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Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 2: Three Insights

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

*If you didn’t get a chance to see last week’s blog, check that out first for a better understanding of this blog.

While in Kathmandu, Nepal, I observed individuals practicing their spiritual rituals in hopes that doing just enough of the right things in the right way, they could appease their god.  Looking back, here are three insights from that experience.

Insight #1

I have been thankful for God’s grace displayed through the death of His Son and co- equal Jesus Christ since I was a boy. I have grown in my understanding of what it meant for Jesus to come, die, rise again, and prepare to come again, but the fact that grace is integral to Christ cannot be avoided. Ephesians 2 says we are saved by grace through faith, not by all the stuff that we do! No amount of chanting, spinning, painting or jumping is going to bring me closer to perfection. Thank you God for your grace through Jesus Christ that saves those who call upon your name!

Insight #2

I do not have to “Do” in order to meet God, but it is wrong to think that once I know Christ that I am supposed to do nothing! My love for Christ compels me to act. I do not need to scrub lime on an ungodly altar, but I do need to live my life in a way that the world can see me and fully recognize that there is something different about me.

Insight #3

Finally, I came to a much clearer understanding of Acts 19. In this chapter we read about Paul’s work building the church and God’s Kingdom. Miracles occurred and people began coming to know Jesus. Demetrius, a Silversmith, recognized the economic impact Paul’s ministry was beginning to have on their business. People traveled great distances to worship at Artemis’ temple on of the Wonders of the World. Silversmiths made a great profit by fashioning idols and artifacts required for this pagan worship. Suddenly, Paul’s work was bringing the worship of Artemis into question which also threatened their livelihood. Walking around the Boudha Stupa, I was able to picture Acts 19. What would happen to Nepal and specifically Kathmandu if Buddhism was exposed as a truly empty religion? Poor vendors would go out of business. Revenue from tourism would dry up. A country with little income would face an even more impoverishing situation.

Good news! After a week in Nepal and many great conversations in the morning with my waiter, I learned he was a Christian converted by travelers a few weeks before. I was able to guide him in how to read the Bible and connect him with a contact who began taking him to church.

In the Land of many gods- there is still only one God whose grace guides us, gives us life, gives us hope, and surprises us when we least expect. God, YOU, are the one and only true God!

Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 1: Observations

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

Stories. I thought they were just stories. Tales have been told in books, movies and legends of men and women reaching mid-life crisis only to part with worldly possessions in order to journey to Kathmandu, Nepal or neighboring Tibet, China. The goal is “finding oneself” or discovering some inner peace that had remained unapproachable or at best impossible to attain in the western rat race.

I rose early and ate breakfast. I had an outstanding conversation with an especially joyful waiter at the hotel restaurant before heading into a temple touring day. Each temple had just a few westerners that matched every stereotype my brain had been trained to picture. The majority of the people, however, were sojourners from countries where the Hindu or Buddhist religions are strong. My experience at the Boudha Stupa was especially telling. The Boudha Stupa is a World Heritage site and is the destination point for Buddhists wanting to trek to their most sacred site in the world. I paid my fare (which was significantly elevated for foreigners) and walked toward the large round white structure with eyes painted on top.

I observed a huge festival in process. People were going around Stupa in a clockwise fashion which was apparently important to know. Hands were reaching out to touch and turn numerous prayer wheels that were inset into the temple walls. At a key point I found an entrance into an inner temple ring. I walked through the entrance and saw where lime could be purchased to rub on the temple’s inner ring wall. Just beyond the lime shop I came upon the place where I could pay to write my prayers on colored flags that would be pulled on a string close to the eyes of the Stupa. Large vats with incense were waiting to be purchased so these pungent leaves could be burned in temple fire places for a small fee. I began to walk the inner ring, whispering the name “Jesus” toward any person who walked by.

Reaching the Temple front I looked down upon a special section set apart for people to do spiritual exercises. When I say “exercises” I mean it! Yes, a few could be seen with criss crossed legs and a meditative pose. The ones who surprised me were the ones who were doing what I could best describe as a spiritual burpee (burpees are physical exercises used for intense training). People were going up and down, up and down, up and down.

