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.
Unless the Lord moves among us, we labor in the city and on our campuses in vain. Prayer grounds us in this reality. Please prayerfully consider joining me in ushering this year’s Bay Area Urban Project through intercessory prayer. Come pray with us every 2nd Sunday of the month from now until June. Here are the general prayer topics: 2/12 – Praying for the City (Partnering Agencies)
3/11 – Praying for the Participants
4/8 – Praying for the Campus
5/13 – Praying for Program Content
6/10 – Praying for Mutual Transformation/Conversion
2817 Atwell Ave.
Oakland CA 94601
Please RSVP prior to the date.
Bay Area Urban Project | seeking shalom in the city
Yu-Shuan Tarango-Sho | BayUP Director | Website | Donate
New Year! I want to take this time to reflect and celebrate with you
some of what God has done through BayUP last year and share with you
some exciting snapshots of what to come at BayUP ‘12. We had a very
thoughtful, fun, and enthusiastic group of 30 interns from UC Berkeley,
UC Davis, Stanford, and Chico State, in our program last year.
3 Initiatives for the program:
1. Vocational Discernment – diversity in client population and venues of service/advocacy
2, Mutual Conversion – student transformation and relevant/credible witness to secular partnering agencies
3. Campus Mission Integration – campus campaigns that integrate particular justice issues learned/experienced at BayUP and campus witness
Invitation to Pray
Initial Intercessory Gathering
Come learn about the happenings of BayUP ’12 – new additional
partnering sites & teaching content. We need you to prayer for and
with us! We will also discuss monthly Intercessory Gatherings then. An
evite invitation will follow soon…
When: 7:30-9pm, Sunday 1/22/12
Where: 2817 Atwell Ave., Oakland CA 9460
|Reflecton from a student's BayUP blog:|
is always one thing to hear the stories of living among the urban poor
and experiencing life as PART of the poor. There is a huge difference
between reading an article or a statistic that our neighbors are making
and living on less than a dollar or two a day, and scavenging bottles
and cans from garbage cans in downtown for lunch money. You can hear
about the gross imbalance of our economic system. Then you can stand on
the streets with the workers on the hottest day of the year, and hear
straight from them in rapid Spanish how they are sometimes picked up for
gay sex instead of a day’s work, but $150 is so hard to say no to when
you haven’t worked in weeks. You can learn about the intricacies of sex
trafficking and how girls are pressured into the system. Then you can
walk down International Blvd at night and look into the empty, hollowed,
desperate eyes of these daughters of God who deserve so much more.” – Berkeley student
Some reflectons from their work sites:
services & Advocacy for Underserved Immigrants – Street Level
Health Project & CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic
“Each new scenario that presents itself shows
another facet of the brokenness our country calls domestic immigration
policy. The difference is now I can finally put a face to the deplorable
human consequences. And the more I see the human faces the harder it
becomes to dismiss the current status quo as simply an interesting issue
to discuss. It is real, tangible, gritty. It is the life and death
dance worked out in deserts and cities, in the fields and the detention
facilities” – Berkeley student
Summer Vacation Bible School for Inner-city Children – Harbor House
has been showing up for me through prayer a lot. I often times pray for
patience throughout the day and in the morning before we leave for
work. On the days I really sit with God through that I totally feel a
difference in my day. It is great! Praise Jesus.” – Chico Student
Services & Advocacy for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children –
MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, Serving, Sexually Exploited
“It was crazy to hear about all the stuff that
has been going on to our people – neighbors really – and how little we
are aware of it, let alone standing up against it. For a while, I felt
like someone just dumped a heavy dose of information/reality on me and I
didn’t know what to do other than just carry it around. To be honest, I
still haven’t figured it out and sometimes still feel like that. During
yesterday’s BAyUP prayer and reflection night, however, I learned that
I’ve been tying my head and heart together, letting my head do all the
thinking for my heart and not being able to hurt for all the pain that
can be seen around me – as an almost protective and guarded instinct.
But, I received prayer and have been praying myself for the breaking of
that tie, being uncomfortable and vulnerable, letting my guards down,
and just being able to hear God with clarity.” – Berkeley student
Vocational & Educational Training for Homeless Youth - Covenant House
readiness classes: The first class they had went something like this.
Everyone has values, personal values. Once you know your values, it is
easier to live your life because you know what is important to you. So,
everyone write down 5 of your personal values……….. I had to think a good
minute before I wrote anything down. That was the first day, and I was
like, wow, I can’t even think of my values which should be something a
person lives by, while they are scribbling theirs down, and society
would imply that I am somehow better than them?” – Berkeley student
Summer Vacation Bible School for Inner-City Children – World Imact
pray for our other student Jabari. He’s an amazing kid, great
Christian, wants to grow up to be a basketball player who takes care of
foster children, I mean awesome kid. However, he’s been out of it
recently. I know his dad got shot last year and it seems like he and his
siblings have suppressed a lot of emotion. I fear it is coming out now
and is looking like it might come out negatively.” – Davis student
Summer Program teaching Inner-City Children about Nutrition – OBUGS (Oakland-Based Urban GardenS)
girl, Shailyn, opened up to Sarah about her brother who was shot about a
year ago. It broke my heart to learn about these struggles in the
kid’s. These problems in the OBUGS kid’s lives began to weigh down on
me, until God reminded me that their struggles are not my burden to
carry. He reminded me that the best thing I can do is lift them up to
Him, and pray that God provide what is needed for these kids to find Him
in their lives.” – Stanford student
Direct Services for Men in Drug/Alcohol Rehab & the Homeless – City Team
the last week, four men have dropped out of the recovery program. We
had made friends with these men, holding out a lot of hope that they
would all make a full recovery, and so it’s been difficult to face the
fact that that’s not happening this time around. But in the midst of
such darkness, we still refuse to give up hope. Our God is still the God
of Amos, filled with compassion for the poor and oppressed. It’s not
our responsibility to save the world, but merely to join God in His
great work of redemption.” – Stanford student
In addition to working at these sites, students spent over 12hr/wk
studying scripture and learning about ways to seek shalom in our
immigration system, our education system, the largest underground
industry of sex trafficking, criminal justice system, our environment,
our finances, and our race & ethnicities.
“I took away
that my worship to the Lord must be coupled with a pursuit of justice.
Justice shouldn’t be an intellectual commercial break in the trajectory
of my own life, but let it consume and transform my life.” – Stanford
student “With every decision I make, I want to think about how will this
bring about God’s Shalom for this world? How will this affect young
lives behind bars, my fellow black, white, latino, asian, and native
brothers and sisters, children lacking equal education opportunities,
friends living on $2.00 a day, the US’s cheap labor forces, sexually
trafficked women, men, and children, and the environment. Will I choose
into how God wants us to live or a materialistic culture that worships
convenience and allows wall to wall markets to destroy local economies?
Will I care to have less spending money or allow living animals like me
to be cooped into cities of tens of thousands over an area of only a few
hundred square feet? My eyes have been opened, and my stony heart has
been made back into flesh.” - Davis student