Meet an Agency: Christ for the City International

We dig this new, ongoing series–a little cup of coffee with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a peppermint mocha, extra foam with Christ for the City International. Pull up a chair.

Tell us what your agency specializes in. What are you passionate about? 

We’re completely committed to the transformation of communities by transforming lives and developing leaders in Jesus’ name. Our major focus is on the people most marginalized by society, reaching the lost with the Gospel.

We specialize in matching the schedules, skills and passions of people with global needs on a short or long-term basis.

How long have you been around, and how large are you guys? In what countries are your global workers located? 

CFCI was birthed as a ministry of the Latin America Mission in the late 1980’s. We’ve got over 130 ministries in seventeen countries primarily in Latin countries, although we’re in three African countries and two southeast Asian countries, too.

We develop community transformation centers where we work primarily with women and children, but we are also reaching many young men and women involved in gangs.

Churches, organizations, and individuals love to partner with our national bases in these Community Transformation Centers (CTC’s), because they provide a way for long-term relationships. A CTC is a specific building or centralized location from which a number of ministries and activities are operated, with the goal of community transformation.

Tell us one story that excites you from what your organization is doing.

A great example of a partnership with a CTC is at our La Caprio CTC in Costa Rica. There was a need for sewing machines for our women’s ministry and one of our partnership churches in the U.S.–one that sends groups every year. They donated 15 machines to the CTC!

The women were overjoyed to have received the machines. The machines are now used to make items for the women to sell in order to provide income for their family.

And don’t miss this video about one of our CTC’s in Costa Rica, Renacer.

5 Words to DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE. Go.

  • Christ-Centered.
  • Dedicated.
  • Relational.
  • Multicultural.
  • Family.

What’s distinctive about you guys?

Our bases and ministries are led by nationals. We believe nationals best know their needs and how to meet them, so our aim is to partner with them to mobilize churches and neighborhoods to help them transform their communities.

Because every community is different every one of our ministries look different… we are the opposite of a cookie-cutter organization. We help raise up nationals to serve and help their communities do a 180 in the name of Jesus.

Let’s talk brass tacks. give us the 411 on your application and training process.

Not surprising: Every individual has to submit an application and be in agreement with our policies and statement of faith. Applicants are vetted and background checks are processed. We follow-up personally with each applicant and address any questions or concerns.

The training is different for teams and individuals. The great majority of our short-term volunteers don’t come to our headquarters for training, so we provide a ton of free online training resources, written manuals and guides for pre-field prep as well as a personal coach that leads them each step of the way.

Once the team member arrives overseas, they also receive a country-specific and ministry-base-specific orientation.

What kind of global workers are you looking for? Paint us a word picture.

We’re on the lookout for mature Christian individuals and groups that are willing to work together as a team. They need sensitivity to the needs of those they are serving, as well as flexibility–and of course, open to be challenged to grow in their faith.

Editor’s note: Check out Go. Serve. Love’s How Ready am I? Self-Assessments for Global Work.

What would you consider “red flags” in the application process?

Warning bells start going off when an applicant is less than truthful and open in their responses. And it’s concerning when someone wants to go on a mission trip simply for fun or selfish reasons. 

What advice would you give to someone looking in an overseas direction?

When you have the right motives in going–as well as an open mind–it can be life-altering. And it’ll draw you so much closer to God!

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