Physical posture, breathing incense, spreading lime, prayer pennants, spinning prayer wheels with incantations along with groans and moans by monks in orange robes made for quite an experience. Religion- the hope that doing just enough of the right things in the right way while making a god appeased, approachable or even, attainable in a microscopic way. People go through all these steps and celebrate with exuberance when they claim a minuscule amount of calm.

How is the way of Jesus more fulfilling? Be on the lookout next week for part 2 of this blog, which will explore three insights from my observations in Nepal.

CE Partner Update – Nepal and Pakistan Trip 2019

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

On January 28th, I left for a sixteen day trip to Nepal and Pakistan. This was my first trip to both of these Asian countries. I thank the Lord for this experience!

Nepal– A mountainous country with an estimated thirty million people, Nepal has world fame for its temples. People from Hindu and Buddhist religions make pilgrimages to these temples while others look to trek the mighty Himalayas. While the Nepalese government says less than one percent claim to be Christian, rough estimates within the country put the number closer to ten percent or three million people. Proselytizing is illegal under the current government. Six months from now changes could occur which will open the doors for the gospel to spread and Christian Endeavor to make significant advances. Please pray for God’s hand to direct the governmental affairs in Nepal!

After a day for my body to adjust to new time zones, we toured the greater Kathmandu area. Seeing some of the world famous temples left me even more grieved for the souls of those who trek to these places. They try to do the correct incantations, burn the proper incense, write their prayers on flags, spin every prayer wheel, scrub lime on the walls, and do the exact spiritual positions for the recommended amount of time . . . all in hopes of capturing a little peace. I am so thankful for God’s grace through Christ and that our lives can be free from doing the right “works” in order to have hope.

Churches meet on Saturday in Nepal. We enjoyed a two hour worship time where I shared the morning message. After a short snack we gathered for a two hour worship time with the Christian Endeavor group where I was also the featured speaker. The next morning we began a two day Leadership Academy. The event was attended by close to sixty people representing fifty pastors and youth workers from the 52 churches connected with Christian Endeavor in Nepal. There are great plans for additional churches to be planted in the next ten years. This step would further open the doors for the spread of the Kingdom and the use of Christian Endeavor across Nepal. Two strong translators were identified to assist with taking core C.E. materials and preparing them in the Nepali language. One person was also identified to join the C.E. Under Thirty Advisory Collective (a group of people under thirty from countries around the world that advises the WCE board and executive council.)

Pakistan– Nearly two hundred million Pakistanis live to the Northwest of India. I learned how Pakistan and Bangladesh had once been part of a British colony that was connected to India. Today there are many encouraging economic signs. Large malls with brands from around the world are located around Lahore. Because so many clothing items are manufactured within the country, the cost of these items is considerably lower (often times only 20-30%) than the prices I am used to seeing in the USA. The government broadcasts that Christianity represents a fraction of the population but it is believed that a more accurate number would be five percent.

Our first three days were invested helping me understand Pakistan during the day before participating in worship celebrations and conventions in the evening. People were incredibly generous and incredibly kind no matter where I traveled. I had the opportunity to tour a denim factory that develops 2.4 million clothing units annually. They showed me every step in the manufacturing process before giving me some complimentary jeans. I later learned that the owners were all Muslim people. A few days later I met a Pediatrician that has done several eighteen hour medical mission days with my host, Pastor Ashknaz Silas. During these days over one hundred patients are examined and given prescription medications. This doctor is a Muslim man doing humanitarian aid work with Christian leaders because of the great need.

