You connected a young, single mother to a church. You showed her she can rely on God.
Bright, motivated, and adventurous, Olu* moved from the West African country of Togo to Michigan in the United States to enroll in a Ph.D. program at Western Michigan University (WMU). She was happily engaged to be married to another student from Togo she met during her studies, but with her family living so far away, she often felt isolated living alone in a strange country.
“Individuals with disabilities are often included somewhere—and then they’re left behind,” said Peter Gordon, a campus minister at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). “I’m always trying to propel the students forward. What next?”
Hailey was a freshman at GRCC when she first stumbled upon the table Peter set up for Jabez Ministries, a Christian Reformed campus ministry supported by Resonate Global Mission that primarily serves students with disabilities.
For college and university students, graduation often comes with mixed emotions—exciting yet intimidating; rewarding yet confusing. Even if you found your calling and made lifetime friends at school, what will those things look like after you are no longer a student?
At Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa, Tyler Helfers works to help answer some of these questions from a Reformed perspective. And you have joined him through your support for Resonate Global Mission.
Last winter, as temperatures dropped in Vancouver, Christian and Muslim students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) came together for their community. They worked to assemble fifty bags of toiletries, food items, and warm hats and clothes for those in the area experiencing homelessness and went to Surrey Urban Mission, a local Christian ministry center, to hand them out.
“The idea was to express that both traditions are keen on serving the poor,” said Ethan van der Leek, a Resonate campus chaplain at KPU. Both faiths emphasize a God of love, forgiveness, and mercy.
New beginnings can be disorienting. As Eunji Choi found, sometimes God’s calling can be hard to hear or understand in the midst of doubt and disappointment.
Eunji transferred to Iowa State University (ISU) from her university in Korea in 2013 and soon began participating in Ames Korean Campus Ministry activities sponsored by Ames Korean Christian Reformed Church, just down the road from her campus. She connected to the church community, leading worship with the praise team.
Amy’s past experience with organized faith communities left her skeptical. As a law student at the University of Calgary with a passion for social justice and advocating for marginalized communities, she wasn’t sure where faith fit with the kind of career she wanted.
Of her church experiences, she says, “In a way, I felt unseen, like I wasn’t interesting or important enough,” recalling how her childhood church hadn’t appointed any female board members because they “believed the Bible.”
Nadeana, Cathryn, and Amy all came from different faith or cultural backgrounds. Yet all three found community in the Christian Reformed Church’s campus ministry.
Feelings of excitement and anticipation flooded Nadeana as she left her home country of Barbados to earn her graduate degree in eastern Canada. She also had some uncertainty. Nadeana wanted to be able to deepen her faith while at Western University in London, Ont.