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Alumni Connection Fall 2019

Hello VTXA Alumni, 

 

We are so excited to get this newsletter out to you! One of our new endeavors this year is to get a quarterly newsletter out to our Alumni that highlights some of the amazing things God is doing in the ministry, update alumni on opportunities they can have to serve with the ministry/give, and lastly, share a pastoral insight from our directors, Anthony and Michelle, for the present season you are navigating.

 

First, we were overwhelmed with how incredible our Alumni Banquet and Development Dinner went. It was such a joy to see all of you and reconnect, but the best part for our staff team was seeing you reconnect with each other! There were so many moments, tears, and affirmations that were shared; our hearts were overflowing for weeks following the events. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedules to come, love on our VTXA family, and give back to the ministry! Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise a little over 100,000 dollars that week and the weeks following!!!  We are ¼ of the way to our goal to purchase a property; stage one of our development. If you were not able to make it, no worries, we are putting finishing touches on the Banquet video and will be sending out our brochure for those of you who missed and would like an opportunity to give. On our website, we have linked the XAForward giving under the Donate tab if you would like to make a donation now. Just select XAForward (Ministry Center) under Designation.  Thank you!

 

As Pete shared at the Banquet, we are hoping to put a permanent stake in the ground here in Blacksburg, VA, for VTXA, by purchasing, renovating, and eventually adding on to a ministry center. We are currently maxed out of every space we are in and are still paying multiple vendors to pray, hold classes, host Life Groups, and host-guest ministries. It is our hope that God will provide a space for us that fuels and builds momentum for the ministry rather than continue to use spaces that take from our ministry on a daily basis. We know God cares so much more about all of this than we ever could imagine, and He is going to provide for us. We are thankful for our Alumni; without your support, we would not be in existence!

 


Alumni Spotlight: 

Congratulations to Will and Melissa Castro (Formally Melissa Kausch), on their marriage on September 21, 2019. Melissa served on staff with Chi Alpha immediately after she graduated for two years. She brought so much fun, beauty, creativity, and hard work to our social events, staff environment, and to each student she mentored. Melissa is one of those people who would go out of her way to reach someone with her time, talents, and treasure. Many lives were and will forever be impacted by Melissa’s legacy at VT. We are so excited for you Melissa, and we thank you for the years you invested in our Chi Alpha Chapter. 

On that note, we are excited to announce that because of our Alumni and Network Partners, for the first time since VTXA’s establishment, we are fully staffed! It is truly a vision to see a room full of 25 staff and interns, most of which are all fully-funded through Alumni! VTXA has grown so much in 10 years. As a result, our past staff teams have worn many hats, fulfilled ministry positions for 3+ people, worked with us to re-establish the Chi Alpha chapter at Radford University, and have been mentoring 14+ student leaders/members each. We are grateful for the grace of God that sustained our staff over those years, Anthony and Michelle, their children, and the operation of the ministry, but we are thankful for God’s mercy in providing the laborers needed this year so that we can all specialize in our gifts, grow in-depth and quality of our discipleship, watch and cheer on our Radford staff team and Chapter (They have 3 full-time staff members serving!) have a sabbath day off, and enjoy seeing each other more as we are centralized in our office spaces and meetings. Thank you all for supporting our staff members!  The staff’s “yes” to the call, diligence, perseverance, innovation, faithfulness, sacrificial nature, and love for Christ and His campus is one of the main reasons we are where we are today!

 

Ministry Update:

Wow, are we really seeing the fruit of all our years and hours of prayer meetings!!! This year we have seen over 40+ salvations in just one month of ministry! This is completely unprecedented for us, as it takes us a semester, and in some cases, a year, to see that many students give their life to Christ and plug into our community! We ended the year last year with a huge growth curve and had 350 students plugged into our Life Groups by Spring 2019. We hope this year to see that again and more! Also, we are starting to see our staff, internship, and fellowship as a whole diversify ethnically in much greater quantities! Diversity is one of our core values, and we are finally starting to see that reach the top levels of leadership with our movement. Medi Kay, is serving with us this year and he is blessing the ministry so much with his gifts, time, and heart to serve and love Christ and his children. Lastly, a few years ago God gave us a dream that we had a gospel choir. We have been waiting on God’s timing to fulfill this vision and dream and here we are this year working to put together an official gospel choir as well as acapella group! This is going to open doors for us to reach the creative community of VT like never before. 