The next two days were the C.E. Leadership Academy. I was thrilled that fifty church pastors were registered for the event. A total of over eighty people attended the equipping sessions with many people being youth or young adult age. Pastors do not receive any salary in Pakistan. All of them maintain other jobs as well as having families. The Academy, especially Day two, had an enthusiastic audience with hunger to learn and grow. I received word that a Saturday night C.E. worship experience will be launched in the next few weeks. It will be a collaborative church effort where numerous churches send their young people and potential adult coaches to one site. Along with this, there is already interest in some additional cities to take C.E. to these locations. Pray for the leadership in Pakistan as it begins to form a board and executive team. The group hopes to apply for National Union status later in 2019.

A huge thank you to my hosts Dr. Mahendra Battarai and Pastor Ashknaz Silas for all your efforts in hosting me and coordinating the ministry opportunities while I was with you in Nepal and Pakistan respectively. Amen!!

3 Steps to Make Change Stick in 2019

by Dave Coryell

Surviving Quitter’s Week: 3 ways to make resolutions stick (even if they are already broken)

Debate exists regarding how long the average person carries out a New Year’s resolution. Most reports seem to have about 80% giving up on their aspirations by January 12th (World Quitter’s Day) with additional reports saying that goals related to fitness are normally dropped by January 17th. According to USA Today Psychologist Professor John Norcross from Scranton University says that 40% are successful at the six month mark with fitness goals. So some people are successful at keeping those resolutions!

It is good to know that new standards can be set and maintained. However, the world’s masses seem to have a difficult time making adjustments lasting more than a few weeks.

Several years ago I stumbled across the book “Change or Die” by Alan Deutschman. The book presents three steps that helped classic no-change stereotypes from prison inmates to unionized workers. These steps can be helpful for us as we try to establish new faith growth patterns or even goals for mental, physical, emotional or relational living.

Step 1- Relate. In order to have a new way of living, new relationships are necessary. First and foremost, a relationship with Jesus Christ begins life transformation in a person. Along with this begins the process of seeing Christ lived out through other people. If you are reading this and do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, please reach out to us and we can guide you through understanding what this means. Others, if you want to grow in an area of weakness, establish a relationship with someone who is either stronger in this area than you or can lovingly hold you accountable. For instance, at one point I wanted to exercise more regularly. I tried accomplishing this on my own and made little progress. Then I talked with a friend, Tom, and we decided to exercise together. This started a deeper friendship while also helping us both keep a regular exercise schedule. Start a relationship that can help you change. Key word: RELATE!

Step 2- Repeat. Find the changes you want to make and repeat them over and over again. You want to discipline yourself to floss, do it every day! Trying to set a new time to roll out of bed, set your time and follow through no matter how challenging. Want to read your Bible every day, talk with that accountability person from Step 1 (Relate), set a time, choose a plan, then do it every day. Repeat the practice and follow through. Here is the challenge. You may have heard it takes 21 days to make a habit. 21 days beyond that will make it an unbreakable habit. Unfortunately, reputable research does not back up this myth. As you know, God has wired people differently. According to Oliver Burkeman, writer for The Guardian, the University College London psychologist, Phillippa Lally, studied habit forming. “On average, her subjects, who were trying to learn new habits such as eating fruit daily or going jogging, took a depressing 66 days before reporting that the behavior had become unchangingly automatic. Individuals ranged widely – some took 18 days, others 245 – and some habits, unsurprisingly, were harder than others to make stick.” Bottom line, forming habits takes discipline and a commitment to repeat a practice over and over. Fortunately, also from Lally’s study, you can miss an occasional day along the way and still stay on track. Key word: REPEAT!

Step 3- Reframe. The first two steps you probably can grasp pretty easily. Have relationships that will support, encourage and at times admonish your desire to repeat a new life practice. Say for instance a furniture maker builds a wooden chair and then puts a beautiful stain on it. The chair is then placed outside. The chair itself represents change relationships. The stain represents the repeated steps taken daily. Unfortunately, this chair will break down from the elements- sun, rain, cold, heat. Before long the chair will crack and splinter. Step three is Reframe. Reframing with this analogy is like painting a protective coat over the top of the chair’s stained surface. Reframing takes a new look at how one lives. For instance, I can stop eating potato chips because I do not want to gain weight. This may last for a while until I eat some chips, then eat them the next day, and then begin having them all the time. Reframing the situation asks why I’m not eating potato chips and goes deeper than weight loss. I begin to reframe my choices based on healthy living instead of simply trying to lose a few pounds. Suddenly I begin to consider what I am gaining through my choices instead of lamenting what I have lost. My choice equals health GAINED verses potato chips LOST. Key Word: REFRAME.

