As Emmanuel College approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2019, Dr. Ron White, EC President, said his hope for Emmanuel College through the next 100 years is to take its place on the world stage as a difference maker. One way he hopes to achieve this is through creating a culture of service at Emmanuel through a program called EC Serve.
“EC Serve is an organization that basically is encouraging our students, our staff, and our faculty to be involved in service projects. My view is that one day, we’ll have 90 percent of our students serving each year in some service activity, whether it’s a local service project, a regional one, something in the United States or even internationally,” Dr. White said. “What we’re trying to do is get our students to see that Christ calls us to be more than just a churchgoer; He calls us to be more than just someone who’s educated; He calls us to actually go out and change the world – make a difference and do what He did.”
Throughout the summer of 2016, teams of EC faculty and students participated in mission trips internationally in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Dominican Republic, and Uganda.
During a team’s trip to Corinto, Nicaragua, team leader and EC Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, Ben Hall reflected on how quickly the team came together and their willingness to serve. The team spent their time building an addition to Light and Life Church used for better serving the youth and children of Corinto, giving them a space to meet and worship.
“The team came together and bonded in amazing ways,” Coach Hall said. “I’m so proud of the way we worked and sweated together, and encouraged one another. We hauled literally tons of rock and concrete, mixed larges batches of concrete by hand and hauled it to where we laid the foundation for the church additions. We’ve prayed with nurses, hospital patients, police officers, inmates, children, and church members.”
Alice Black, EC staff member, and Tanzania Team Leader, has traveled to 49 countries through mission trips, with every trip producing the same response from each participant.
“For several years, I have had the opportunity to lead or assist short-term mission teams of faculty, staff, and students from Emmanuel College,” Black said. “These teams have traveled to many countries and assisted in dental treatment, medical distribution, evangelism, teaching, food distribution and any work to help local ministries and missionaries. Because of these mission trips, some team members have sensed God’s call to mission work. But none of the team members or I have ever returned unchanged and untouched by the opportunity to serve and try our best to demonstrate God’s love.”
The team’s trip to Tanzania was not any different.
“While in Tanzania the team blessed the ladies at the House of Victory [a one-year intensive discipleship program for women who have been involved in sex trafficking],” Black said. “The team purchased the ladies a sewing machine, new mattresses, a new gas cooking stove, funds to complete a chicken farm project, and other miscellaneous projects.”
While there, the team was also able to share the Gospel with dozens of students in three different schools as well as a children’s camp at Berea College. The team spread Christ’s love through partnering with local pastors, sharing songs, activities, and dramas for the young people.
Dr. Blake Rackley, a psychology professor at Emmanuel College, led a group to Uganda where they ministered at the University in Kampala, Uganda, the local orphanages, and surrounding villages. The team took supplies for medicine, soccer balls, and several types of technologies for churches with them performing street and sports ministry.
They also traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where they ministered in an orphanage through Rehema Home, that currently cares for more than 100 children in two locations (Nairobi and Baruka).
Emmanuel College alumnus Adam Beadles also led a mission team to Jarabaccoa, Dominican Republic. The team served by updating the town’s aquaponics system and conducting physical therapy for children with disabilities at Palo Blanco School.
One student, Jazmin Konnick, said the mission trip to the Dominican Republic opened her eyes to how other countries practice physical therapy.
“The trip to the Dominican Republic was wonderful,” Konnick said. “I am thankful that I was able to go on the trip with Adam Beadles and loved seeing how therapy is different in other countries. I also loved being able to be hands-on and help build an irrigation system for the school sponsored by Kids Alive International. God revealed so much to me, and I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of it!”
Dr. White said he believes creating this culture of service will attract students to Emmanuel College, where they will not only receive a great education and be prepared for a career, but learn how to serve God’s kingdom in various ways for the rest of their lives.
For more information on how you can participate in EC Serve, contact EC Serve Coordinator, Bob McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.