Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Redemption House: God’s People Being Jesus to Others

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
Ephesians 1:7

The house in North Akron had already been declared condemned, and was to be torn down.

That was, until Legacies of Success (LOS), an affiliate of Christ Community Chapel ministry partner Urban Vision, intervened in court. Tim Chafins of LOS described how the organization presented a plan to the court for the rehabbing of the home. This is in line with LOS’ mission, “rebuilding homes and lives in the North Hill area of Akron, Ohio.” To their credit, officials from the City of Akron approved the plan and supported LOS’ efforts to move the house from “condemned” to “redeemed” status.

God had a plan for Legacies’ Redemption House, as it is now called. The home had suffered from the presence of “far too many cats,” as well as other abuses. What once was condemned, God had slated for redemption.

God also had plans for an Asian people from the area once known as Burma. This was the Karen people. 

Don Richardson, in his book, Eternity in Their Hearts, describes how an ancient prophecy had told the Karen people to expect Caucasian visitors bearing news that the Karen could be redeemed from their sin, and from their alienation from the one true God.

When Christian missionaries began their work with the Karen in 1830, many of that tribe embraced the Gospel wholeheartedly.  However, by about 2010, the Christian Karen were a persecuted minority, and many became refugees who fled to the U.S.  Today, Akron is home to about 600 Karen people.  People who fled from a land that had rejected them, and condemned them to ethnic cleansing.

However, for one Karen family in Akron, God was preparing a place.  Legacies of Success needed “hundreds and hundreds” of man hours of labor to restore what is now Redemption House.  A number of area Christian churches responded with volunteers. This included members of Christ Community Chapel’s Edge youth group. As time went on, volunteers from Christ Community Chapel’s Stow Campus, spearheaded by Randy Fasnacht, became central to the hard core of folks who worked on the house every weekend for eight months.

Redemption of the house was not easy.  The impact of far too many cats on the house required that workers early in the cleanup and rehabbing process wear hazmat suits and gas masks!   The cleanup alone was daunting, filling three to four dumpsters with foul-smelling refuse.

However, by October 29th, volunteers were giving Redemption House its final cleaning.  This was to prepare for the home to be occupied by a Karen family with two children who are being helped by Urban Vision.

The Karen people have met their promised Redeemer in Jesus Christ. And, what their persecutors in Burma meant for evil, God meant for good.  He has prepared a place for one Karen family at Redemption House.  By God’s grace, and with help from His people, Legacies of Success will continue rehabbing homes for the less fortunate in North Akron.

What once was condemned has been redeemed, by Jesus working through His transformed people. To God be the glory!

For information on how you can support Legacies of Success through volunteering, prayer or donations, please contact Tim Chafins, Executive Director at 330.612.4478, or Also, you can visit .


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