Relate, Repeat, Reframe- wisdom for us as we try to change. May God grip your heart and help you make changes that will honor Him with your life in 2019!

Investing in Youth for a Better Future

By Charlotte “Spider” (Keenon) Fish

My name is Spider Fish and I run a gap year program at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado for youth that are between the ages of 18 and 24. People frequently ask me, “Why do you do what you do?”

I cannot answer this question without giving credit to the fact that back when I was just a young, punk of a kid, people stepped into my life to support, encourage, and invest in me.

They opened their homes to me, shared a meal around a table, came to my soccer games, took me with them on errands, gave me responsibilities, asked me hard questions, held me accountable, inspired me to dream bigger, introduced me to Jesus, showed up, and were present in the moment.

They shared life with me and taught me that life is not always perfect. In fact, life can be ugly and messy and sometimes hurts, but they showed me that, in those difficult moments, I didn’t have to go it alone.

They believed in and saw something of value in me, and that made the difference for this misfit that was trying to find my place in the world. And now, because of the blessing those adults were to me, I can be a blessing to the youth that God brings into my life.

With all that we are seeing in the media these days, I am inclined to believe that perhaps now, more than any other time, adults need to be pouring into the lives of youth by coming alongside them, asking those hard questions, holding them accountable, and loving them where they are in the moment.

Even though I grew up in Texas, many of the adults that poured into and encouraged me were people I met through Christian Endeavor in Pennsylvania. I spent 14 summers traveling to PA to attend Summer Assembly and many of these adults invited me into their homes before or after the conference. I have no doubt they had their own busy lives to live, yet they still made time for me.

Words are not enough to express my gratitude to: Jeff and Geralyn Peiffer, Bob and Barb Wurgley, Dave and Janet Wenker, Charlie and Esther Popjoy, Greg and Jan Trievel, Bruce and Cheryl McMordie, and so many others.

My question to you would be: Why do you do what you do? Are you living a life of purpose that has a lasting impact? If not, what are you waiting for?!!!

Tired of the Division . . . 3 Steps to Build Unity

by Dave Coryell.

Even as people prepare to go to the election polls in the US, the World lacks exactly what God expects of His people . . .  UNITY! Here are 3 steps that can begin to make a difference.

  1. Pause before you React– people’s statements inspired by media will begin to create anger or confusion in your mind. Before you fight back with a post, speak out in a conversation, or use your T-shirt, picket sign or bumper sticker, take a mental Time Out. Remember Unity! Think about the broader audience you might reach with your message. Consider who actually wins if you make your comment. Proverbs 15:1 explains that a “gentle answer turns away wrath.” Before you speak, consider whether your desire is to turn away wrath or pick a fight. Remember Unity!
  1. Everyone is Not Like You– This is Coryells’ First Law of Leadership. My kids can quote it to you as well as many people close to me. If everyone was exactly like you, the world would be boring. Understand, God has made you amazing with brilliant talents, gifts and experiences all rolled into the incredible package called YOU! What makes you incredible, however, is that you are unique: “Fearfully and wonderfully” made as Psalm 139 explains. Because everyone is not like you, you are going to encounter numerous people who look at life extremely different than you do. The next time you meet someone with a religious, political or social view extremely different than your own, instead of shaking your head in disgust or anger, thank God for the brilliance of His creation. This can build Unity! Use these encounters to make your image of God more magnificent and frame your life encounters through this lens.
  1. Build Bridges– Through my work I have traveled thousands of miles by plane. I frequently meet people with views different than my own. At the same time, my family has many neighbors who also have views different than ours. My goal is to love whomever I come in contact with. I want to show genuine concern for these people and their stories. I will attempt to share about Christ because He has been such a meaningful part of my story. However, I will attempt to do this in a manner that is gentle and shows respect (1 Peter 3:15). It has been so much fun receiving business cards from people on airplanes who think differently than me but appreciated my attitude. We enjoy taking Christmas cookies and other things throughout the year to neighbors. God has placed them next to us so we try to do little things to kindly reach out and build Unity! Being divisive is easy and takes little effort. Building bridges of Unity requires intentionality over time. Invest in Unity!

