immersion…aka “a dunking”

As you know, Louis and I attended the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Institute’s Certification Training called Immersion, but some fondly referred to it as a “dunking” instead of an immersion.  We received so much great information in a week’s time.  In addition, we met a lot of great people from across the United States.  We had A LOT of reading to do for the class, but I only have 2 books left to read…and I brought a couple more home with me, too!  If you are interested in the list of books, check out my post 1276/27=47.259259.

Some of you have asked…What is CCDA and what is immersion?  Thot I would just share a little about it.  Taken from their website….

CCDA’s Mission


The mission of CCDA is to inspire, train, and connect Christians who seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.


Wholistically restored communities with Christians fully engaged in the process of transformation.

Statement of Faith

The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s son, redeems us through His death and resurrection and empowers us by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is God’s Word and through it we are called to live out justice, reconciliation, and redemption. The church nurtures God’s people gathered in a community to carry out God’s Word.


  • To strengthen existing Christian Community Development organizations.
  • To encourage new Christian Community Development efforts.
  • To promote Christian Community Development through regional training.
  • To educate and mobilize the body of Christ at large to become involved in Christian Community Development in their area.
  • To sustain, enable and inspire those

CCDA’s History

CCDA is so rich in history.  Founded by John Perkins and other like-minded leaders  in 1989, CCDA began with one purpose in mind…

expressing the love of Christ in America’s poor communities, not at arms length, but at the grassroots level.

CCDA’s Philosophy

CCDA’s philosophy is based on what are called the…

The Eight Components of Christian Community Development  Revised 11/07/2011.  CCDA has recently updated their website, and these links may not work.  You can learn more about the components at this link> CCDA Philosophy.

Click on the links above to read more, but I will take time to write on each of the Eight Components…some of what I learned and how I think we can apply this within our communities in our city.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what you read, from CCDA’s website and from my posts.  Louis and I have begun talking to CCDA about bringing the training here for weekend sessions…starting in the fall.  This is still in the development stages, but I would love to know if you or your church would be interested in participating in this training.  Initial thoughts would be to bring the “Three R’s” (Relocation, Reconciliation, and Redistribution) first.  Let me hear from you!

Our lives have been changed…and yours will, too.



Louis and I are leaving for Chicago in 27 days…to earn our Christian Community Development (CCD) Certification while attending CCDA Institute|immersion (click the link for more information). As I previously posted in Go to the people…, we were told that we would have 10 books that we would need to read.  I started reading one ~ thinking it would be on the list.  GREAT BOOK!  I got about 1/2 way through, when I learned it was not on the reading list.  So, that one has been placed on a shelf for another time.  Actually…I’m lending it to a friend while I read the 10 books by our deadline.  Over the last 2 days, they have been hitting the mailbox with quite thud.  Here’s my reading list for the next 27 days…1276 pages in 27 days…averages 47.259259 pages a day.  I guess I better get busy!

  • Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor by Robert D. Lupton, 136pg
  • Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development by Dr. John M. Perkins, 192pg
  • Theirs is the Kingdom by Robert Lupton, 144pg
  • Communities First by Jay H Van Gronigen,  112pg
  • Real Hope in Chicago, by Wayne L. Gordon and Randall Frame  224pg
  • Generous Justice by Tim Keller, 256pg
  • Reconciling All Things by Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice, 116 pg
  • Empowerment Toolkit by Mary Nelson,  96pg plus a dvd that came with it!!

Although this is all a bit overwhelming…I’m excited about being stretched….learning more…and discussing what I learn with others.  OK…my 47+ pages for the day are waiting to be read…so, I’m out!


Go to the people Live among them….Chinese Poem

Louis and I are going to Chicago the first week of April to attend the Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) Institute called Immersion.  Following the week-long program, we, along with a small group of about 50, will be certified in Christian Community Development.  We have been doing a lot in our community at a grass-roots level and are looking forward to gaining additional knowledge!  Financially, this a big commitment for us, but we are so grateful to God to have received a CCDA Scholarship that will assist us!

I just learned Friday, that there are 10 (yes…I said 10, ten, diez, dix, zehn) books were are to read before we get there.  They have shipped them to us.  So…I guess you know what I will be doing between now and when we leave on 4.2! (And…what I will probably be writing on!  Thanks for letting me process with you!!)  I’m hoping I have read some of them, at least!  One that I have had on my shelf for a while now is called Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together & Doing It Right, which I started reading Saturday night.  It’s the “Official Handbook of the Christian Community Development Association”….so I am hoping, expecting and praying that this one is on their list, because I’m about half done!

Dr. John Perkins and some other urban ministry gurus like Bob Lupton, Noel Castellanos, and Mary Nelson share their wisdom gained from decades of experience.

In chapter 1, Perkins asks and answers the following question…

…How do we affirm the dignity of people, motivate them and help them take responsibility for their own lives?  By beginning with the people’s felt needs we establish a relationship and a trust, which then enables us to move to deeper issues of development.  This idea of beginning with people’s felt need is what is called the felt need concept.  It is summed up in a Chinese poem…

Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have:
But of the best leaders
When their task is done
The people will remark
“We have done it ourselves.”

Then, Perkins describes how Jesus engaged the Woman at the Well story located in John 4.  How Jesus started by talking to her and asking her for help — demonstrating she had something of value that she could share with him–Jesus affirmed her dignity and broke down the wall of distrust–before he talked with her about who He was or anything about himself.

Some however sometimes go in like this…

Go to the community with an agenda
Observe the people (maybe)
Tell them what to do
Enable, manipulate and take advantage of them
Even lie to them
Start with what they don’t know
Tell them what YOU think they should know
But the worst of leaders
will do things TO the community
instead of WITH the community
The people will ask
“What have they done to us?”

It’s easy for some of us to come into a situation with all the answers…because although we would never want to admit it…we see ourselves as smarter, more educated, more experienced, more whatever…fill in the blank.  We often think we know what is best for a community.  We force our opinions, thoughts, ideas, etc on a community. When in fact, we do more harm to the community than help.  The community isn’t transforming or coming together, but being torn apart instead.

I’m excited about what we will learn in Chicago…and grateful that we have the opportunity to attend this year.  It’s been on the bucket list for a while…and this is the year!  Praying that we will continue to learn how to see our community and our city through the eyes of Jesus.