'Twas the week of Thanksgiving, when all through Dunloe and Tallmedge elementary, every student was stirring, even the secretary. The school was decorated with turkeys and gourds, in hopes that Crossroads Church soon would be lured. The students were awaiting eagerly at their desks, while visions of new tennis shoes danced in their heads. And the teachers were trying to keep everyone's attention, as if Crossroads arrival was the intention. When suddenly outside the school, there arose such a clatter. The students and teachers sprang to the windows to see what was the matter. An eruption of cheer grew quite fast, as the volunteers of Crossroads were there in a flash. As Crossroads was getting ready for the students, the teachers were taking attendance to see who was absent. The Crossroads.TV trailer had the door wide open, with tons of shoe boxes for the shoe drop to happen. With the folks of Crossroads, so lively and cheerful, The students knew in a moment it would be delightful. The students were dismissed, excited for new shoes. The Crossroads volunteers handed them out, all with good news! "Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and we are here to serve Him," the Crossroads team whistled. So "loving our city by serving it" was clear as crystal. The teachers explained to everyone "we must always be thankful, and our lives will be fruitful." In celebration of the shoe giveaway everyone exclaimed, "Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a great day!" -Melody Delaney Lithopolis Campus
I was always the kid that was “different, and the one that had few friends. I moved when I was in elementary school to a new school that I was afraid to even walk in the morning, because I got bullied so often. I went to this school up until sophomore year of high school. One major event happened during this time. I wouldn’t take it back because it has brought me to being the person I am today.
Before I say what it is, I want you to know that I believe that God does stuff to us, for us to get something out of it, for it to get us somewhere. When I was in eighth grade, I hung around all the “druggies.” This led me to smoke and to go to a party one night that had drugs. I continued to hang around these friends because I thought I was a “cool” kid. The day that I will never forget is the day that I also will never want to take back. It’s made me part of the person I am today. This is the day that I went into the bathroom with friends, and when I walked out with an E-Cigarette in my hand, the principal caught me.
I was in the office all afternoon. He called my parents, and they couldn’t believe what had happened. I lost all trust in my parents, my brother and myself. I knew that I could never trust any feeling or any action of mine again. Little time had gone by, and I asked my mother if we could start going back to church. She said, “of course.” We were on our way to the Catholic Church next to Crossroads.TV, and something in me said, “Turn left now.” That action of mine was God. He had a reason that we made that left turn. He had a reason for my mother and I to make that turn into Crossroads.TV. This was in 2014. I then saw a promo video during a sermon at church of a mission trip. My first reaction thought was “Wow. That looks amazing.” I attended the meeting for the trip and put down my deposit soon after. The countdown began for August 1, 2015. That day was the day that the Dominican Republic mission’s team flew out of Columbus.
As we were about to touch down in the Dominican Republic, I suddenly froze, and a tear began to go down my face. The plane hadn’t landed yet, and I could already see the poverty of this country. Of course on the four hour bus ride to the village, my eyes were as big as my head because of how much I had to take in, the view, thinking about being in another country and about how I got to be a part of such a wonderful opportunity. We got to the village safely, and the team went to sleep. We woke up the next morning to a wonderful cooked meal from Pastora and then went straight to Sunday School. This was the first day that we were actually out of the walls from the building we were all staying in.
The first hour that I was there, I built friendships with multiple people. The kids there are so loving, and you can make their day with something as simple as a high five. We went to the Batey to put in water filtration systems. Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling taking in everything around me. Seeing that these people live in huts made out of mud, it got to me, deep, not just what they lived in, but how they lived. At the Batey, I met the most amazing family. That was Pastor Anderson’s family. I met their daughter who was three. Her name is ‘Ana.” She had a smile bigger than anyone and was the happiest little girl. Ana and I grew so close, so fast.