Enough people, committed to these three godly steps, can begin to change the world. Maybe, just maybe, we will see UNITY!

Opportunity Beyond My Ability

By Pete Grimm, Leesburg Presbyterian Church, Volant PA

My story starts off like this. My name is Pete Grimm and I thought I was just an ordinary teenage boy. Key word being thought. My testimony starts off from when I was going into the sixth grade, the day of open house where I could meet my new teachers and get a feel for my classes. It was this morning that my grandmother died. My grandmother was my life, she was the person who cared for me the most. My Mom and Dad were the best parents I could ever ask for; they worked as hard as they could to provide for me and my three brothers. Even with all of that hard work, they had to rely on Grandma Nana. During my young childhood I was extremely reliant on her. She did everything for me from order food for me when we went out to eat, to fighting my battles with other people. So when she passed away I was devastated. I couldn’t grasp why she was taken from me.

Fast forwarding a few years and I am sixteen at the time. I was riding a four-wheeler through the woods and it was dark out on a trail I didn’t know so well, going way too fast. Then bang. I hit a tree. I felt my head touch the tree lightly. If I would have hit it harder it would have killed me. I don’t know how or why I walked away from the accident without a scratch. I asked God why. There are thousands of people in this world that made dumb mistakes like I did and they didn’t walk away, thousands of people that I thought are both better than me and deserve life more than I did. I kept asking God why, I kept praying for an answer.

It was a few months later at the World C.E. convention in San Diego California that I found my answer. I was approached by an individual and was told I was volunteered to be a small group leader. What is a small group leader? A small group leader was a leader of Devotionals. Now how does this all tie together? The first day of small group session I had a list of eighteen people who should have been there. Six showed up. These were the key to my testimony. So I went on with my lesson and we started to go off course from the questions. We started to talk more about everyone’s life and how God works through their lives. The next day I noticed that a few new people showed up and then the next a few more, and the second to last day it was only the original six. Then at the end of the devotional I turned around and saw about twelve more people sitting in the pew behind me just listening. I was obviously making an impact.

And that is when my life puzzle fell into place. The reason my grandma died and the reason I didn’t die that day was because God had His plan for me from the start and He was going to make sure I filled it. My Grandma Nana died when she did so I could build my confidence in myself and to make me able to stand in front of a group and talk to others and not be scared about it. God took her to build my self-esteem and become an independent person. The reason I didn’t die that day in the accident is because God had already begun to make me the person I needed to be to stand in front of people from other countries and who know the Bible more than and better than I do. Standing in front of that group, I was the least qualified to be doing what I was doing. But, with God’s help He made me the person I was that day and gave me the opportunities I had to spread His word to people I didn’t even know. God works in mysterious ways and as humans we might not realize that. I didn’t. But that day I was there for one reason and one reason only, and that was God’s plan for me.

5 Steps to Creating an Effective Youth Ministry

by Dave Coryell

Observing youth ministry on five continents (don’t worry Australia, I’ll get to you at some point, Antarctica- not a chance!) provides a kaleidoscope youth min perspective. So many options, so many opportunities, but I have also recognized five key steps that make youth ministry effective across cultures.

