If you have been at the West location the past few weeks, you’ll notice a large caravan of trailers, semi-trucks, generators, campers, and a team of people in red shirts set up in the parking lot. Citylight has had the privilege to partner with a global evangelistic organization called Christ In Action (CIA). CIA partners with area churches to provide disaster relief and training with the mission to: "extend the ministry of the gospel responsibly by showing the love of Jesus to people in their darkest times, bringing hope to America's families through bold, Spirit-led evangelism & crisis intervention; passionate, God-honoring disaster relief service; and practical, Christ-centered training and chaplaincy." CIA wants to be an active representation of Jesus Christ--His hands and feet in Action. They show love in practical, tangible ways to those who have lost hope so that our light shines for people to see, pointing them to Jesus and glorifying God.

The local tornado devastation a few weeks ago deployed the CIA team to partner with the Omaha churches including Citylight. CIA is here to provide longer range tornado relief response (2 - 8 weeks post incident) with heavy demolition.

Chris Zitzmann is one of the missionary families on location and leading CIA’s effort here in Omaha. He is thankful and optimistic to what the Lord is doing in and through His people. He has had the opportunity to have a front row seat to God’s Kingdom work the past 15 years.

“Personally, I never expected to be a full-time missionary,” Chris shared. “I went to bible school my freshman year, attended a mission conference and one speaker talked about surrender and what that looked like. I didn’t feel a call to missions yet I knew I needed to do that. To surrender. So, I prayed and said to the Lord “I’ll go wherever you want to me to go.” Little did I know it would take me to CIA. When CIA partnered with my church, as a ministry leader I attended the training CIA offered to the church and God called me to be involved. I started to volunteer and a year later raised support to be a missionary and serve full-time. I met my wife, Bethany. She has been with CIA full-time since 2001 and was first deployed at the Pentagon parking lot after 9-11.
Our organization has seven full time missionary families, and we travel with our four kids and do life together while serving. We provide hope to people, and it’s given us a life of hope.”

Chris, and the CIA team, have experienced first-hand what Jesus called all of us into and that is “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5

“We show love in practical, tangible ways to those who have lost hope so that our light shines for people to see, pointing them to Jesus and glorifying God,” Chris described. “There are things that you can do to help and serve your neighbors. There is always something you can do. For CIA, it doesn’t matter if you serve with us or serve somewhere else. People get to see God working through serving. I’ll never forget what a pastor shared with me at a summer camp as a young counselor. He said to us “you are never more like Jesus than when you are serving others.” That stuck with me, and it is so true.”

CIA has been given, along with those who serve with them, a platform to speak to people, and to get people plugged into a local church.

Since being here, CIA has been confronted with difficulties and asks the Church for prayer. Please pray for:

  • CIA’s greatest need is for the city to approve funds towards dumpsters rolling in and out of neighborhoods and/or for curbside pickup in those neighborhoods.
  • For protection for CIA staff and volunteers who have experienced personal hardship and unexpected illness.
  • For the people CIA has served who are needing a sign and conviction to give their life to the Lord.

Chris concludes with

“we are praying for God to make a way, where there seems to be no way. CIA will keep doing what we can with what we have. We will do what we can do, and we trust that the Lord is sovereign. We have ministered to many people, and we just feel like we could be doing a lot more. We ask and are praying for more doors to open.”

To contact CIA this month in Omaha, please call:
For homeowners that need help – assistance 571-358-9242
Main office in the Citylight parking lot – office for volunteers, questions, and to give – 703-368-6286

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