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A mission to do good

SCV residents travel overseas for churches to help the poor

Posted: May 24, 2008 3:10 p.m.
Updated: July 25, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Jennifer Ginsberg (left), of Church of the Canyons, is pictured with a youngster she worked with during a 2000 mis-sion to South Africa. She will leave June 5 for Senegal to aid young boys.

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For Jennifer Ginsberg of Church of the Canyons and Gene Newman of Grace Baptist Church, part of their summer plans will take them to a foreign country.
But the trips aren't relaxing summer vacations; it's their summer missions.
And even though Ginsberg will be in Senegal and Newman is already in India, the two share a common goal of helping those in need while initiating a way for others to understand Christianity.

Helping a child in crisis
Jennifer Ginsberg views travelling with Christian organizations to different parts of the world as a way to give the less fortunate hope.
"The one thing I can give them is that I can tell them about a savior," said Ginsberg, resident director at The Master's College in Placerita Canyon.
While the Agua Dulce native enjoys the physical work involved in aiding others, the main goal focuses on teaching others about what Christianity can offer them.
"Ultimately I want them to see who the Lord is," she said.
With her goals in mind, Ginsberg is gearing up for her trip to Dakar, Senegal in Africa where she will work with Rainbows of Hope, an international ministry that helps children in crisis.
Ginsberg is not be the only one from Church of the Canyons in Canyon Country going on a summer mission as teams and individuals have already left for Uganda, South Africa and India.
Ginsberg, who leaves June 5 for her two-month stay, will work primarily with orphaned boys as young as seven years old.
Because Rainbows of Hope has a ministry in Senegal, Ginsberg will be able to work in the refuge center that serves about 150 to 200 boys daily.
"I'll be spending a lot of time with the boys and building relationships with them," she said.
Ginsberg said the hope with her mission to Africa is give people a way to see the Lord.
"I do believe that God is the only hope people have, and I think that's why I like going," she said.

Shining God's light
The Master's College graduate, who made a trip to South Africa in 2000, also will serve as team leader when she guides a group of six individuals from all parts of the country on the mission.
When she returns home in August, Ginsberg said she will continue to work at The Master's College for a year or two as resident director.
However, she is considering becoming a full-time missionary to help children in crisis after that.
"I want to work with children who are in need in some way," she said.
"I'd love to partner with people who'd like to start an orphanage and be a crisis counselor."
As many times as Newman has gone to India on missions, it seems as if his humanitarian efforts will always be needed.

Newman, who left for India on Wednesday, has teamed Grace Baptist Church in Saugus with Joni and Friends, an international Christian ministry focused on aiding disabled people, to distribute hundreds of wheelchairs.

"Last they had 500 applications for 200 chairs," Newman said Tuesday before leaving.

Newman said after the applicants are selected, his team will visit distribution locations in southeastern locations of India to distribute the much-needed wheelchairs.

Newman, who has made eight mission trips, will be leading a team of 15 individuals representing different parts of the United States.

Before he left, Newman explained his personal goals.

"We want our team to be a light," he said, noting creating team unity is a major component of performing the cross-cultural work.

Because some of his team members are new to mission work, Newman, who returns June 2, plans also to introduce the Indian culture to his teammates as a way to stir an interest in one day returning on their own.

Newman considers helping those in need a key aspect of his mission.

"God has always placed a high value on helping those in need and you could trace that thread all the way through the Old and New Testament," he said.

With that, Newman hopes to teach Indian people about Christianity.

"Our purpose is to go and be able to shine God's light in places," he said. "We are to love those in need."
But Newman's goal is just one of nearly 10 missions sponsored by Grace Baptist.

Outreach Pastor Mike Gaston said teams and individuals will be sent to Fiji, North Dakota, Czech Republic and El Salvador.

Gaston, who served as a missionary for 15 years, will also be leading a team to New Delhi.

The pastor added that a team will also be sent to Thailand for the first time where they will reach out to women and children involved in the sex trafficking industry.

Much like Ginsberg and Newman, Gaston said the a major theme of the missions is to be goodwill ambassadors for Christ.

"In every case, the ultimate goal is to represent Christ well in that place; do what he would do, say what he would say," he said.

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