  1. Equip People- A Youth Worker-Centered approach does not work long term. Finding a lead volunteer or hiring a youth pastor can be effective when this person develops a discipleship process the overall church embraces. The person also needs to see leadership development among young people and adult leadership as primary. In summary, LAY DOWN THE PRIDE AND BE BIBLICAL.
  2. Consistency- Effective youth ministry programs do not meet once a month or every other week. They meet every week and are not cancelled due to holidays, major church functions, or anything short of cataclysmic natural events. People are too distracted to remember which date is which. They need to meet every week without fail to find a rhythm and eventually invite others to come with them.
  3. Christian- Duh! The youth ministry meeting must be Christian. Seems common sense, but incredibly some well-intentioned youth workers water down their gatherings and eliminate or diminish the very substance that young people need to grow closer to Christ. Make your gathering unapologetically Christian- always with prayer, always with a Bible reading or study component.
  4. Socially Acceptable Atmosphere- Burn the moldy couches please! Never again should I enter a youth room that reeks of musty furniture. Play welcoming music that connects with young people. Create a socially acceptable setting for the youth you are serving in your setting being aware of all five senses! This can be in a home (that is cleared in advance), a church room, a park, or whatever works for the young people in your area; however, it must be socially acceptable TO THEM.
  5. Loving Atmosphere- Communicate all are welcome. All are valuable. All are affirmed. Eliminate favorites, put downs and sarcasm. Turn ministry over to the young people for effective welcoming and follow-up ministry.

Want to learn how to take these steps well? Desire to establish an effective discipleship plan that builds young people as leaders? Reach out to us info {at} CEworks.faith

More Amazing Service in New Castle PA

Week 3 of Christian Endeavor Mission Weeks was AMAZING!

This week was amazing. We had such a big group here this week in New Castle and the community was so excited to see us. Five churches served with us this week and each one was so unique and fun to have with us! Our five churches were; Central Schwenkfelder Church Lansdale, Chapel Church Red Lion, Sanctuary UMC North Wales, St. Mark’s UMC Mount Joy, and St. Peter’s UMC, Emerald. We were able to get so much work done on a bunch of different sites this week because we ended up with a total of about 105 people here including staff which was so cool!

This week was a bit different than the last two weeks because of so many different factors. Not only are we in a different place this week and we have more people here, but our work sites were a bit different. This week was used as an outreach to this community. Prior to our being here, our speakers for the week, Pastor Chuck and Pastor Brett, went out into the community to ask homeowners what we could do for them. This gave us a lot of work sites and a ton of work to get done!

Each day we had a different number of sites and groups were getting work done so incredibly quickly that we were able to move some groups after only one day (and sometimes less) of work! It was so awesome to see these groups divide and conquer so well! St. Mark’s and St Peter’s were our smaller churches for the week so they stayed together. But since our other three groups were a bit larger, we were able to split them into groups and send them to multiple sites. We had three groups from Chapel Church, two from Sanctuary and four from Central Schwenkfelder!

With so many groups and so many sites, it was difficult to keep track of who was where and what was being done there, but some of our highlights were:

Central Schwenkfelder had a group at Ms. Lopez’s house and they did a bunch of painting indoors and out with her. It was such a pleasure for them and the staff to get to know her and her three birds, two dogs and cat! CSC also had teams working at a group of three houses all on the same road. They were cutting down trees, helping in the destruction of one house and the building of one right next door. They did such an amazing job working together and ministering to the construction workers in the area!

Sanctuary killed it this week as well! One of their groups moved to two or three different sites throughout the week and got so much work done so well at each home they were at! The other group from Sanctuary was working on a similar project as what BBC and Hopeland had done at the King home in weeks one and two! The washer and dryer in the home was leaking and causing the floor to rot. Sanctuary went in and moved the washer and dryer and pulled back the carpet so that they could replace the floor underneath. They also replaced the steps into the home that were no longer safe to use. The group also developed an awesome relationship with their homeowner that we think will last even after camp!

Chapel Church was so amazing this week as they were at so many different sites it was hard to keep track of them! They got so much amazing work done at so many different homes and it was so cool to see them work together on so many different projects. Towards the end of the week they worked on clearing out trees and weeds from a home that was being taken over by them. They were so patient with this job. Initially they had placed some of the branches outside of the property line and they had to move it uphill to get it back on the property which took a lot of work. But they did a great job and kept a positive energy the whole time!

