A regular communication for the family and friends of
WEST CHICAGO BIBLE CHURCH
209 S. Oakwood Ave., West Chicago, IL 60185 • (630) 231-1210
Fall 2007 - Volume II - Issue 4
Energy, ideas, activity, questions, fun, excitement, camaraderie, noise, laughter - all of these are characteristics of youth. And all can be seen in action every Wednesday evening at Water’s Edge Bible Church. Young people are in the halls or in the gym, making music in the sanctuary or nestled in the comfortable chairs of the youth room. One moment they may be screaming in fear/fun during a game. The next moment their serious expressions confirm their absorption with the message being conveyed by one of the leaders, giving thought to how it fits into their particular circumstances of life. These young people are not only the church to come, but a big part of the church right now. Dedicated leaders work to guide them in spiritual growth, help them maneuver around the pitfalls of adolescence, direct them into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, and prepare them for the long haul of life. We’ll meet some of this community of youth and their leaders at WEBC, as we highlight this very important group.
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From a Leader’s Point of View
If the students are having as much fun as the leaders, we are all having a great time! Our focus has been “facing fears.” We had a Fear Factor night and have been taking advantage of the unused challenges of that night on other evenings. One of the girls asked that we, please, not make them do anything we wouldn’t do. She has no idea of what we will do! Beau found a book on facing your fears and has been condensing the lessons to an overview for Wednesday nights and a deeper look for Sunday mornings. So far we have looked at: bad fears vs. good fears, how not to fear the future God has in store for us, and dealing with our fear of commitment. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look at evil – what we should be cautious about and why we don’t need to be in fear. The students either look up the Bible verses or quote them from memory.
Kelly and Charity supply great energy to the group. The students enjoy these two and all of the fun things they have planned. They have fresh ideas and know how to present them. From the time they walk through the church doors till the time they leave, they are involved with the students.
Ben has been extremely generous with his resources. We had a pool party at his home and are planning a gathering at his work place. The last time we went to Aquascape, most of the students commented on how they wanted to get a job there. He has a great deal of knowledge and we are blessed by his insights.
Chuck and Debbie are having fun getting to know the students who aren’t angry when asked for the third time that night what their name is. The Laskys have been supervising the students in getting the room finished exactly the way the youth want it.
Betty and Grant are the steady staples of leadership. They arrive at 5:30 to supervise the worship team and stay until every student has left. Sometimes it gets late. They try to keep the rest of us on schedule, but that is a big job. They also stay up for every minute of the all nighters! Wherever they are needed, that’s where they will be.
Jim has been working with the youth for many years. He enjoys leading the games or teaching the lesson. He was a pastor at one time and has many crazy stories that he shares. Not a night goes by that Jim isn’t laughing about something. He loves and accepts students just as they are, a quality we all need.
Beau and On-E join us when they can and the students love them. Beau is an exceptional speaker.
We have lots of plans for the future and have enough leaders to carry them out. Praise God!
Some student comments about the youth group:
You always know you can be refreshed by coming to youth group.
It’s active and fun.
The singing and Dodgeball are fun.
It’s really fun.
It’s a lot of fun.
And on a fearful night:
I like the challenges of Fear Factor; we should do more of it.
We found out Lauren can’t wink.
It’s fun and exciting.
Fear Factor was so good it was disturbing.
Jump, duck, do something.
Fear Factor was funny. I was tempted to eat everything, even the bag.
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Those Great Youth Leaders
Chuck and Debbie met in 1967 when a friend of Debbie's brought her to Chuck's youth group. Debbie received a saving knowledge of Jesus the following year at a youth group retreat. Chuck had accepted Christ as a small child. The Harvard Avenue Bible Church youth group in Villa Park was a big part of their high school life. Chuck and Debbie believe in the importance of young people having a safe, friendly place to hang out and be supervised by Christian adults other than their parents. The Laskys were married in 1972 and have four married children, four fabulous children-in-law, and seven grandchildren. They like to vacation in warm places near the ocean and spend all day snorkeling and boogey boarding. Chuck has been a sheet metal worker since 1972 and is working toward retiring as soon as possible. Debbie has worked in a print shop since 1991 and is now there on an as-needed basis. She tries to see her grandchildren as often as possible. If it were up to her, she would always have at least one with her at all times. They’ve attended West Chicago (Water’s Edge) Bible Church since about 1978. Chuck and Debbie also firmly believe that every marriage can get better and better. To that end, they are currently teaching a Adult Elective class on "Building Your Marriage." Chuck also serves as elder.
