By Alec Hill

Los Angeles Urban Project

Last month, I had the great privilege of visiting one of our premier urban projects. Hosted by Randy White – our National Urban Project Director – and Kevin Blue – our Los Angeles Urban Project (LAUP) Director – I engaged with students at six ministry sites. This included ministries to the homeless, kids, and adults in recovery. It was truly an amazing experience.

For nearly three decades, LAUP has provided students with the opportunity to serve the needy. It was my great joy to watch them in action, serving the neglected members of society. I was deeply impacted by their Luke 4 ethos of proclaiming, healing and setting at liberty.

At a neighborhood summer school
At a neighborhood summer school.

With students at a ministry that helps women come out of alcoholism, drug addiction and/or prostitution.

Rudy and Kafi Carrasco
With Rudy Carrasco, Executive Director of Harambee Ministries, and his wife, Kafi, principle of Harambee Preparatory School. They serve lots of kids very effectively.

LAUP alumni
Speaking to a group of 100+ LAUP alumni in East LA.

One of the highlights of my trip – or of my entire year – was spending time with four current and past LAUP directors. Representing a span of nearly 30 years, I reveled in their stories. I quickly realized that I was in the presence of a rare combination of vision, social justice, pastoral care and operational wizardry.

LAUP directors
LAUP Directors, past and present– Paul Gibson, Dave Trimble, Dennis Ortega and Kevin Blue.

Randy WhiteI conclude on a thankful but rather somber note. For the past 13 years, Randy White has provided superb leadership as our National Urban Project Director. In September, he will be leaving us to become director of doctoral programs at the Bakke Graduate University. While he goes with our full blessing, we will sorely miss him.

During his tenure, the number of Urban Projects has grown from 22 to 62. Likewise, student involvement has more than doubled to nearly 1500 per year. More significantly, we will miss Randy’s passion for the poor and commitment to the whole Gospel. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Alec Hill is the president of InterVarsity Fellowship/USA

You can make a direct financial donation to support InterVarsity’s Los Angeles Urban Project by following this link.