God continues to work in extraordinary and exciting ways through the Renegade Bible studies! The Renegade workers know of at least 55 students, age’s preschool through high school, which have made the personal decision to know Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness. Renegade Bible Studies are a weekly event in which hundreds of people participate! Volunteers serve in various ways by providing food, student transportation, Bible teachings, friendship, helping with crafts, and overseeing the students’ safety. The volunteers and students have a lot of fun, while at the same time learning about the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
The Lord has used the 4th Street facility to grow Renegade from no attendees in June of 2008, to over 160 as of October 2014! It has been amazing to see what He has done and all those who have sacrificed and served the Renegade students. Quite recently, the preschool through 5th grade groups made a big move from 4th Street to Calumet Christian School. Patty Young, who helps lead Renegade, commented, “The staff at Calumet has been gracious and generous in trying to welcome and facilitate the use of the building. The students like the playground, enjoy shooting hoops and really love their new space. We are all excited to see how this new development will further the life-saving work God is doing in the students at Renegade.”
In early 2013, workers planted a high school home church, with the goal of continuing to grow in faith and community. Currently, there are 2 high school home churches, named “Didactic” and “The Pack.” Several students from each home church experienced incredible opportunities to grow in their faith and Christian community by attending Epic Summer Camp. Young had this to say about the exciting things happening in the high school groups, “At the high school baptism, the stories of transformed lives stirred the soul and were cause for the greatest of celebrations. For the first time, there were several students baptized who have been in Renegade since it started. It is an absolute miracle to see the changed lives in these students.”
This year, the junior high group celebrated planting from 4th St to a new facility, Park House, previously Harambee Christian School. This move has been a true blessing for the junior high group. Young commented, “God has developed an ethos and excitement not yet seen at our Bible studies. Nine of our junior high students earned their way through community service and attended Blowout Camp for the first time. They were challenged, stretched, excited and had the times of their lives.” Next year, Renegade workers hope to send even more campers to Blow Out Camp.
Renegade 2-9, is a Bible study for students who live near the Xenos Main Campus. This Bible study is also seeing God work in unbelievable ways. In January the average Renegade 2-9 attendance was in the mid-teens, and now is in the mid-thirties! Just like the other Renegade Bible studies, the students who attend Renegade 2-9 are learning the Bible, developing relationships, and having a blast. They are learning gratitude, respect and developing relationships with mentors who emulate servants of Jesus Christ.
Summer Camps at 4th Street is another aspect of Renegade workers serving the students. Young said, “The Summer Camps were astounding, once again. God brought out a total of 115 campers to the sports and music camps. Thirty-two of those campers had never been to a Renegade Bible study. Of all the students, 22 of them made the decision to ask Jesus for forgiveness and start a relationship with him.” The number of people, adults and students, that come out to serve in multiple ways is amazing. This summer there were 96 volunteers who helped with camp and 36 volunteers who provided student transportation to and from the camp every day. Each day, the students received elaborate, nutritious meals, attended exciting Bible studies, and overall had a great experience. Young recalls, “It was an incredible sight to see dozens of our Xenos students coming alongside the Renegade campers and sharing Jesus with them. As one student said, ‘This is one of the hardest weeks of my life… and definitely the best.’ What God has been able to do at these camps, through these volunteers, is truly a miracle.”
Again this summer, the South side students were able to attend the camps. “It is always such a wonderful reunion to have all our students together to enjoy the camps. Our South side group continues to develop as a family in the truest sense of the word, “said Young. The group works through challenges, celebrates growth and victories, eats, plays and learns together. They are a faithful, hard-working, crew on the South side and each student who walks through the door gets to experience the love of Christ and learn more about Him.