Recent News

Harambee Students Outpace Suburban Peers on Recent Test

By Michael Larson 

The Ohio Department of Education recently released the report cards for Ohio schools. We are excited to report that Harambee students not only outperformed local public schools and higher performing charter schools, but also achieved a higher performance index than Reynoldsburg, Hilliard and Westerville school districts.

This is a remarkable achievement since 85% of Harambee students are from low-income households.



GriefShare Offers Tips for Those Grieving During the Holidays

The holidays are a time of traditions and memories. While that usually brings joy, it can bring a deep sense of sadness for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

The Xenos GriefShare ministry helps those who are grieving find God’s hope and comfort. John Montgomery with the group offers some suggestions from the GriefShare program for those facing the holidays without someone they love.   
                           
He says Thanksgiving and Christmas present special challenges because they evoke strong emotions during the best of times, but, in grief, they force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by loss. No matter how long it’s been since your loved one died, grief can make the holidays a painful time.

Get Expert Help Keeping Your Kids Safe on the Internet

Meet the challenge posed by internet dangers with help from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. Detectives will present an internet safety program at Xenos on December 13th from 7:00-9:00 pm. It's open to anyone, but could be particularly helpful for parents and those who work with young people in their ministry.

During this presentation, you’ll get the opportunity to hear some task force undercover detectives speak about recently sentenced cases they’ve investigated. They'll cover internet safety, sexting, and the dangers presented by online predators and social media. They'll also discuss how to report situations that concern you, and how to preserve evidence if you suspect your child has been exploited online. And they''ll help you know how to prevent your child from communicating with predators in the first place.

Xenos Medical Team Shares the Love of Christ in Ecuador

In September a team of 24 people from Xenos went to Huaquillas, Ecuador to set up a medical clinic, serving with global partners from the region. Team member Amy Kear offers this first-hand account of their work:

Our planned route to Ecuador had to be rerouted because of Hurricane Irma, set to hit Florida. Once we got to Huaquillas, we began to see why this city was the ideal spot for our medical clinic. A border city to Peru, the town was bustling with people and traffic.

Our first day of clinic we were welcomed with a ceremony in the town square honoring us for our work—they raised the local flags and played the national anthem. Two city leaders spoke, thanking us for our help, and we thanked them for partnering with us as well.

High Schoolers Sample College Ministry through College Connection

Fall brings cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and College Connection, an annual event to give Xenos high school juniors and seniors a taste of the college ministry. This year the event runs November 6-11, and allows high-schoolers to attend college meetings, spend time in a ministry house, and make new friends within college home churches.

College Connection is exciting, not only because it’s fun, but also because, historically, it has helped persuade hundreds of high school students to pursue their walk with God in college. Many U. S. high schoolers drop out of their church involvement when they transition to college. College Connection gives them a vision for following God during their college years and beyond, and motivates them to choose that path.

Seeing God's Light in the Midst of Cambodia's Darkness

In August a team of 35 people from the Xenos college and adult ministry spent two weeks in Cambodia. Team member Brian Adams gives this first-hand perspective on the trip:

The country of Cambodia is called “The Kingdom of Wonder,” but many would define it these days as a kingdom of oppression. Cambodia has been subjected to heartbreaking tragedy, culminating in the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s—and the country still feels the effects. Yet in spite of the tragedies and their lingering effects, God is doing an amazing work there that brings a fresh perspective of joy and hope!

During our time in Cambodia, our team was certainly broken emotionally by the difficulties these people have gone through—that none of us could imagine. However we were also encouraged beyond what we could have imagined by the work God is doing in this country. And it’s work that people here in Columbus have directly helped make possible (See how you can support this work at the end of the article).

We began our trip learning about Khmer culture, visiting temples, learning history, experiencing traditional dances, learning some of the language and trying Khmer food for the first time. We learned about folk Buddhism & animism, and had some wild experiences like eating fried tarantulas!

August Haiti Mission Trip Report

A team of 14 people from Xenos went to Haiti in August to serve at mobile medical clinics and share the gospel. One of the team members, Terri DiPietro shares her experiences...

“The only thing worse than poverty is hopelessness.” – Jim Leffel

After returning from a short-term ministry week in Haiti, how does one respond to the question, “So, how was your trip?” 14 of us are prayerfully engaging in those conversations this week, as we integrate back into our Columbus routine. Sometimes, you just say, “It was amazing!” Sometimes, you answer with stats: our five mobile medical clinics served 370 patients, providing medical exams, pulling teeth, supplying medications, etc. You might describe some physical challenges: the formidable tropical heat, the rough cut roads, the crowded trucks, the nearly impassable roads. Did I mention the roads?

Or maybe, just maybe, you get the chance to talk about hope.

Hurricane Relief Giving Relief Event Monday, 9/11

The effect of Hurricane Harvey to the people of Houston has been devastating and Irma looks to be equally destructive. As a church, we want to give individuals the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts.

On Monday, September 11 from 9 am until 5 pm, we will collect donations from those who are interested in supporting the people of Houston and those affected by Irma. Our goal is to raise $25,000. Anything we receive over $25,000 will be added to the Xenos Disaster Relief fund for future emergency relief efforts.

Ministry Highlight: The Access Ministry

by Adrienne Luke

In 1 Corinthians 12:18, Paul says, “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.” This statement is profound, revealing a deeper perspective of God’s design for the body of Christ and what it means to be fully included and in full participation. When interpreting this verse, we may think of our opportunities to love typical people who just don’t “fit in” in the microculture of our specific home church. Yet when considered more closely, we do well to remember this verse includes people who might look, speak, or behave differently in more than just social ways. And this likely includes people with disabilities - intellectual, developmental, learning, psychological, and even medically-related disabilities. What might it take for our church to fully accept and include people with disabilities? What does it look like to do this well? And, how can we ensure equal access to the gospel of Jesus Christ and a fulfilling and purposeful life for all of God’s children? The individuals who make up the Access Ministry leadership - Dani Shaffer, Greg Roth, Shannon Bennett, Stephanie McHenry, and Kathy Hoffer - have a few ideas.

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