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An Epic Week

A “beehive” would be an apt description of the RIC during the summer months. From 2008-2012, over 1,000 young people from a total of 52 churches/schools have participated in City Challenge—a five-day inner city ministry experience for youth groups. This year’s theme is “Epic,” with teaching sessions centered upon challenging youth that they are meant for something bigger and greater than just coasting through life. God’s story and his purposes are epic!

To give you a glimpse into what City Challenge is like, we have put together a photo gallery containing pictures of groups that have already participated in this year’s program as well as an article written by one of the participants for her church’s newsletter.

By Kendra Scheffel

The morning of Wednesday, June 5th our youth group met at the church to set off for five days at the Rosedale International Center in Columbus for City Challenge. Before we set off we gathered around and prayed for the following five days. When we arrived at the RIC, we were met by cheery staff who quickly learned our names, grabbed our luggage, and got us settled in.

The first thing we did was have a worship and session time. Each of the sessions was taught by Kevin Mayer. Throughout the week he talked about heaven and hell. He talked about the importance of living this short amount of time on Earth for the benefit of living eternity in heaven and the importance of taking as many people along with us as we can. Despite how tired we got during the week he still managed to hold our attention and engage our minds.

Each day we had a different outreach opportunity. Wednesday evening we split into two groups for outreach. My group went to a park to hand out sack dinners and then went to Manna Cafe, a place that provides a meal for the homeless. The other group went to Fruit of the Vine which also handed out dinners to the homeless.

Thursday’s outreach was the prayer challenge. For the prayer challenge we were given a list of questions about Columbus to ask people and clues about where several staff were located around Columbus. We were also given bus passes and told to ride it at least once. Once we found a staff person they had something for us to do like pray for a certain topic or hand out free water bottles. Despite the rain that poured the majority of the time, this day was probably my favorite.

For the outreach on Friday, my group helped the pastor of a local church prepare an area for a new playground for the pre-K and Kindergarten school he was going to start. The other group went to a nursing home. The group sang worship songs for the residents and talked with them.

Saturday morning we split into groups and did a prayer walk. We walked around the community near the RIC and asked people who were out and about if we could pray for them. Saturday afternoon my group went to a food pantry and helped hand out food and take food out to people’s cars. The other group went and helped a man who was starting a community garden.

Sunday we all gathered together and talked about our week. We shared with each other the many “God moments” we experienced, and we discussed ways in which we could take everything we learned and bring it back home in our personal lives and as a youth group.

The theme for City Challenge was “epic.” I’d have to say “epic” pretty well described our week. Even though by the end of the week everyone was exhausted to the bone, it was an amazing experience to see God work in so many ways. Even though many of us didn’t think it was possible for our youth group to grow any closer than it was, God brought us together in new ways. If you want to hear more about our week, ask any of us, because we would love to tell you about our epic week!