I remember sticking by her side the whole time I was at the Batey, playing games with her, drawing, talking to her in Spanish and playing tag. I would do anything that made that beautiful smile shine. Back to El Jobo, where we stayed, I met a young boy named Jandi. He was four years old when I first met him. He showed me so much stuff. He introduced me to his family and young friends. While we were in El Jobo, I stuck by his side the whole time. I connected with him so much that week. I felt as if he was my own brother.
Leaving was the hardest part for me. My heart was broken. I fell so in love with the beautiful country and the people. My heart ached for weeks and weeks. Two things that God taught me during that trip is to stop being greedy, and most importantly, he showed me that I have a passion for kids.
When I returned I started to serve in the ccKids room. From that point on I knew I had a calling to do something that allows me to interact with people. Another couple months went by, and I went to the missions meeting at Crossroads for the second time. The countdown began again to go on the trip. It was July 29, 2016, year two of going to the Dominican Republic!
When I stepped foot off the bus, Jandi was standing there. I got the biggest relief and had the biggest smile. I just experienced a whole year of worries and a whole year of me missing the country and the people that I love. He gave me a huge hug.
Back in the Batey, I started walking towards the door to get off the bus. Before I was even off of the bus, I saw Ana standing there in a black and red dress. Ana and I made eye contact, and before I could even step one foot off the bus, she ran towards me and gave me the biggest hug. Again, this was the biggest relief, and seeing her was the most amazing feeling.
When I went home this year my heart wasn’t broken. It felt like it, but it was more a feeling that I’ve successfully done what God wanted me to do. God showed me during this trip that if He sends you a calling somewhere, go where He says because there is a blessing there waiting for you. Just like God called me to a third world country, the Dominican Republic, to do his work and to spread His love. Another thing that He showed me was that Jesus loves us all. Last, He showed me that Jesus and God both loved me so that I can pass their love through me and out of me to these people in the Dominican Republic.
The countdown begins for year three! These mission trips have shown me a lot. They’ve shown me that I have a passion for kids and people. God has shown me that he wants me to be a missionary. He has shown me opportunity experiences right here in Columbus that I could never have seen myself doing if I didn’t go on this mission trip.
God called me specifically, and I took his call, and I went for it. By taking his call, it has opened many doors for me, changed my life from left to RIGHT and has blessed me in so many ways.
Bryce R. Fryman
I started to attend Crossroads.TV the summer before my junior year of high school. I just wanted to check it out with a few friends, and then found that I loved every aspect instantly. I had only been attending regularly for a few months, but I decided to check out the missions meeting anyway. The video that Jackie, the trip leader, had made for the Dominican and her passion for the country and its people stuck with me and created an indescribable pull at my heart.
I was only 17 and was very grateful that my parents supported this sudden, spontaneous urge to not only to begin my walk with Jesus, but to also be His hands and feet myself. The Dominican and its people captured my heart immediately. God spoke to me, “This is what you are called to do. This is your burden, and THIS your passion.” I went to the Dominican again this summer and nothing changed except my love for Batey 7 and El Jobo had grown even more.
Going on mission trips has not only been a culture shock, but it has also expanded my faith and deepened my faith with God. It has changed my view on every day life. Clean water from the faucet is a miracle. A hot shower and a meal on the table is a blessing, and still, I would much rather spend my day playing 20 rounds of volleyball in the Dominican sun. I would still rather be where my heart is. I have never felt more alive and free than in El Jobo, attending a church service where I may not understand the sermon, but I am praising Him anyway, along with the rest of my team… eyes closed and both arms raised high. Everyone needs to experience this.
Is God pulling at your heart? Do you feel called to go? Are you scared because you feel like you have no direction or maybe you wonder what gift you have to fulfill the Great Commission?
STOP right there! Everyone can feel that tugging in their lives at times and can feel like they should be doing something different or being somewhere else. We all feel like we need balance and a sense of direction, and we all get scared when we do not feel in control. But, is God in control of your life or are you?
