Lyndsie started working as a CSM City Host in San Francisco in summer 2017. She came back a few months later in January 2018 to serve as an Apprentice until the end of August. This is an excerpt from her blog about working in the Bay Area in the summer!

In June, we got our summer staff! And they were wonderful. We had a sweet spring host, Alicia, who stayed on for the summer. Then we added 4 more staffers to mix! Phil from last summer came back for round two. Phil has really high-energy and loves to be around our groups, so he really hit the ground running on his second day back. Next we had Briana who worked at CSM New York last summer. Briana and I had a lot in common and she had served in San Francisco before which played a huge part in her decision to join us in the Bay Area. And then we had Zach. Zach also was high-energy and meticulous, and he loved his groups. He was spirited and the instigator of a lot of fun times in the apartment. Last but not least we have Katie. Katie came to us from CSM Washington DC. Katie was quick on her feet and provided an endless supply of witty one-liners and love of dogs. So, needless to say, we had a really fun staff this summer. After two weeks of training, they were ready to host their own groups.

For the month of June, I primarily worked “behind the scenes.” I continued with contacting group leaders, working at the rescue mission, and the daunting task of grocery shopping. But I also added some new things to my task-list. Every Wednesday we had a “Testimony and Tamale” night. All of the church groups serving with us that week would gather together, eat tamales, have a time of worship, and many people would share where they saw God working in their lives that week. It was one of my jobs to make sure that this night ran smoothly, and like most things, after trial and error, TNT nights finally ran smoothly!

Another fun thing I got to start doing were weekly check-ins with the summer hosts! These were the best… Not because it usually meant getting a lovely cup of coffee, but because I got to know the summer staff more intimately. All year long I had been pumping myself up and getting ready to be a really good resource and mentor for them, but in the end, they ended up speaking a lot of truth into my life and supporting me as well! Even though sometimes it felt like the roles were reversed, the beauty of living in community is that we get to pour into each other. I was really uneasy about adding 4 new people to my living space that summer, but they ended up being wonderful people to do life with for a time, and I am really glad I got to share it with them!

On top of all my apprentice responsibilities, I got to host three church groups. And they were all truly wonderful. The hardest part about the first group I hosted was that and parting with them after just a short few nights was difficult. When I meet people, I want deep and sincere connections, not just shallow (though very necessary) small-talk. Having groups with us for only 6 days made it difficult to connect in ways I hoped for. Knowing that we would only be together for a short time made me want to go the extra mile to love them hard! They all made it so easy as they were coming to the city with humble serving hearts.

Aside from the incredible hosts and church groups I got to be around all summer, there was Jason and Kim Foster. Jason and Kim are the Co-City Directors in the Bay Area. They were also my bosses, mentors, and new family in the Bay. I knew when applying for the apprenticeship that I wanted to go back to the Bay Area because I had the pleasure of working for the Fosters for a season and I knew I would enjoy working with them again for a longer period. And I sure did. Having two people that are so instrumental in CSM and so invested in furthering the Kingdom was an absolute pleasure to experience!

Kim, an avid prayer warrior, inspired me to reevaluate my prayer life and pray for everything, even the “small things.” Jason has an incredible work-ethic, and is an incredible leader. He was able to provide coaching in the most gentle and uplifting way. The things I learned from these two are invaluable. I saw their grace and transparency bleed into every area of their lives: from work life, to how they treated their children, to how they involved themselves in the church, to how they loved me so well in this season. Saying goodbye to this incredible family was for surely one of my more difficult “see ya laters.”

Just like that, it was the end of the summer and everyone went home but me! I had spent all summer investing in and loving on these incredible hosts and groups and then they were gone. It was really hard having 5 of my closest friends leave and go back to their lives, college, and family while I stayed in the Bay Area. So in that time of solitude, I took some time to rest–something I am finding is difficult to do. I was living in the same space I did a majority of my work, so as a result I had a difficult time attaining a good work/life balance.

As the summer ended and things slowed down, I spent a lot of time considering what is next, and while I am still unsure, I am positive it will be difficult and challenging but also wonderful and enriching. That seems to be a common trend in life: I enter something new with apprehension and the Faithful Father establishes my steps, so I have no doubt this next part of my life will be any exception.

Lyndsie Francis
2018 CSM San Francisco Apprentice

A full staff picture! From left to right: Alicia, Lyndsie, Jason, Katie, Zach, Briana, Phil, and Kim

Leading worship night by the Bay!

My last group for the summer…