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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.

High School Mission Trip Success

For teens, summer is a time of swimming, spending time with friends, and going on vacation. For 21 Xenos high-schoolers, this summer has also included a week away from home on a missions trip, serving a group of under-privileged kids in the Dayton area, sharing the gospel and operating a sports camp for them.

The camp included Bible teachings and discussions. Trip director Shane Coulter says it was the first time our high school group has done this particular trip and they did not know what to expect. The response was tremendous—over the week nearly 80 different kids showed up, many more than expected.

Shane says the high-schoolers did a great job in what was, at times, a difficult situation. “The kids all came from broken homes and were often super unruly. But our team was patient and worked hard to make it a great week. Our high-school students killed it. They ran activities, put on skits, gave teachings, led discussion groups and helped manage the camp.”

The spiritual response to the week was outstanding—at least 28 of those attending the camp prayed to receive Christ. Among those, Shane says, were some of the most unruly kids, a tribute to the love and patience shown by the high-schoolers.

Blowout Camp 2017 Success

Thank you so much for joining us in committing Blowout Camp into God's hands this year. What an incredible week!

Blowout Camp is Xenos' annual camp for middle school students. In the weeks leading up to camp, junior high leadership had regularly been praying through a list of dozens of students whom we didn't think were Christians. With some, we just weren't sure because they didn't have a clear testimony. The counselors and mature junior high students were very focused on making sure these students understood the gospel message. At camp, four of these students prayed to receive Christ! And for the others on our prayer list, we found that fourteen had prayed to receive Christ prior to camp. These confirmations are exciting. Continue to pray for the remaining students that the seeds planted there would bear much fruit.

A number of cell group leaders reported that students were taking major steps forward in their desire to know God better, serve others, build spiritual friendships and share Christ.

Junior High Ministry Assistant Director Brad DuFault says the teachings, testimonies, discussion groups and morning devotions were great this year. The student testimonies were especially powerful and the discussion groups had better focus and openness than in years past.