We are called to Love first because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) When we have these feelings, we need to give up control and all of the “what ifs” and place it all in God’s hands. God wants to use us, and He made each one of us for a specific purpose. You are special, and God gave you many gifts and qualities to prepare a story for His glory.
Taking a mission trip is a great way to learn to give up the fears and the control that may be holding you back. When you get out of your daily routine and away from all of the distractions, you learn to fully rely on God and to pray without wondering if the bills are paid, groceries bought, house cleaned, the kids to bed, and the list goes on and on.
Experiencing God 101 is something we all need. Sometimes it takes to get up and go, to learn to listen, to open your ears, to listen to your soul and to hear God calling you. God has a plan for every life. Because we are called to be His hands and feet, and because we are are His disciples, we are to live like Jesus while we are here.
When you take a mission trip with Crossroads.TV, you are taking a trip with a family. You will be with the ones that support and care for you. People on a mission trip become a team with a purpose to love by serving. They become a unit that works better together. Whether we are doing labor, educating, VBS, singing, dancing, playing or evangelizing, we are doing it from our hearts and with the ones we love!
On October 18th at 7pm the Lithopolis Campus Crossroads.TV will be holding the first Mission interest meeting for 2017. There is so much in store for you. Come and learn about the many choices from in country to out of country missions. We encourage you to stop by and see what your church is doing to be the change!
The Bed Brigade Builds and Delivers Hope!
Don’t you just love the feeling of crawling into a nice warm bed in the middle of winter? This is a luxury that we too often take for granted. When most people think of people with no beds, they tend to think of third world countries. However, there are people here in our own city without beds. The Bed Brigade helps to meet this need.
We are currently building and delivering ten beds a month to people who have none right here in Fairfield County. Even with building at our current rate, we still have a five month waiting list. For many children that we serve, this is their very first bed. Words cannot describe the joy that they experience when they receive the simple gift of a bed.
Bed Brigade is something that you have to experience to be able to understand the gravity of the impact this ministry makes. We close up each delivery with time of prayer with the family. Please contact me or sign-up on the Outreach page if you want to help this ministry thrive!
-Ryan Hardbarger, Lancaster Campus
If you have spent any time at the Restore, you are probably familiar with Maxine a.k.a. “Micky.” Micky started out as a volunteer. Just seven short months later, she became a fulltime employee. Micky credits her relationship with Habitat for Humanity and its customers as a huge turning point in her life. Crossroads.TV was able to meet Micky and help restore the outside of her house during IMPACT Week.
After graduating from high school in Warren, Ohio, Micky served in the United States Navy from September 1982 until January 1989, when she was honorably discharged as a Machinery Repairman 2nd class. For the next 3 years, she worked in restaurants until landing a job with the State of Ohio Department of Corrections. She worked as a Correctional Officer at the Southeastern Correctional Facility from June 1992 to March 2004.
After enduring three back surgeries for a herniated disc, Micky retired in 2004. Stenosis and disc degeneration are still a medical problem for Micky today. In December 2011, Micky was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, she has been CANCER FREE since 2012! While Micky is extremely grateful to be cancer free, she also developed lymphedema in her left arm in June 2012. This condition leaves her susceptible to cellulitis, which has hospitalized her five times in the last few years.
For the past four years, Micky has lived in an apartment above a bar with no fire escape and only one entrance/exit. With the loud, constant noise from the bar, it is hard for Micky to sleep – especially on Friday nights. There is no elevator, and climbing flights of stairs makes it very difficult to complete daily duties such as grocery shopping, taking her 2 dogs (Bella & Oso) out for walks, and most importantly, caring for her grandchildren. Micky has three grandchildren; Duncan two years old, Aubrey six years old and Peyton six years old. Her current living conditions limits her ability to care for them at her apartment. It is virtually impossible for her to carry anything up the flight of stairs because they are steep, and it makes it hard to feel safe.
