Lauren applied to be a CSM City Host because she wanted to help facilitate the same life-changing service experiences for others that she had when she was younger. This is her story.

I came to CSM Denver in the beginning of summer in 2018 expecting to serve and teach others. But truthfully, the people of Denver ended up teaching me much more than I could have imagined. The people I met spoke truth into my life and showed me Christ through their actions. I saw God working in refugees, the elderly, children, students, and middle-class strangers walking down the street. 

God humbled me this summer and showed me that serving people does not make me a savior. True service is meant to reveal the true savior, Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:1- says: “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Looking towards the interest of others is not of first inclination.”

I am radically selfish and, without the Holy Spirit, could easily ignore others. In that sense, God has made me new. He taught me to look away from myself and treat others with dignity and compassion. My summer serving with CSM forced me to ask myself: What does it look like to look to the interest of others? What does it look like to do nothing out of selfish ambition? God continues to work in my heart as I learn, grow, and wrestle with these tough questions. My flaws are apparent to me but through my weakness I get see the greatness of God.

Philippians 2:12 reads: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill hHs good purpose.”

I have a strong faith that God is working out His good purpose in my life. My summer with CSM is not the end, if anything, it is only the beginning. I know that God is working and that he will stretch me as I strive to be more like Christ.

Lauren Barraza
2018 Denver City Host