Creativity, Art, and Happy Children
“Why India?” people ask. “It’s a long and tedious journey by plane. Sanitation is poor or non-existent. You need to have lots of shots to prevent diseases. The water is not safe. It’s too hot. There is noise and traffic confusion. The food is very spicy and different. Fruits and raw vegetables aren’t safe. You could get sick. People live and die on the trash-lined streets. There is a caste system and at the bottom are millions of Dalit men, women and children. They are considered untouchable, unclean and unworthy. Illiteracy, malnutrition, starvation and human trafficking are part of their reality. People wash dishes, clothes and bodies in the same dirty river.” One needs to look beyond the comforts of home to those lacking in the most basic necessities of survival.
God has blessed me with creativity, patience and a long, rewarding career in Art education. I had been praying for another opportunity to share my education and experiences with teachers and ultimately young children. It would be another way for me to share God’s love and his blessings.
Upon arrival, I quickly realized that things are not linear in India. Life is noisy and in constant motion, weaving from side to side. Cars, cows, dogs, humans, rickshaws, water buffalo, bicycles, motorcycles, and goats vie for position on crowded streets. Camels, ox carts and shepherds herding their flocks were reminiscent of biblical times.
As days passed, I came to realize that beyond the slums, the heartbreak, and hopelessness of those living on the streets, I could find beauty in the flowers and amazing color and pattern in the women’s dresses. I was sure I would miss this beautiful color upon my arrival back home.
An Amazing Place
Pastor Jon Platek learned leadership skills there quite some time ago.
My daughter, Sara, grew spiritually there in very real and consistent ways, year after year.
Developing worship-leading skills was a fringe benefit of all the time Drew Belden spent there.
My mother-in-law was baptized there—by her son-in-law!
Hundreds, probably thousands of children have opened their hearts to Christ there.
The first marriage retreat Sue and I ever attended was there.
City kids, country kids, churched kids, unchurched kids, rich kids, poor kids, precious kids and even more precious kids find their way there.
Ministry leaders, full-time Christian workers, pastors and missionaries serving here, there and everywhere cut their eye teeth there.
Project Homeless Connect 2012 Gallery
Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?
The Bible and Christianity are so much more progressive than most people give it credit. This weekend we think about mothers and the important role so many women play in our lives. Throughout the Scriptures and salvation history, women play a starring role. From Eve to Esther; from Ruth to Miriam; from Mary, Jesus’ mother to her many namesakes; from Martha to Priscilla … throughout the pages of the Bible and church history, God has honored women and blessed their words and works time and again.
This Sunday in Akron, we will focus on Sarah, the wife of Abraham, the mother of Isaac. Since Abraham is called the father of our faith, then perhaps we should call Sarah our faith’s mother. And more specifically I want to highlight something the Lord said to Sarah that applies immediately to all of us:
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” To a ninety-year-old, post-menopausal, childless lady, the Lord promises a child! Really? A bit late for that, isn’t it? No wonder Sarah laughed. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
A Workman—Not Ashamed
by Pastor Mike Landis, Camp Director
Entering the month of May means that Camp Carl kicks off very soon. Many projects are underway to ensure everything is ready to go when the campers arrive. The pool is filled up, and the water is transforming into a nice shade of blue; the ropes course will receive its annual inspection to make sure that everything is safe, and at the horse barn, we are working on bringing the “West” to this eastern part of Ohio.
But camp would be a lot of wasted work if it were not a tool used to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that many come to know Jesus Christ and then leave camp making a difference in their world. Will you pray this also?
The theme for summer staff is pulled from the passage in 2 Timothy 2:15,
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
During training week we will look at what it means to be a workman who is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Baptism is an action one takes to publically identify with Jesus Christ. On June 3 at 7:00pm we plan to hold a worship service at Camp Carl. There are two gentlemen, Ben Reed and George Daugherty, who will stand up for Jesus Christ and identify with Him through the action of baptism. They want to boldly state that they are not ashamed!
We would love for you to join us June 3. There is an open house from 3:00–7:00pm, with the service following. Doug Ley, our new Missions pastor at The Chapel, will be speaking that evening.
Mother’s Day 2012
05.13.2012 What a Laugh!
05.13.2012 The Missing Piece
05.13.2012 Jochebed: Step Out in Faith
- Zac Derr
- Exodus 2:1-10
Love and Equip
Two words for the day—Love and Equip.
Love. I suppose one expects to hear that word a lot in church and spiritual circles. Jesus mentioned love quite often. As a matter of fact, he said that the emblem of recognition for the authentic Christian would be love. “All men,” Christ challenged us emphatically, “would know that you are my disciples by the way you love one another.” Apostle John’s New Testament letter is all about love. Love is mentioned thirty times in his short epistle. Our passage this Sunday begins and ends thusly, “Dear friends, let us love one another … Whoever loves God must also love his brother“ (I John 4:7, 21).