On Wednesday, April 13th, I completed my home visit with Micky. There are three flights of stairs leading up to her apartment, which are uneven, loose and overall unsafe. (I actually tripped up one of the stairs myself.) Upon entering the apartment, I noticed how small it is, especially for two people. The kitchen was originally two rooms and used as a second bedroom, although it is hard to imagine two rooms in such a small space. The floors throughout the whole apartment were uneven, and the carpeting was tattered. There are cracks and signs of settling and condensation in the walls. There are a lot of cracks/gaps around the front door, which affects the temperature inside and the possibility for insects and rodents to enter. A small living room is set in between the kitchen and a tiny bedroom. There is one, very skinny, small closet (in the whole apartment) which Micky had to transform with rods to fit some of her clothing. Due to lack of space/zero storage, items are stacked throughout the apartment.
The laundry room is down two flights of unsafe stairs, which makes it hard to transport clothes, laundry products and money. In 2015, Micky tripped and broke her arm going to the laundry room (located in a building behind the apartment,) causing her to spend six weeks between a cast and splints. Securing decent, affordable housing will enhance and improve Micky’s life overall. Micky is a woman who gives selflessly. Throughout her life, she has given to her family, her country, Habitat for Humanity and to each individual she has met in some capacity. Micky qualified for a new house from Habitat for Humanity because she met the criteria, and she is a Veteran. Safe, decent, affordable housing should be afforded to her because she absolutely deserves it!
Teams have been diligently working on a new house for Mickey, and she will be moving in sometime next month. We are so excited to see Mickey move into her new home.
-Tanika Nabrit, Counselor/Family Support Advocate – Habitat for Humanity
This is the Shoup’s Furniture Bank Story.
We felt a push to purge a little deeper last Thursday when we had the Furniture Bank show up to pick up some furniture we were donating, and we ended up giving enough to fill an entire home for someone. We donated a full bedroom set, kitchen table and chairs, another kitchenette table and chairs, couch, accent chairs, recliner, living room tables and several other items. That was pretty awesome to know that our unused furniture was going to help families in need, especially being so closely tied to the Furniture Bank and loving how they serve others and make such an impact.
Our reason for selling our home and downsizing was very much rooted in our faith. We felt called to create more margin to bless others. Coming to the realization that we just filled a home with furniture was a great moment with God reaffirming we were headed in the direction He intended for us. The mad scramble of moving and the tension of doing it on such hot days last week was quickly washed over when we stopped for a minute and realized what He delivered through us in all of this.
Then to hear Pastor Matt’s fear message and so much about house related decisions this weekend right after that was pretty surreal to say the least. To top it all off, our kiddos got to hear why we were giving away so much of our stuff and how it would bless others, and they were both so sweet and wanting to see what else we should give away of their stuff to help others. Our daughter said, “We are so blessed. God has given us so many blessings, and there is no reason to be sad.”
Hunger has no boundaries and exists everywhere in America. Did you know that 1 in 6 or 1.8 million Ohioans live below the line of poverty?
A third of those living in poverty are children. When children are not getting the right amounts of daily nutrients, they are put at risk for illness and a weakened immune system.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 65 receive fewer nutrients, which prohibits their ability to live a full and active life. People living in hunger have a higher chance of developing diabetes, developing a range of chronic illnesse, and scoring lower on physical and mental health exams.
Because of your faithful generosity, our partner, Stowe Mission of Central Ohio, is able to provide 500 meals a day. Over 122,000 meals are provided from their community soup kitchen and pantry each year. In addition, Crossroads.TV was able to provide a much-needed new refrigerator for their soup kitchen because of your giving.
Crossroads.TV & Stowe Mission are committed to feeding the hungry and making a positive impact by meeting the most basic of needs – food. Because of your kindness, we can continue to reach out, serve, and meet the needs of our community.
Stowe Mission is just one of our ministry partners that will be a part of IMPACT Week 2016. Find your IMPACT at www.impactweek.com.
Thank you for helping us fight hunger one meal at a time!