St Peter’s had a lot of work to get done this week. They had a lot of paint to scrape from their homeowner’s porch and replace some trim then repaint it. They did such an amazing job and worked so well together! We were so honored to have them here and they were so excited and enthusiastic all week long! They told us how excited they were to get the opportunity to meet the entire family of homeowners! They told us that this is something that they haven’t had the chance to do in the past and they were so excited to get the chance to do that this year!

St. Mark’s was at our farthest site this week. Melody’s home was all the way out in Mercer, PA which is about half an hour from where we were staying at the Sankey Center in New Castle. They did so much work for Melody this week and it was awesome! They started in the front yard by scraping, sanding and painting the front porch purple! Then they moved out back and the hard work began. Some of the group worked on doing the same thing to the back porch, some group members were replacing a wall that had rotted out and one group was working on setting up a platform for a shed that was on uneven ground. They did an amazing job at Melody’s and it was such an honor to watch them work so hard!

Pastor Brett and Pastor Chuck were awesome this week. They took turns speaking this week and touched our hearts with God’s word every night! So many lives were changed this week and we had such an amazing week, it was hard to see everyone leave! We are so excited to come back to New Castle again next week as a summer staff, and the see what God has planned for Mission Weeks 2019!

Above: A group photo of our lovely kitchen staff for Week 3 in New Castle, PA.

Amazing Times Continued during 2nd Week in WV

This is Ally, Mission Weeks worship coordinator, coming to you from Week 2 of C.E. Mission Weeks, which was a huge success. We had a ton of fun as we grew closer to God and got a ton of work done around the community. This week we had two groups with us: Bible Baptist Church (BBC), Breinigsville and Faith EC, Temple. It was such a pleasure to have them with us and we got so much done this week!

BBC was our bigger group this week. We sent them over to Mr. Grey’s house one day so they could finish up Hopeland’s awesome work from Week One. They started by getting the trim finished on the outer windows and getting the inside painted. They also finished installing carpet. We were so impressed with them as they finished everything that needed to be done there by the end of the day Tuesday!

Faith EC went to the same house in Boomer that Honey Brook was at during Week One. They did an amazing job. The jungle that HBC had tackled in the front yard Week 1 also continued into the backyard and Faith EC started to get that cut down. They also worked sanding and staining the floors upstairs. It took them a lot of hard work and teamwork but by Thursday when I went out to give them popsicles, things were looking so great!

Above: A camper scrapes paint from the porch ceiling.

Above: Our videographer Nathan captures a camper hard at work painting the siding at the house in Boomer, West Virginia.

Above: Camper poses for a fun picture.

BBC’s second job for the week was to go to the King home to replace a few floors that had been rotting out and were unsafe to walk on. They crushed that job so quickly and got it done by the end of the day Thursday, and on Friday we all had such a blast.

Both groups went to Boomer to tackle what needed to be finished there and the way the two groups worked together was so incredible. I got the opportunity to drive out to the site for the morning and they had been working so hard and they had all bonded so well together during the week that it became hard to tell which camper came from which church. If someone had come in on Friday to observe, they would have thought that it was only one church there for the week.

God did some amazing work in the camper’s lives this week as well. Doc Maddison was our speaker for this week again and he did amazing as always. We were so happy to have him with us for another week! All of the campers had great reviews of his messages. We all loved his object lessons and we learned a lot from him. Friday night at our decision service we were so lucky to have such an amazing response and so many campers commit to living 24/7 for Christ.

Above: Two campers attempt to unravel a frozen t-shirt before the other in a pre-session game.

Overall, we had an amazing week and it was such a pleasure to have each and every one of the campers in Oak Hill with us for the week. We as a staff have so many stories to take away and we really enjoyed this week and we hope that every camper felt the same! God is doing some amazing work in Oak Hill and we are so excited to see what he has planned for our third and final week in New Castle, PA!