CHAOS (Christians Hyped About Our Savior) embarked on an annual roadtrip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Thursday, February 16th. The group went to the Church of Christ Winterfest hosted at a local convention center. It is a two-day gathering filled with everything from slam poetry and comedy skits to prayer and worship sessions. This is an annual trip, but this year, the scene looked different. Last November, the area fell victim to a tragic wildfire that killed 14 people, left hundreds homeless, and destroyed over 17,000 acres of forest. With the circumstances from the recent disaster, CHAOS volunteered to help out those affected by the wildfire. They met with several affected families to hear their stories and pray with them.
Mrs. Kleymeer, the leader of CHAOS, is beyond willing to lend a hand and talk to the people affected by the fire. “At first, I was worried, because we didn’t hear from the church for a while, but after we regained contact, we decided that we wanted to help.” CHAOS was able to raise $2000 to help out. Kleymeer, strong in faith, believes that the timing is no coincidence, “I feel that God wanted us down there. We will be able to transform hearts and change lives through faith.”
CHAOS has gone to the Winterfest for about 7-8 years, according to Kleymeer. It started when they were invited by the Roseville Church of Christ to tag along with them, and a few years later, their youth group shrank, and now CHAOS invites the group from Roseville to come along. “It’s a beautiful thing, honestly. It has come full-circle.” CHAOS was able to get several “sponsors” this year. Parents of students, as well as other outside funding. These “sponsors” covered the costs of the rental vans and motel fees.
After the trip was all said and done, $2559.25 was spent by CHAOS to “bless” families affected by the wildfire. The money went towards medicine, kitchen ware, electric/water bills, and other miscellaneous needs. Kleymeer added that “One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was the devotionals. It’s in these moments that we take what we heard in session and apply it to ourselves. Deep introspection and group sharing led so many of us to great personal discoveries.” The trip was a life-changing experience for everybody involved. CHAOS made change in the communities affected by a devastating incident. The group is dedicated to living through faith, togetherness, and being selfless.