Jesus also warned us that in the last days, most people’s love would “grow cold.” One might guess that we are in the last days for it is rather chilly in the world, isn’t it? From the airwaves to our families, a coldness and a loveless odor seems to be everywhere. What can be done?
Bringing the West to the East
by Dan Troike, Camp Carl’s new barn manager
I came to Christ at a very young age and still remember that initial conviction of needing Him in my life. I grew up in a Christian home with two loving parents and a little brother who encouraged me in my faith while walking right alongside me. As I grew and developed, I grew in my interests as well as my faith. Horses didn’t become a major interest until my late teens, but when they did, I couldn’t seem to get enough. I worked at horse barns during my time at Cedarville University and spent summers working a dude ranch in Colorado. I became passionate about the West and the cowboy culture, all while immensely enjoying God’s creation. As graduation approached, I decided to turn my Public Administration Major and Business Minor toward a career path of ranch management. Through connections from the ranch in Colorado, God provided me with a job at the VeeBar Guest Ranch in Laramie, WY. I moved out and became great friends with the managers who were happy to teach me everything they could from both the horsemanship and business side of the ranch. It was a great opportunity for me and I ate up anything anyone would show me.
The Rest of the Week
Occasionally I would have dear people ask me on a Sunday after services what my other job was during the week. Makes sense, sort of … on Sunday, one proclaims the Gospel to his flock. So Monday through Saturday, there’s certainly another job or vocation to be tended to.
Tammy, my assistant, has been in Mozambique working with our team that left a couple of weeks ago. So I have had another admin who has graciously helped me with my work. As I printed my calendar for her, it reminded me of some of the stuff a pastor does.
Meetings, plenty of meetings. Meetings with leaders; luncheon meeting with the entire Chapel staff; preaching meeting—looking at Sunday and way beyond.
Meet and pray with a pastor who has just taken a new position nearby. Excited and hopeful! Memories flood my mind.
Talk with my neighbor about all things mulch and lawn care. Oh, joy.
Mission USA is a ministry partner of The Chapel, specializing in coordinating disaster response, adult mission trips, and community development. Volunteers, mostly from The Chapel, and other churches participate in all these things together. For the past year, volunteers have been involved in remodeling houses in Kenmore for leaders of the teen ministry, First Glance. We are currently working on the fifth house. Help is needed for clean up, carpentry, flooring, painting and to provide a meal for about 20-25 volunteers on a Saturday.
A team just returned from JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) in Waxhaw, North Carolina, where we spent a week helping with maintenance, repairs, cleaning and painting, stuffing envelopes in the office and encouraging the staff. JAARS is a partner of Wycliffe Bible Translators. They provide the aviation and IT training and support for missionaries all over the world. We learned a lot about translating the Bible in other languages, and we got to hear from veteran missionaries that have since retired and others that are in the States on furlough for a short while. Read more…
Are You a “Martha” or a “Mary”?
Someone has cleverly said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who put people in broad categories and those who don’t. Gee, I wonder which one that guy falls into.
Biblically and experientially, one could generally say something similar about the “categories” those of us in the body of Christ fall into. We could divide ourselves by spiritual gifts or by our cultural and generational tastes. Hopefully, all with the aim of bringing unity to the church and glory to the Lord.
Another way we may categorize ourselves could be by our spiritual “bent” or how we are primarily wired to mature and grow in Christ.
Sisters Martha and Mary, dear friends of the Lord Jesus (Luke 10), are the best biblical examples of this unique wiring. Martha was the one who was spiritually driven and motivated by her activity and busy service for Christ. Martha was an activist. Mary, on the other hand, was naturally driven to “quietly sitting at the Lord’s feet.” Her soul, her life, was spiritually nourished by spending meaningful time alone with her Savior. Mary was a contemplative.
by Bill Snyder
A recent Chapel men’s retreat called “Linked Together,” led by Pastors Paul Sartarelli and Dale Saylor and some great guys from the men’s ministry, was a wonderful time of instruction and fellowship. It was a really special time for me because our youngest son and I attended together. As far as I could see, we were the only father and son team. Even though I was probably the oldest man there, I still felt the warm fellowship of being “linked together” with like-minded men in their various stages of life.
Our son John was, like our other two sons, reared in a Christian home. The Bible was read daily, we prayed with them often and attended church three times a week. The church was a doctrinally sound, evangelistic, but legalistic one. Our sons missed out on a lot of things that even other kids from Christian homes were allowed resulting in their either falling in line with the “program” or when able, seeking their own path. John sought his own path, one that led him into agnosticism and pretty much an outright rejection of the principles of Christianity as he saw them. We always maintained a good relationship with John, but had no common ground spiritually. John had made “professions” of faith in Christ at an early age and tried to fit into the mold of a Christian but turned away as he grew older, and it became evident that he was influenced by more liberal views about life and eternity.