Aug. 20, 2017
Approximately 55 percent of college students plan to spend their Spring Break in the sun in places like Punta Cana, Las Vegas and Cancun to enjoy the weather and party atmosphere, according to a survey conducted by CheapTickets.com. In contrast, hundreds of Biola University students will devote their spring break to serving others, something they do through on-campus ministries throughout the year as well.
Ministries like the the Tijuana Ministry, Muslim Ministry and Brown Bag Ministry take place throughout the year allowing Biola students the opportunity to serve locally. Over spring break, two groups of students will travel to serve in Honduras and Utah.
“Biola is training students to impact the church and ultimately change the world,” said Barbara Miller, director of Christian Formation and Ministry (CFM). “There is a paradigm shift with how we approach student ministries. CFM tries to emphasize the idea of students taking a posture of stewardship. Through our ministries, we like to focus on helping empower and mobilize students to become disciple-makers.”
Out of 27 ministries offered on Biola’s campus, 12 largely involve the leadership of students. The Evangelical and Mormon Interaction and Honduras Water Project, which occur over Spring Break, are two teams of those teams.
Now in its 29th year, the Honduras Water Project is the longest running student-led ministry on campus. This ministry focuses around a mission trip every Easter in which approximately 40 Biola students travel to Honduras to dig water trenches, enabling large villages access to fresh water. The students prepare for months in advance to bring clean water and the Gospel to the people of Honduras.
“Our team is preparing through constant prayer and reliance on the Lord,” says Crissy Cunningham, a junior at Biola and Honduras team member. “We are all trusting in the Lord and praying that he will prepare our hearts and the hearts of the villagers to give and receive Christ’s love.”
The team left on April 2 for Honduras and will be there through this weekend.
The Evangelical and Mormon Interactions ministry, also known as EMI, seeks to empower students to share the truth and love of Jesus Christ to Mormons in our community and in Utah over the course of the semester and over Easter break.
Other student-led ministries such as the Tijuana Ministry serve children in Mexico, and Muslim Ministry and Brown Bag Ministry serve cross-cultural communities locally.
The Tijuana Ministry involves students visiting Niños de las Promesas, an orphanage in Tijuana, on various Saturdays throughout both the Spring and Fall semesters to minister to children who are rescued from neighborhoods where prostitution and drug activity are prevalent.
Similar to EMI, the Muslim Ministry educates students on how to effectively interact with the local Muslim community when visiting cultural restaurants, the Islamic Institute of Orange County and local Mosques. In doing so, the Muslim Ministry and EMI both serve towards a larger university goal that Biola has for all its students to develop a cross-cultural understanding.
Biola’s Brown Bag Ministry focuses on building relationships with the homeless population of Long Beach, Calif. by distributing approximately 250 sack lunches a week, which are donated by students. Through this ministry, students are able to hand out lunches to those in need of food and minister to the homeless.
“Our goal is to teach, train, and equip the community of Biola students to be ministers of the gospel,” said Miller. “We are dedicated in building a missional community of people who love and bless others.”
Written by Joclyn Kirton, iBiola intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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