Beau and On-E met while going to college at Illinois Wesleyan University. Beau grew up on a farm and was a big “hick” when On-E met him. On-E grew up in Oak Park, but Big Hick Beau was able to convince On-E to go on a date with him anyway and the rest is history. The couple continued to grow together during college and became engaged during Beau's senior year. On-E had graduated by that time because she is smarter than Beau (his opinion only!). They were married a year later. Shortly before getting married, the couple starting attending Edge Water Church, later called Water's Edge Church, and yet again called Water's Edge Bible Church. They began working in the youth group right away and have been active with the youth ever since. In 2004, Beau and On-E bought a house in West Chicago. By this time, Beau had become fully urbanized, and the couple enjoys living in the area. Although they work a lot, Beau and On-E enjoy spending time together. They like working on their house, going on vacation, bike riding, skiing, visiting with friends and going on an occasional hunting trip. Well, Beau goes hunting - On-E isn't one to shoot things. Overall, the couple enjoys life together and is happy to be a part of Water's Edge Bible Church.
Kelly and Charity met in December of 2005 on the internet...yes the internet! They were engaged three weeks later and married on August 5, 2006. Kelly works at Lifting Gear Higher Corporation as a web designer/developer, and also does free-lance work on the side. Charity is currently the Development Assistant at Wheaton Academy. They have diverse ministry experience ranging from foreign mission trips to Young Life to camp ministry. Previous to the merge, they were both working with the MiniVenture and KidVenture programs at WEBC, all the while sensing the call to work with the teenagers of the church. They were set to re-start the Jr. High ministry when the merge entered the scene. Kelly and Charity have enjoyed working with this new youth group, and are already seeing God work in powerful ways with the kids. Kelly and Charity have been members of WEBC since its start in 2007.
As teenagers, Grant and Betty met when they both attended WCBC’s youth groups, Alpha and Omega. They were friends for eight years before getting married ten years ago. Now they work together for First Trust Portfolios (a securities wholesaler), where Betty is in the accounting department and Grant works on the software development team. Grant has been working with the youth group for about seven years and Betty is getting into her fifteenth year. Having grown up in Christian homes and receiving Christ at an early age, they know that this is the most critical time in a person’s life. Many people who drop out of church do so during junior high. Grant and Betty try to give them a reason to keep coming. Also, if they are going to become Christians, most people do so before they have reached college age. Grant and Betty want to be there during their teen years to listen to the students and provide honest, loving, biblical feedback and support.
Ben was born in Mexico in 1960. He accepted Christ in 1979 and married Kathy in 1981. West Chicago (Water's Edge) Bible Church has been Ben’s church home since 1978. Here, he has served in several capacities, including teacher of the Spanish-speaking Sunday School class for several years, the Evangelism Team, and as a church elder. Around here, Ben is known to have a heart for evangelism and is active in proclaiming Christ. Having received an accounting degree from UIC, Ben currently works as the Human Resource Director at Aquascape Inc. in St. Charles, IL. His favorite recreations are God, family, people and golf - in that order!
Jim was born in Concord, NH. He was born again during his growing up years and gained confirmation of that decision in the summer between his sophomore and junior high school years while attending a retreat at Word of Life Camp in Schroon Lake, NY. He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Trinity College, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Nancy Egeland and Jim were married in 1967. They have three children: Bonnie, Betty, and Jimmy - who are twins, and five grandchildren. Jim pastored Providence Baptist Church in Foster, IL for seven years and has been involved in church and church work through the years. He was employed at Conservative Baptist Headquarters and Churchmart, Wheaton, IL for 22 years and is currently at Graphix Products, West Chicago. Jim has worked with the youth group for about 13 years, with a year hiatus to care for his wife, Nancy, in her illness and death. It is his conviction that God has called every Christian to serve him with their life. He says that the gifts, personality, and experiences God has given him fit well with youth work - plus it's also a lot of fun! He desires to give youth a reason to have faith in Christ, a knowledge of God's Word, and to be an example of how this works in daily life, while experiencing the joy of seeing some come to faith in Christ and many go on to serve Him.
