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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!