ethnic identity
Owning one’s privilege and using it for advocacy
Living simply and giving generously
Embracing our creatureliness (Sabbath, rest, not over committing)
Race & gender justice and reconciliation
Integration of prayer, witness, and justice
6 month shopping fast
Supporting local food businesses
It has truly been a joy to journey with the BayUP class this year. I am deeply grateful and humbled by the ways they opened their lives and hearts up to God, me, each other, their partnering sites, and the city of Oakland. This is truly an exceptional group of folks! God has answered our prayers above and beyond in every way.
As we head into our debrief week, we will...
AFFIRM EACH OTHER...
PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER BAYUP...
PRAY FOR OAKLAND...
If you are a friend or family of a BayUP'er, please read attached letter to learn how you can help.
God is good! Thank you for all your prayers. We are a week and a half into our program. As exhausting as orientation week was, I have
indeed enjoyed every minute of it! God
has graciously ordained and picked this group of phenomenal students! I am amazed at their level of awareness,
teachability, eagerness to engage, and most of all vulnerability with each
other. It has been an intense and
bonding experience this past week. Personally,
it was very rewarding to finally be able to implement and see results of all
the ideas and preparations during the school year. By God’s grace, all the different pieces during
orientation (and there were many) went exactly or better than expected!
To read about students’
reflections during BayUP, please go to these links:
Mills/CSUEB/CAL - www.eastbayupladies.tumblr.com
Chico State/UC Merced - bayup2012.wordpress.com
UCSC/Stanford - http://whatsupbayup.wordpress.com/
SRJC/CSM - http://bayareaurbanprojectnews.wordpress.com/
Folks moved into
their housing assignments on Sat. and started at their work sites on Tuesday. Please pray for the following:
- Strong bond
and sense of community within the households (4 households – Mills/CSUEB/CAL,
UCSC/Stanford, SRJC/CSM, Chico State)
at partnering sites with colleagues, supervisors, and clients
health and stamina, esp. for those working with children and/or in urban
times of prayer and bible studies
- Continual openness
and engagement with different topics that will be covered for the rest of the
program (education, immigration, human trafficking, criminal justice)
If you are in the
area, please join us for our BayUP Friends & Family Night – 7/14, 7pm, at
ReGeneration Church (238 E.15th St., Oakland). Thanks for praying! Will keep you posted!
BayUP Participants, did you know you could potentially get class credit for your participation at BayUP?
Several students in the past have done just that! You will need to find a faculty adviser from your campus who will grant you the units. Look for Christian faculty or ones who might be interested in topics covered at BayUP (Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Int'l Relations, Social Welfare, etc.) I will give you a BayUP reader with a detailed description of our curriculum at STIM (4/13-14) to present to your faculty. Some professors will think it's sufficient for a class unit. Others will ask for an additional essay or report.