Griefshare Begins February 20th

Xenos will again host a 10 week seminar through the GriefShare ministry starting on Saturday morning, February 20, 2016, at the 4th Street Pavillon (1934 N. Fourth Street, 43201). Please encourage anyone in your home group who has experienced the death of a loved one to attend. 

What is GriefShare? GriefShare is a seminar and support group for people grieving the loss of a loved one. It features biblical perspectives on grief and recovery

While it’s ideal for group members to attend all 10 sessions, each weekly session is designed to be “open,” meaning a person can begin attending at any time. Members will find comfort, answers, and hope in every session! 

The topics covered during the 10 sessions can be grouped into the following thematic categories:

COMFORT: SESSIONS 1–4

Many grieving people are unprepared for the intensity of their emotions and the duration of their grief. The first sessions of GriefShare comfort participants by helping them realize that their experiences of grief are normal. These sessions also describe what participants should expect to experience (emotionally, relationally, physically, and spiritually) as they move along the journey of grief. This information stabilizes them, helps them realize they’re okay, and prepares them for what lies ahead.

ANSWERS: SESSIONS 5–7

The members of the group will have a lot of questions. Many will be facing unique and challenging circumstances. It’s important they receive answers to their questions and solutions to their problems; otherwise, they won’t heal from their grief. That’s why Sessions 5–7 focus on giving the group answers. Participants hear answers to the “why” questions and sound advice on how to handle the circumstances and emotions that complicate grief, and they discover practical ways to avoid getting stuck in grief.

HOPE: SESSIONS 8–10

The last sessions of GriefShare point forward. They give group members a vision of how God can use their grief in positive ways and offer hope for what the future holds. These sessions explain important lessons of grief, what heaven is like, and how to move forward without leaving behind the memory of their loved one.

Please invite anyone you feel could benefit from this seminar, both Christian and non-Christian. Since it is natural for individuals to feel a little nervous about going to GriefShare the first time, we encourage people to check out a session or two without expectation of commitment. Generally, those feelings go away quickly for most people, usually during the first session. 

Register Now for Xenos Schools

For returning students and parents who are active members of a Xenos home group, registration is now open for preschool - 8th grade at Xenos Schools.

Applications are available at the Welcome Booth or on the Xenos Schools website.

This priority registration period ends at 4 pm on January 29

On February 1, registration will be open to any student in preschool - 8th grade. 

Would you like a tour or do you have questions? You can call Terri at 614-261-8136.

High School Christmas Party Success

On Tuesday Dec 8th, South CT High school group hosted a fun Christmas party with the intent of seeing new people coming to hear the gospel. What a success! At South CT they saw over 400 people come out. The teaching that night, given by Meri Benadum, was on Luke 8:16-18, 22-26. “I focused on the authority Jesus has over nature and then how we can respond appropriately by being a light in a dark world,” said Meri.

Many students were impacted by the topic. One student had this to say about it, “I saw through the teaching that we shouldn't judge whether or not people would come to know God based on how they look and I realized I was doing just that to this one kid in my class.”

After the teaching 45 “mystery” pizzas were brought out, each labeled with its own uniquely picked name. 

North CT, who held their Christmas party on December 15th, had almost 300 people out. Nick Hetrick taught on the Parable of the Soils from Luke 8. They had their own holiday eating challenge for the students and collectively they ate almost 4,000 little Debbie Christmas cakes. 

Missionary Spotlight: Exciting News from the Kassas in Ethiopia

from Lou Kassa

We have been praying for an opportunity to make an inroad at a local university. In Ethiopia, college students receive their education for free. However, upon graduation they are assigned to a small town or village where they start their career. If students are won in college, trained in evangelism, discipleship and church planting a powerful workforce will be released throughout Northern Ethiopia.

We had our first opportunity to engage university students on a large scale. We were invited to speak to a Christian student group last weekend. On Friday evening, I spoke to approximately 150 students on "The Way of the Lord" and challenged the students to increasingly learn the way of the Lord, choose to walk in it, and develop a lifestyle of service and mission. 

On Saturday, I presented a vision for home church and personal ministry to 50 student leaders. The topic was "Rethinking the Church". I contrasted a home church with a mega-church structure. This was the first time many had ever heard about home church ministry and planting home churches in rural areas.

We were amazed at how timely our training was for these students. Almost all of them stated they were praying and wondering about their Christian life and ministry after graduation. Since most of them are trained in a health care field, they will be assigned by the government to work in small towns and villages throughout the North. They told us they were worried that they will not find churches in those places. When they heard about our strategy where they can be used by God to plant home churches wherever they are, they were excited and thanking God.

College Connection 2015: Incredible!

Over 1,800 college and high school students attended this year's College Connection. College Connection is a weeklong event allowing juniors and seniors in the high school ministry to learn more about college groups and college ministry. The events culminated in a large gathering at both 4th Street and the Warehouse on Saturday night for a teaching and food - over 251 pizzas were consumed!

Annie Knotts, a senior at Thomas Worthington High School said, "Through College Connection, I learned that God's will for people is amazing and He puts everyone where they're supposed to be. I see now how blessed our ministry in Columbus has been and how cool it is to be a part of something like this."

