By Chris Moon
App Pays Off Student’s Loan
Jordan Shelton had a very good day this summer.
The staffer at CMF International was chosen in a random drawing to have his $33,407 in student loans paid off by a trivia game app that seeks to eradicate student loan debt.
According to Indianapolis news station Fox 59, Shelton is a graduate of Manhattan (Kan.) Christian College. Shelton had played the free app, Givling, which uses crowdfunding through in-app purchases to enable it to pay off student loans to randomly selected participants.
The app’s mission, according to the news station, is to “eradicate the growing $1.4 trillion student loan debt crisis.” Fox 59 reports that Givling has paid off five student loans valued at more than $550,000.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine my loans being paid off by playing a free trivia game,” Shelton told Fox 59. “At CMF International, I recruit, encourage, and equip interns for international ministry. With the burden of student loans gone, I’ll now be able to expand my missionary work.”
Former Muslim Launches Church
Ali Roohi, a former Muslim in Silicon Valley, is now seeking to bring people to Jesus Christ.
Roohi and his wife, Yasmin, in September launched CenterSet Church in San Jose, Calif. The church was started in a partnership with Stadia.
“Think about this,” Roohi said in a Stadia newsletter. “God took a former Muslim turned church planter just so that people who are far from him could know how much he loves them.”
Roohi’s parents came to the United States from Iran in the 1970s. He was raised in Silicon Valley, a place that he says is unique for its “unusually bold, passionate, and driven” people.
“We’re orphans and dreamers. I’m no different,” Roohi told Stadia.
But Roohi said he always felt like an outsider, even though he became a successful software engineer “making tons of money.”
“I remember in the summer of 2010, looking at my new home and new car and wondering, ‘Is this all there is?’” he said.
Roohi eventually left Islam and became a Christian. And after two years of planning and praying, he left his job and launched a church.
“I know in this Valley that sounds rather foolish to say, but I’m not ashamed to say I believe in God, and he has totally changed my life for the better,” Roohi said.
Churches Breathe New Life into Old Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods near downtown Indianapolis are getting a new influx of life—and churches are providing the heart and soul for the transformation.
A recent story in the Indianapolis Star reported that churches are pouring human and financial resources into downtrodden areas near the city’s core. One of those churches, Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Ind., is working with one of its members to bring new life to the Old Southside neighborhood of Indianapolis.
Jed Fuller, a member of Mount Pleasant, moved to the neighborhood and began renovating a home there. He also is working with the church to install a pocket park and to launch a ministry reaching out to low-income residents in the community.
“I have a passion and a calling to make disciples,” Fuller told the newspaper. “We see churches failing, and it’s not because God is failing, but because we’ve failed neighborhoods like these.”
Fuller told the newspaper the ministry plans to build two houses in the neighborhood this fall. The idea is for current renters in the area to live in the homes—enabling them to become homeowners.
SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT COMMUNITY.
Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan has been reaccredited for another 10 years by the Association of Theological Schools. The ATS reaffirmed all four of Emmanuel’s degree programs—Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries, Master of Arts in Religion, and Doctor of Ministry. // Journey Christian Church lead pastor Arron Chambers and his family helped create an all-accessible playground in Greeley, Colo. The playground was named after Aven, a JCC member who has cerebral palsy. The wheelchair-accessible project was recognized with an award from the Colorado Lottery. // Central Christian Church in Beloit, Wis., once again opened its Little Red Wagon back-to-school store. Students received backpacks filled with supplies in exchange for $5, a small fee that the church believes helps preserve the dignity of parents. // Stadia partnered to launch nine churches this fall—Antioch Shoreline Church in St. Clair Shores, Mich.; CenterSet Church in San Jose, Calif.; The District Church in Wichita, Kan.; First Christian Church Champaign–Urbana Campus in Urbana, Ill.; Flourish Church in Seattle, Wash.; Journey Church of Bowling Green (Ky.); Serve Community Church in Prairie Village, Kan.; Thrive Church LA in Los Angeles; and United Church in Owings Mills, Md. // RiverGlen Christian Church in Waukesha, Wis., recently installed an indoor soft playground for toddlers. The church says young families now fellowship longer after church while their children play. // Pathway Church in Wichita, Kan., this fall is launching a campus in the nearby town of Valley Center. The church plant was slated to begin meeting Oct. 8 at a local middle school. // More than 2,000 people attended an event called the Evangelical-Mormon Conversation. Brigham Young University professor Brad Wilcox and pastor Steve Crane, of Eagle (Id.) Christian Church, spoke about the similarities and differences between Mormonism and evangelical Christianity in an effort to promote understanding. // Generations Christian Church, Trinity, Fla., sent an 11-member team to the Mathare slums in Kenya in partnership with Missions of Hope International. Team members served as teachers and worked to provide medical care in a community clinic. // Manchester (N.H.) Christian Church passed out free school supplies to teachers this fall to help meet their classroom needs. // Tomoka Christian Church in Ormond Beach, Fla., opened its sanctuary doors on one special day in July to host weddings free of charge. Thirteen couples tied the knot at the church in 25-minute ceremonies that included weddings, short receptions, cakes, flowers, and photography. // Members of the Salty Church youth group in Ormond Beach, Fla., traveled to Haiti on a short-term mission trip. They helped lay a concrete slab, unpacked boxes of food, and cared for malnourished babies at a local hospital. // First Christian Church of Decatur, Ill., hosted its annual JumpStart back-to-school event where it supplied students in the local school district with free physicals, dental exams, and access to immunizations. The church helped 417 students this year. // Mechanicsburg (Ill.) Christian Church celebrated its 175th anniversary in August. // Suncrest Christian Church in St. John, Ind., was featured in a Chicago Tribune article that told the story of a man who began his recovery from an addiction to pain medication after attending one of the church’s services. The story recounted the man’s testimony about his recovery, faith, and family. // Riverlawn Christian Church in Wichita, Kan., is helping launch a new church in the Delano District in downtown Wichita. The new fellowship—District Church—was scheduled to hold its first service on Oct. 15 at a local elementary school.