 

Pastoral Note from Michelle: 

A little over a year ago I was in a car accident. A college student rear-ended Ava and I as I was leaving campus. As a result of this accident, I have experienced quite a bit of chronic pain in my neck and back. It has been amazing to see how our staff and the intern team has really pulled together to pray for me. Part of the fruit of their prayers is God helping me with the emotional and mental struggle that comes with chronic pain. I wanted to share with you all a few things that the Holy Spirit has shown me, that happen to be super practical, as I have had some days and weeks where I have been discouraged about my limitations, future, and felt overwhelmed with all that needs to get done. If you are currently undergoing a suffering of some sort, a loss, physical pain, or working through the mental struggle of what the future holds here are a few things I am learning to put into place that I hope will speak to you: 

 

  1. Be Vulnerable and Ask People to Pray for You. If someone asks what they can be praying for, please take that time to tell them what you are dealing with and ask them to pray for you right then and there if they will. Vulnerability is key to intimacy with others, Christ, and to our healing on SO many levels. Have courage and BE vulnerable and ask for prayer.
  2. Set Daily Achievable Goals: Chronic pain and suffering can really take the mental rug out under your feet if you’re constantly thinking about the future and not taking it one day at a time. Live in the present, pray about the future. Ask God to give you moments to breath in each day of His presence with you, His blessings around you, and set daily goals that can be achieved in your present state of pain.
  3. Allow Your Five Senses to “Feel” for You: One of the problems of chronic pain is we often get to the point where we emotionally struggle to feel anything. We are a bit numbed. Since there can be times of emotional numbness, allow your five senses, to feel for you. Enjoy food that tastes good; cook it if you have to. Listen to worship music, touch sand on a beach (If it's near you, lucky you!!), give someone a hug, smell some flowers, light candles in your house that smell good etc...
  4. Pray for Others and Ask Yourself How You Can Give to Someone Else Today: Pain and suffering can leave us thinking a lot about ourselves; so can depression. One of our greatest escapes is to think upon God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit who we can reach out to each day. We need to give what we long to receive; This is a great way to pull you out of the daily mental and emotional struggle of pain and suffering. 
  5. Laugh: Please do not keep watching the most traumatic and dramatic Netflix and Prime shows on a binge! Ha! Keep it light, watch something funny or get around the funniest friend you know. People who are in pain, that generally do well, have a great sense of humor and try to keep things light. 

Important Dates:

Be on the Look Out for the Men’s and Women’s Retreat Dates in our December newsletter. We would love for any of our alumni who would like to come and minister to students or just partake of the environments that the Holy Spirit brings on these weekends to join us. 

 

Summer Mission Trips. We will be overseas this summer in Africa (3 Separate locations) and Thailand. Please let us know if you would be interested in helping a staff member lead and organize these trips, support students who go, or just want updates on how these trips go. You can email us at vtchialpha@gmail.com in response to this. We will update you on the details of those trips as well in our next letter. 

Wishlist:

SALT Conference sign-ups are here! Many of you may remember SALT as an undergrad and how impactful this conference was for your walk with Christ. We are asking that you would prayerfully consider financially giving to scholarship students for this incredible opportunity. At SALT students grow with God over their winter break and join other XA's from the South East in the greater XA Community. Early Bird Sign-Ups end Dec. 1, so send us a message via email if you would like to financially partner in this way. We are so grateful!

Prayer Needs for the Fall:

-More Salvations 

-Pray for Nick Huber as he is in the preparation process to pioneer a Chi Alpha on the East Coast. 

-Pray for our internship, that God would continue to heal, bring revelation, freedom, and direction to this year’s class of interns through this training and equipping process

-Pray for a healthy staff team physically and spiritually. For continued strength in the Lord, perseverance, and discernment each day.

  

Blessings to Each of You

With all our heart,

 

VTXA Staff

www.vtxa.com
Copyright © 2019 Chi Alpha at VT, All rights reserved.



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