by Zac Kohl & Patrick Jackson, Student Ministry Directors, Akron
On Valentines Day weekend in February the Middle School and High School ministries of the Akron Campus took a trip out to Camp Carl. We had over 100 students and 30 adult leaders. The weekend was packed with discipleship, small groups, worship, and fun.
The teaching for the weekend revolved around the idea of pain: 1) Why pain happens 2) Hope through pain, and 3) Walking with pain. We wanted all of our students to understand that pain happens, but there is a hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Jesus brings hope for eternity, but He also brings us the opportunity of hope, here and now, as we fight to walk the way He has called us to walk.
As adults we can all think of times when pain surprised us and we didn’t know how to handle it. Our desire for our students is not that they would run from pain, but recognize it and have a game plan for how to handle it when it does happen.
The fun theme for the weekend was Winter Olympics, click HERE to see a video of the students competing in a variety of different winter Olympic sports games and a sneak peek into the teaching times and small groups.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to invest in the next generation of our church!
by Meike Kisch-Visger, Mike Farmer
& Sandi Brakus (pictured)
“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” –C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Mike came to GriefShare after participating in two other grief support programs following the deaths of his wife and father. While he found those programs to be helpful, there was something missing. The spiritual aspect of grief was not being addressed to the extent that he desired.
At GriefShare, Mike found a compassionate group of facilitators and a group of grievers that were trying to find their way through grief. The Christ-centered, biblically-based GriefShare program was just what he was looking for. The GriefShare materials and the interaction with fellow grievers in small-group discussion helped everyone involved progress on their way to the other side of grief.
Those who have experienced the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend often find that there are not many people who understand the deep hurt they feel. This can be a confusing time when those experiencing loss feel isolated and have many questions about things they have never faced before. All the facilitators of GriefShare have experienced the death of a loved one and have found healing after participating in the program.
GriefShare (for adults) at The Chapel meets weekly for 14 weeks in the spring at the Akron Campus and 14 weeks in the fall at the Green Campus to help those facing these challenges and help them move toward rebuilding their lives. Participants are welcome to join any time during the 14-week period. Our next group begins February 18, Akron Campus. Click here for more detail.
You can also contact Shirley at 330.315.5449 for pre-registration, questions and more info.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Recap of January 14-23
by Fred and Sandy Muffet
One week ago, 43 teammates returned from Haiti. What a shock! Within 24 hours the temperature dropped 90 degrees! Twenty teammates came from the Green Campus, nine from the Wadsworth Campus, eleven from the Akron Campus and three from other churches. The team was so big we divided into two locations. The Wadsworth Team spent their time at the Cobba Orphanage in Arcahaie and the rest went to Mission of Hope International in Grand-Goave.
So many people were a part of this mission. Remember the Mobile Medical Bus that was shipped over in October? The first thing the team did was open the back door and begin unloading all the items. It was like Christmas morning in Haiti! Out came generators, commercial stoves, wringer washers, school supplies, quilts, clothes, boxes of rice packages, medical supplies, disability equipment, tools, toys and more. All of the items were immediately put into use. It was fun reminiscing about the families from The Chapel signing their names inside the bus and packaging up all the rice.
During our time there, the Wadsworth Team poured concrete floors in classrooms at the orphanage and repaired the damaged entrance ways, built a chicken coop and had lots of fun with the kids doing crafts and laughing and hugging and having Bible lessons.
by Kevin Poest, College Pastor
In early January, we took roughly 200 college students to Florida for our annual winter retreat. It was a great week filled with lots of friendships, fun trips to the beach, and slightly warmer weather than you all experienced (-8, ouch!). But it was also a trip where God showed up and really moved in the lives of many.
One example is of a guy named Mark. He was a last minute addition to our trip as God sovereignly opened up a space for him. Mark grew up in the church, but when his parents split they stopped attending. It had been almost 10 years since that time and Mark was far from God at this point. His friend Brian (a Campus Focus student) knew that Mark needed God in his life and so he invited him to come on the trip. Over the course of the week, you could see Mark slowly starting to change and God doing what only God can do. On the last day of the trip, Mark came and found me, and while sitting on a washing machine in an industrial kitchen of a random boy scout camp, I got to talk with him about the gospel, baptism, and the life that God longed to lead him into. It was a beautiful moment in the most unlikely of places.
Three hours later, I stood in a room with 200 college students in our final session. The sound of their voices as they worshiped together was a thing of beauty. In that moment God reminded me of a few things. Even in the midst of the uncertain times The Chapel is currently facing, our future is still in good hands, mainly because God is still moving and changing lives. But also because the generation that will come after us, the one to whom we will hand the baton, is ready and able to take it. I know that not all of you always get to see it. But I do. God is currently raising up a generation of young people who love Him with all of their hearts and when I think about the future of this church, I have confidence that the next 80 years can be even better than the first 80. The future of our church is in good hands.
For a glimpse at the week, click HERE to see a video.
Our Benevolence Department
Sam and Sally have attended The Chapel for three years and are involved in a community group. Both are employed, but Sally had pneumonia and lost 2 weeks of work. When Sally recovered and had just returned to work, Sam fell and broke his wrist. As a result, he had to miss 3 weeks of work. The loss of 5 weeks of income meant that they could not make their rent payment and they fell behind on several utility bills.
When they asked for prayer about their finances in their ABF, the ABF leader recommended that they contact the Benevolence Department. They ultimately met with the Benevolence Director and shared their situation. Sam and Sally’s situation was reviewed by the Benevolence committee, and the committee approved paying one month of rent and their utilities.
The above scenario is an example of how the designated Benevolence offerings are utilized.