“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” – Psalm 8:2
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” – Matthew 18:2-6
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”- Proverbs 22:6
85% of youth in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
We all love to hear stories about children who grew up in difficult situations but overcame adversity to achieve something great. Unfortunately, for many youth, their truth is that the life that they grow up in is the only life they know. When they see drug use, violence, and poverty during the most vulnerable time in their life, they grow up to continue the cycle.
We are called to help raise children in the Word of the Lord. The Bible says that if we do, we can raise them to continue to live Christ-like lives as adults. So what do we do to stop these youth from becoming a statistic?
We stop the cycle.
Our Father’s Project, a relational ministry that provides mentoring and discipleship for youth in urban Columbus, strives to do just that.
Each week, the group meets on Fridays nights to “play sports and games together, enjoy a family meal, pray and learn practical lessons from scripture. Many who get involved describe The Project as family.” -ourfathersproject.org
The Project also helps youth in southern Columbus by offering clothes, medical treatments and Christmas gifts. They also offer experiences that a father might provide for his son, like a trip to the State Fair, bowling, or a sporting event.
Some of the youth that grew up with The Project now mentor the next generation. Clearly the program is making an impact!
“You and I have a story to tell. We are changing future generations, one life at a time.” -ourfathersproject.org
Crossroads.TV has partnered with Our Father’s Project to help meet the needs of these young men. During Impact week, we are providing an opportunity to Crossroaders to see what Our Father’s Project is all about. On Friday, July 22nd, Crossroads will be joining The Project by hanging out with the kids and listening to a sermon with them. Afterwards, we’ll feed them dinner and then play basketball.
“The teens that belong to Our Father’s Project are experiencing spiritually and practically that there is hope for a better life now. They know their future is not determined by their current circumstances, nor is their future bound by generations of fatherlessness, destructive behavior and poverty. They are living and growing in a relationship with our Father God, and they have Christian leaders who are involved in their lives, as an earthly father would be. Our teens are loved.” - ourfathersproject.org
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4.
With your help, we can stop the cycle. For more information, please visit impactweek.com
-Penny Baldwin, Lithopolis Campus
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.” – Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)
If Jesus came to your door, unshowered, His clothing dirty and torn, His eyes sunken in from dehydration, and His face pale from sickness, what would you do? Would you turn Him away? Invite Him in?
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’’ Matthew 25:37-39 (NIV)
If Jesus stopped you on the street and asked you for help, would you feel honored that He chose you, welcome Him with open arms, treat him like family?
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
Jesus tells us that whatever we do for someone in need, we do for Him. When we feed the poor, help the sick and give love to those who need it most, we are feeding, helping and loving Jesus.
Since 2014, Stowe Mission has provided over 1,000,000 meals from its food pantry. That’s over one million times that Jesus has asked for, and received, compassion and love from people in Central Ohio.
Stowe Mission serves the community every day, and in turn Jesus, by providing a food pantry, soup kitchen, medical, dental and eye services, job placement and tutoring, school supply giveaways and toy drives to the homeless in Central Ohio.
Crossroads.TV has partnered with Stowe to help them fulfill their mission to, “Help the inner-city physically, emotionally and spiritually – All in the name of Jesus.” (stowemission.org)
Every other month, on the second Thursday of the month, and every fifth Friday, members of Crossroads Church join Stowe Mission to provide over 250 meals. And this year, Crossroads.TV is providing an opportunity to serve the homeless during IMPACT Week. On July 19th, 2016, we will be hosting our annual Hot Dog Block Party. On this night, we serve over 700 hot dogs, chips and desserts. We play music and games, provide sidewalk chalk for the kids and much more. We also bring in professional face painters and hair cutters for this event. It attracts over 40 volunteers and hundreds of folks from the south end of Columbus. Will you join us?
For more information or to sign up for Impact week, please visit our site at Impact WEEK.
And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:16
-Penny Baldwin, Lithopolis Campus