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Pool Party Goes Swimmingly!
What better time for a pool party than late September? When the temperatures topped out around 50 degrees the weekend before, we began to think we were crazy! God blessed us with a beautiful day on the 22nd with a high temperature around 80 degrees. Music set the tone, as we enjoyed burgers fresh from the grill, time spent together and, of course, the pool. After a rousing game of Tame the Whale, the leaders, from the deep end of the pool, showed the students how volleyball is played. Surely it had nothing to do with the fact that our side of the 'court' was mysteriously smaller than in previous games. ;-)
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A Very Special Room
“What will we do to make this room ours? What colors? What extras?” are some of the thoughts that ran through the minds of the youth. For a few weeks, many brought paint chips and curtain materials, and discussions ensued. Voting cemented a decision, the work began and the room developed a personality.
"This is really cool."
"We love the calligraphy."
"Thank you, Shari, for the amazing calligraphy."
"Oh how I loved the calligraphy."
"The room defines our little group."
When we came into the room after Shari had done some of the calligraphy we were all amazed. The students and leaders are so pleased with it and thankful to Shari for her investment in our room. Stop by and see it!
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Some People You Should Know
Shari and Dennis met in June of 1968, started dating seriously in November of that same year, and were married in April of 1972. Shari came to the Lord at a church camp at the age of nine; Dennis was called to Christ in 1976 through the ministry of Hal Lindsey. They were baptized together at Glen Ellyn Bible Church and were involved there for a few years. Moving to West Chicago in 1981, they began attending West Chicago Bible Church in 1983. They have three grown sons: Dustin 28, Josh 24 and Dylan 22. Shari has worked as a Paraeducator in District 33 for eleven years and considers it a ministry. Calligraphy is her greatest hobby, having studied under Timothy Botts since 1987. She currently is having fun decorating the youth room with Scripture verses and also enjoys creating her own Christmas cards every year. Dennis has worked in the tool and die industry for thirty-five years, while pursuing his hobbies of playing guitar, song writing, and dabbling in writing fiction (short stories). He also enjoys facilitating adult Sunday School classes and working with the Men’s Ministry. He believes it is important for men to stand together and, as iron sharpens iron, to be there to encourage, challenge and comfort (yes comfort) each other.
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The men’s breakfast, on Saturday, September 22, began with making pancake batter and playing outlet tag. Outlet tag consists of running extension cords throughout the lower level of the church in order to keep from setting off the electrical breakers. Hey, it can be fun sometimes. The turnout was great for our first Men’s Breakfast since the merge of West Chicago Bible Church and Water’s Edge Church. Thirty brave men came to enjoy the culinary delight of pancakes and sausages whipped up by the chefs of Water’s Edge Bible Church. Pastor Tod challenged the group with a devotional from Luke 10 dealing with the Good Samaritan. He spoke on the importance of showing loving action in obeying the Lord, and that we need to have more than just scholarly knowledge of God’s Word. I want to thank everyone that volunteered to cook and set up. Also, thanks to all the men that took time out of their busy weekend to come to breakfast. I believe that it shows the men of Water’s Edge Bible Church are serious about getting our newly formed congregation off to a godly start. Thanks again, and God bless you all.
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A Ugandan Thank You!
On behalf of the orphans served by Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund (UORF), I want to thank everyone who participated in our Christmas in September program. WEBC truly showed its heart for children with all the great donations we received. We sent numerous boxes to specific children and many other needed items, including sheets, towels, books, Bibles, and other necessities that are only available to these kids through donations like this. Troy Van Dyke had quite a truckload to deliver to the shipping container. Along with our church and others in the area, UORF was able to fill a 40-foot container, which is now on its way to Uganda. The container will arrive a few weeks before Christmas and bring a great deal of joy to these children. For some of these kids, it will be their first gift. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication to these children. I look forward to hearing about the day the container was opened when I arrive in Uganda in January. I will be sure to report back, but I know from past experience just how much these boxes mean to these beautiful children of God. Thank you again for opening your hearts to these wonderful children.
