Service Trip 2016

A number of adults and youth spent a week in Newark, NJ to assist World Impact in a renovation project and in serving their school. You can learn about the trip through the updates below; these updates were sent to the congregation by Don Willeman over the course of the service trip to Newark last week, February 15th through February 19th.

Monday, February 15th

We arrived safe and sound last night in Newark and were able to settle in nicely. Our first evening program went well with Jill Seale giving her testimony of faith in Christ and me teaching on the holiness of God. In so many ways the two talks dovetailed very well, as Jill was able to share her personal experience of knowing and walking with God and I was able to talk about the uniqueness of God and the fact that He is the bottom line reality that we all must come to grips with. After the evening program we “hung out” and explored the monstrosity of this building that we are staying in.

Speaking of the building, the World Impact Ministries facility is really something. It is a massive 180,000 square foot former regional technical high school that was built in the 1920’s but abandoned by 1980. It houses a gym, huge auditorium, three churches, an elementary school, several organizational  headquarters, a number of apartments, and a lot of yet-to-repurposed space. And all of this doesn’t even account for the three stories of basement beneath the building that used to house a massive power plant for the city of Newark, a firing range for the ROTC, etc.

Today we will begin our work projects and then have another evening program later in which we will continue our teaching on the holiness of God. Please continue to pray that our work goes well and is productive, and that the teaching of the gospel has an impact on us all.

Tuesday, February 16th

Yesterday morning we ventured into the neighborhood surrounding the World Impact facility, in order to have a learning experience about life in an urban setting. Most groups walked about five miles investigating various aspects of the city. Some even got their picture taken with the president ;-) (see photos below). In the afternoon we began some of our work projects which included moving a ton (or should I say literally tons!) of junk out of the massive three story basement.

For our evening program we heard Jacob Willeman share his story of faith in Christ. I then continued our teaching on holiness. Everyone was attentive in spite of quite a long and very lofty message about the nature of God’s holiness.  The evening ended with everyone hanging out, playing basketball and other activities.

Please continue to pray. We continue our work projects today and then will hear from Kevin Schwartz tonight on the holiness of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for your partnership in this work!

Thursday, February 18th

Today is our final day in Newark and what a week it has been! We accomplished quite a number of projects for World Impact—from the complete renovation of classrooms, to working with the children in the school, to the removal of tons of junk. We filled a monster 30 yard dumpster to more than overflowing (see photo below).

The kids and the adults have had a great time. We heard further testimonies from Jason Achmoody, as well as, Keith Willks of World Impact. The talks on the holiness of God seem to have connected. On Wednesday we heard from Kevin Schwartz on “The Holiness of Christ” and last night I rounded out the week with a message on “Living Before the Holy God”. This talk focused on how the grace of God allows us to walk freely and fervently before the face of God. Because of the grace of Christ, we are able to take our sin more seriously than we ever could before, but we are also able to take our selves more lightly than ever before. He is God and we are not!

Today we will clean up, pack up and head home. Please continue to pray for the all the participants as well as the continued work of the ministries here in Newark.

Service Trip Reflections

On Sunday February 21st, a few of those who attended the service trip shared about it with the congregation. Click here to listen to the reflections of Joel Eshbaugh, Matt Smith, Emilie Marshall, Anna Seale, Kathleen Peters.