A student visiting Rohan home church shared that she had been scouted by a college in Vermont, had chosen a church and was planning to attend because the staff who visited her high school were so interested in her. After hearing Gus give his testimony at College Connection on Saturday, she felt, "It was like a slap in the face. I was like, what am I thinking? I had included God in my decision when I looked for a church in Vermont, but I wasn't making the choice with God in the first place."

So far, three salvations have been reported as a direct result of last week and more great stories continue to come up. Please pray that the hundreds of students who attended to fulfill their commitment to follow God in college. 

 

Missionary Spotlight: The Barson Family

The Barsons have been in Cambodia for 2 years and in Kampong Cham for the past year. They are working with the Geslers to plant churches through the relationships they have developed with the staff, students and parents of the Friendship School.

Bill Barson and Chris Gesler have a weekly Bible study with the school staff. Amy Gesler leads a weekly study with the female teachers. Amy Barson attends as well, helping her to learn the language and build relationships with the national workers. They also help run a weekly student Bible study which plans to plant in the near future.

Bill and Amy have two sons, Liam and Luke. Liam attends first grade at Friendship School for half of each day so he can make friends and learn Khmer. Amy then teaches him the American curriculum for the second half of the day. Luke, who is 3, will start at a Khmer preschool next fall.  “Our family has been doing well. It has been an extremely challenging first two years, as is to be expected, but we are enjoying being a part of God's work with the school and for the most part we have all been healthy,” says Amy.

Meet the Elders: Scott Arnold

For our last overview of a Xenos elder, we are profiling Scott Arnold, Executive Director of the Central Ohio Youth for Christ.

Scott was saved in his teens by Youth for Christ and was attending a believing Methodist church when a co-worker bugged him to check out Xenos. Scott says, "His persistence caused me to agree to attend once, primarily to shut him up. However,the first night that I attended Xenos I experienced the Bible being taught at a level of clarity and depth that I had not experienced before. I was so compelled by that experience that I decided on the spot to keep coming. Xenos has been my church ever since."

When Scott felt called in the early 90's to join the YFC team, he wasn't sure it was a great idea, even though it seemed to clearly be from God. "When I joined YFC in the early 90's, my deepest fear was that God was calling me away from a fruitful ministry and into a ministry doomed to mediocrity. Today, I see how YFC is a tool for the kingdom that can pioneer into dark and difficult places to plant a disciple making, cell-based movement that works alongside the amazing church where I belong," Scott reports.

Service Spotlight: IFI Conversation Partner

by Elaina Rusetsky

International Friendships Incorporated (IFI) works to assist incoming international students by providing lodging, airport pickup, and most commonly, English conversation partners.

Many international students wish to improve their English, so partners meet on a regular basis each month to talk about absolutely anything, from culture shock to the weather. Often, these relationships turn into genuine friendships and more serious subjects are breached – such as spiritual beliefs and the claims of Christ.

Jake and Renee Hoffer are a couple with a great passion for serving internationals and reaching out spiritually to their conversation partners. Some may attribute their qualities to spiritual gifting, which can play a part, but after talking to Hoffers, it is clear that anyone can have a positive effect.

So, what’s their secret? According to Renee, “You can’t undervalue getting to know the person. These are people, not projects. Drop the stereotypes and make loving the person your number one priority. My conversation partner was homesick for China when we met. I listened to her process her feelings…it seemed like she hated everything,” said Renee. It was only after persevering in being a good friend that Renee become aware of the things she did like, and was able to include her in various activities accordingly. She was able to host a party in her honor.

Jake is similarly persistent in how he loves people. “I just kept initiating…talking about culture and inviting them into my home,” he said. The only things his partner knew about American culture were from movies and were therefore less than flattering. This was easily remedied with simple conversation and activities, such as bowling and trying new foods. Jake was also able to learn about his life at home and his goals for his stay in America –learning about things his government censored, like Christianity.

Ultimately, both Jake and Renee agree that you must adjust your perspective when reaching out to conversation partners and enjoy whatever opportunities come up, “You don’t know how much time you have with them. It may not lead someone to Christ or become discipleship. Sometimes all you can do is share God’s love, pray, plant a seed and be a good listener. While that may not sound like success, it is more than enough.”

God is always lovingly pursuing people. IFI conversation partners often get an opportunity to be a part of someone’s spiritual journey.

Want to get involved? It’s easy! Visit https://www.ifipartners.org/legacy/volunteer.php for more information. 

Finding the Teachings You Want

Did you know that Xenos has over 15,000 teachings archived from the past 30+ years?

Many great teachings are on the web site (www.xenos.org/teachings) and available through the free app: http://get.theapp.co/c477.

But the largest and most extensive collection of teachings can be found at the Study Center (1340 Community Park Drive, 43229). The Study Center, located on the lower level of the Office building, has audio for over ten thousand teachings and often PowerPoint files as well. “Our goal is to get the best resources available into the hands of the people who need them,” says Caitlin Kleinpaste, director of the Study Center.

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