Recent News

Your Opportunity to Support Xenos' Founding Elders

By Steve Bauer, Xenos Operations & Administrations Coordinator

As has been previously shared, the founders of Xenos, Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt, are approaching a time when they will back away from the work-load they have maintained for decades in leading our church, to take on other roles and personal burdens in their future years.

They have always said that “retirement” isn’t a Biblical concept they will pursue as the world does. Their change of role now is really a redeployment, rather than retirement. But the Xenos Board-of-Trustees (elders) believe that freeing Gary and Dennis to work in other roles at this point is in their best interests and in the better interest of Xenos.

When Xenos first began, these men led the church while working as painters to provide for their young families. It took decades for Xenos to start to fund living wages and then long-term savings programs which are now in place but which Dennis and Gary missed out on in their earlier work years. To facilitate the job changes we knew were coming for our founders, the elders authorized adjustments to our long-term savings plan for these leaders.

At the same time, the elders also felt we would provide a one-time opportunity to the church to join into a solution to meet our founders’ long-term needs. This would be a gift of appreciation to Gary and Dennis. Many other churches provide a substantial gift at such a time for their key pastors, to help transition toward retirement. Our target is to provide $50,000 to each of our founders. This ‘thank you’ to Dennis and Gary for their service to all of us will help provide them with practical assistance in the coming years.

Xenos Elders Announce Further Transition Plans

Xenos Senior Elder Dennis McCallum has announced his plans to step down from some of his roles at the end of 2018, entering partial retirement. This follows a similar announcement by fellow Senior Elder Gary DeLashmutt. After much discussion and prayer, the elders have announced that Ryan Lowery and Conrad Hilario will be put before the Servant Team for confirmation as Senior Elders in Dennis and Gary's place. Another longtime Xenos elder, Jim Leffel, has retired from his role to focus on his work with Xenos' international partnerships and Central Teachings. 

Here is a full report on the changes from Dennis and Gary:

For the past several years, Xenos elders have been working on the project of redeployment and retirement for our older leaders and transition to younger leadership. Clearly, every leader is on his or her way out at all times. The question is, when and how is best? This is an inevitable change that we, as a church, must face.

For years now, we have been at work training and coaching younger leaders who could shoulder the task of upper level leadership. They’re not that young – mostly close to or over 40 years old. Thank God, we have a strong group of elders who are fully qualified and equipped to take on this task. We feel highly confident that the elders we have in place are ready for this mission. Also, more elders are being developed who can join them in the future.

The Light in the Darkness of Cambodia

A group of 40 people from Xenos are back from a short-term missions trip to Cambodia. Shane Coulter was on the trip and shares his experience:

In his book, Cambodia's Curse, Joel Brinkley aptly sums up the experience of visiting Cambodia: "Be careful because Cambodia is the most dangerous place you will ever visit. You will fall in love with it, and eventually it will break your heart." The countryside is gorgeous, and yet ravaged by poverty. The culture is rich in tradition, and yet sex trafficking and domestic violence are viewed as commonplace. The Khmer people built marvels like Angkor Wat, and yet they were also victims and perpetrators of one of the most tragic genocides in history.

Our short term team became enmeshed in this culture of contradictions during our 15 day trip to Cambodia. We began by visiting the beautiful temples in Siem Reap, and spending a few days enjoying the wonderful sights and the delicious food. However, after visiting the killing fields where Pol Pot murdered millions, many of us were left asking, "Where was God during these people's suffering?" The next day we began our work week and we all found the answer to that question. God never abandoned the people of Cambodia!

Xenos High-Schoolers See God's Faithfulness on Missions Trip

A team of high-schoolers from Xenos is back from a missions trip to the Dayton area. High-school junior Yara Moret gives us her impression of the experience: 

July 29-August 4, 2018 was the best week of my life.

That week I was part of a team of 27 high-schoolers and 6 college leaders who traveled to Xenia, Ohio to run a sports camp for kids who live there. We played games with them, had lunch together, and then had a teaching. After the teaching there were discussion groups and more games. At face value that doesn’t sound amazing, but with God at the center it was incredible

Every day I woke up and prayed for patience and energy. Everyday God gave me that and so much more. He gave me love for the "troublesome" kids. He gave me excitement for sports, which I loathe entirely. He gave me verses that applied to each day. He showed me where I could help and gave me the strength to follow through. He kept me from getting migraines because I forgot to drink water all day (oops) and didn’t eat a lot. One of the coolest things the Lord did was show me how much He has changed me.

At Epic one of my leaders wrote an encouragement note, saying how much he’d seen God change me. I wanted to agree with him but couldn’t think of anything that had changed at all. I still felt the same, still seemed to be struggling with the same things, and couldn’t see how God had changed me. But on this trip, God made those changes very clear. One of the trip leaders described me as “chill and upbeat.” That is not at all who I was three months ago. I struggle with anxieties about everything and rarely would anyone say that I was upbeat. It was super encouraging and an amazing testament to God’s power.

