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April 07, 2008


Todd Burkey

The one thing that stuck out to me after the service was numbers. I can recall meeting in the multi purpose room at the school with a dozen or so folks. Some of you can probably remember back further than that. After the service it was mentioned that there were just under one hundred folks there. What growth! And convening at trvaeling venues! I felt pride to show off some of the things that I often take for granted. The university is a large portion of my life and I was glad to share some of that. God gave us a gorgeous backdrop for the whole day. Thanks God! The view from above is spectacular and quite revealing. Our perception of this area too often is guided by personal bias. There are some rough areas in Youngstown. But there are also good people. Jesus talked of weeds growing amongst his crop but also encouraged that the crop be left for him to tend lest it be destroyed in removing the weeds. The people in Youngstown have faith and hope just as you and I do. They also have pride. I would guess that most of them wouldn't want a handout, but they would like help. We can invest in them as Christ has invested in us. I think at the end of this pilgrimage we will have collectively a better appreciation for what we can do to help this area and become invested. Our perceptions are bound to change based on where we have come from, to where we're at, to where we're going. I am excited about it!

Frank Snyder

The YSU Stadium service brought many thoughts and feelings back to me that I have not had in quite a while. Memories of the brick four plex within eye shot that I lived in, the college days, the distrust that I had in those around me that I did not know and the anger towards those who wanted to steal from me or worse. Gods word teaches us to love our enemies. This is something that I still struggle greatly with. While we worshipped in the Stadium Club the love of Jesus was flowing in such a way that it nearly brought me to tears several times. The heart of a healthy church is alive and growing in us!!! Our ministry can only grow stronger with experiences which take us out of our normal sphere of comfort and put us in a position to help others get to know the graciousness of God and Jesus. Onward with the Pilgrimage!!!!

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