Sarah’s parents moved to Wheaton before her first birthday and her mom still lives in the same house. Maurice and Sarah met on his 21st birthday and have been married for 18 years. She considers their two beautiful children to be among the greatest gifts from God anyone could receive. Because of the blessings she and Maurice have received and are able to share with their children, Sarah feels a strong sense of responsibility and passion to care for children of the world who are less fortunate. She has worked with abused and neglected children in DuPage County, volunteered for a domestic violence shelter service, and served on local and council PTA boards. Africa and the children of Uganda found Sarah. After Pastor Tod and Troy traveled to Uganda in 2005 and came back sharing stories and pictures of these beautiful children, she was in love. Sarah was blessed enough to travel to Uganda last January and is looking forward to a return trip this January. She felt at home there immediately and was overjoyed when the little kids called her Mom. Sarah is privileged to sit on the board of Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund and be able to see the great work God is doing in Uganda.
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Where were your beginnings, both physically and spiritually?
I was born in Carbondale, IL. My parents grew up in Wheaton and Warrenville, so we moved back to the area when I was 11 years of age. Living in a Christian home and being home-schooled, my thinking was Christian through my growing up years. It wasn’t until I entered Wheaton South as a sophomore, needing to stand for my faith, that I took personal ownership of it. I spent most of the time after that living in West Chicago until Harper and I were married in 2001.
How did you begin to love music, develop that, and find you enjoyed leading worship?
I picked up my uncle’s guitar when I was 13 and decided to teach myself to play. The main place I learned to play was at church from older guys in the youth group who led worship. Naturally I began leading with them and have led in different worship settings ever since. I don't know if I could ever perform in a setting where the attention was on me for my performance abilities, but, hopefully, my performance is directing people to "look" to the Lord instead of at me for my ability and this is what inspires me to lead.
Do you play other instruments besides guitar?
No. I would really like to learn piano, but have not had the time to really take that on. I had a chance as a child to take piano lessons, but told my parents I did not want to because it was "a girl’s instrument."
What do you feel God is calling you to?
To lead in multiple capacities, as a layman in the church musically and otherwise, in business, and of course most importantly in my family.
And what does He have you doing currently?
I have a financial planning firm in West Chicago where I teach people how to make smart money decisions. I really enjoy what I have been doing there for the last seven years.
How long will you be with WEBC?
How long Harper and I will be at WEBC is not certain, but my desire is to be here as long as the Lord leads. Vague answer I know, but that is all I’ve got on that one!
How did you and Harper meet and marry?
We met in youth ministry when we were both 15 years old. One of my friends who played badminton with Harper brought her to church. We became great friends and God continued to develop that friendship into more as we ended high school and moved forward in life. We just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in August.
How does Harper feel about your music activity?
I would not be able to lead in the capacity I do without her. She is the administrative engine that drives the operation and is a great help in thoughtfully preparing worship sets according to the theme for the sermon and many other behind the scene tasks that would take me ten times as much time and effort. She is a GREAT help to me!
Anything else we might like to know about you?
Harper and I spend our spare time working with the youth ministry at our old church. We also enjoy working out in the gym and running on the trails around Wheaton. Most of our extended family lives within an hour’s drive, so we spend a lot of time with them as well.
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A Fantastic Fondue
Mm-m-m, did you taste the rye bread dipped in cheese? I think dripping peanut butter chocolate over a marshmallow is my favorite - well, maybe dipping pretzels is. Oh, but just check out these apples slices covered with caramel. Oh no, I dropped my pound cake square into the chocolate! A real treat. That’s how every part of the Women’s Ministries Fantastic Fondue and Sharing Too! evening was viewed by the nearly thirty women who attended. Divided into four groups, a twist on Fruit Basket Upset moved the women to each corner of the room to hear a bit about the women’s ministries available to them and then enjoy a particular fondue treat. In between, very compelling personal salvation stories were told by Cynthia, Chris, and Mary, assisted by Kara. Each was a paean of praise to how God works in an individual’s life - never letting go. The whole evening was, well, fantastic!
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We Appreciate You, Pastor Tod!
Our appreciation for Pastor Tod extends all year, not just in October, which is Pastor Appreciation Month, but a special decorated cake and a few good words highlighted that fact on Sunday, October 21.
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