End Your Summer with a Class

Summer is winding down, but there's still time to take a class. Registration is open for the 2nd session of the summer quarter, with most classes starting August 22nd (Intro to the Bible starts August 11th).

One of the classes offered this time around is Gary DeLashmutt's Homiletics class, helping you become a better Bible teacher. Eric Chabot will teach "The Resurrection from a Jewish Perspective," and there'll be classes on the Psalms and Restoring Others to Faithful Servanthood.  You can read a description of each class here.

Consider signing up for a class with a friend or a group from your home church. Sign up online at xenos.org/classes/register

Students and Leaders Reflect on this Year’s Epic

By Brian Adams, Epic Camp Director

Epic 2018, Xenos' summer camp for high-schoolers, was an incredible success. From all of us in the high school ministry--thank you for supporting us financially and in your prayers! We could not do this without your support. 28 students came to personally receive Christ into their hearts at Epic this year! God is clearly behind this camp.

The weather this year was hotter than ever. That being said, student morale was still high. Students loved getting time together. Milo Fox, a senior in Globo-Chem home church, spoke about his experience this year: “This year at Epic was amazing because our cell group was able to be vulnerable with one another. We went from friends just joking around every Sunday and Tuesday, to gaining a closeness that will last on into eternity. This week definitely strengthened my faith personally.”

As leaders in the high school ministry, we could not be more thankful for your support, which resulted in hundreds of testimonies like Milo’s. Nick Hetrick teaches one of the high school Central Teachings and says, “We had a student who recently prayed to receive Christ. He was on the fence about coming to Epic, and his friends back in Columbus were texting him throughout the week about how much fun they were having partying--how much he was missing out. Instead of regretting his choice to go to Epic, he told his friends at Epic, "Who cares? I'd way rather be here at camp having fun with you guys."

Nepali High Schoolers Celebrate a First

This weekend marks a first for the Nepali ministry--the students involved in its high school groups will be going on a retreat. About 40 teens will be spending the weekend enjoying time together and studying the Bible at Camp Falling Rock near Newark.

Currently there are 2 Nepali high school groups, with a third being created soon. Kim Geiser is part of the Nepali ministry and says this age group has grown slowly, and the prospect of three groups represents outstanding progress. Kim says bringing all these teens together for the retreat will help them see that they're part of something bigger than their own group.

Kim says the topic is “If God is who He says He is...,” covering God’s attributes. The teachers will show how those attributes influence three practicalities: how we pray, what we hold as our greatest values, and how we share the gospel with friends and family who don’t know Jesus.

Westsiders Enjoy New Study Space and Resources

Folks on the west side no longer have to travel to Main Campus or 4th Street in order to enjoy shared library resources like you find at the Xenos Study Center. The new Grounds Café and Library is now open in the City Life Center in Franklinton, offering not only study materials but also a warm place to meet with friends.

Brittany Falkowski helped get Grounds started. She says she and other volunteers created and worked from a mission statement: "To create an inviting space for West-siders to enjoy fellowship, cultivate discipleship and encourage personal study into God's Word."

Xenos Group Leaves Soon for Cambodia

Each year Xenos sends a team to Cambodia for a short-term missions trip, offering support, training, and encouragement to fellow Christians who are established there. This year's team will leave Columbus July 31st, returning August 15th.

Once in Cambodia, the team of 40 people will split up, with one group going to Phnom Penh to serve with Xenos' global partner Fountain of Hope. That group will be doing a teaching series out of 2 Corinthians for 100 younger believers, encouraging them in their role as Christ's ambassador. There will also be a VBS team, a case studies team, a photography team and a construction team.

Another group will be in Kampong Cham to serve at the Friendship School, which is operated by 2 Xenos families.

The team asks for your prayers--that they would be unified and protected as a team and that they would be a source of encouragement to leaders of Fountain of Hope and Friendship School. Please also pray that the teaching series at Fountain of Hope would build up the faith of the young believers, and would encourage them to share their faith.
 

Help Get Local Students' School Year Started Off Right

It's almost back-to-school time, and Xenos is collecting school supplies for local students in need. You can help by getting a backpack and filling it with supplies--you can see a list of what kids need here.

The filled backpacks can be dropped off at the info booths at Main Campus (1390 Community Park Dr, Columbus 43229), the Warehouse (600 Oakland Park Ave, Columbus, 43214), and the 4th Street Pavilion (1934 N. 4th St, Columbus, 43201). The collection dates are August 5th, 12th, and 19th.

The donated backpacks will be given to students in need at Harambee Christian School and two Columbus Public elementary schools--Alpine and Avalon. Your donation will help them have the tools they need to succeed this school year!

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