Ohio Trip 4: An International House Church

Sunday afternoon I spent some time getting to know another one of the elders from Apex in Dayton. Jim Schindler is a retired business man who was tapped by the young pastor at Apex to be an elder early in the church’s history. Jim had been a respected member of the mother church out of which Apex was planted. He also was the brother who traveled overseas and discovered the effectiveness of the house church model in international missions. Now an advocate of house church for American churches, he invests a good deal of time cultivating relationships with international students (online and in person). He and his wife have built relationships with several international students in the Dayton area, resulting in a small regular gathering of them in his home.

When evening came, we met around the dining room table for a Bible study which Jim led, since together with his wife he was their senior by several decades. There were students from India, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. One international student skyped in from a trip in North Dakota (see the laptop on the table). This meeting was more clearly “led” by an individual than the one I participated in earlier that day in Cincinnati. Given the relative youth and level of maturity in the faith among the students I suppose this makes sense. One of the students is a Hindu and another is a Muslim.

We read through and discussed a chapter of Matthew’s gospel and answered questions asked by those present. After a brief prayer our hosts produced a serving tray with a hamburger bun and small dixie cups full of juice. We ate and drank these and then got up and ate dinner together. At the end of the dinner, we shared a going away cake for on of the students who was leaving the next day for India. Her parents had arranged a marriage and she was going to start a new life with a man she barely knows (!). That was bittersweet. I was inspired by the diversity of the group, and by the ability that this group showed in reaching out to unbelievers from other faiths. The host couple shows a genuine calling to minister to this population of their church. That was encouraging.

Pretty exhausted from two days of solid travel and meetings in two different cities, I returned to my futon and slept like a rock. Day three (or four, if you count the first night, too) was a day off from meetings. Time to process and chill out for a while, ’cause the next few days were full indeed.

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2 Responses to “Ohio Trip 4: An International House Church”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Neil, I am Betty Carano's sister. She is one of the people you meet in the Xenos Dayton Church. I am in the Columbus Xenos Church. I wonder if you were able to hang out with any people from Columbus that were helpful to you.

  2. Neil Says:

    Hey, Betty's sister! Thanks for asking. In another day or two I hope to post about meeting with Scott and Liz Sweet's group. They were helpful, as were my hosts during XSI, Jim and Lisa Long. They had their college group over Friday night until early in the morning, and we all had a good time! Check back in another couple of days and I'll write about all that, too.

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