Never Alone through Campus Ministry

11/4/2011

New questions and opportunities meet every student who steps onto the college campus. Many voices offer enticements and seek to give direction. Our United Methodist-related schools and Wesley Foundations are essential alternatives through which the presence of Christ stands in the midst of the unique college experience. Through our schools and campus ministries, students find assurance that they are “Never Alone” in making decisions, facing pressures and choosing friends. Lives are shaped for discipleship and leaders are developed for the church and the world. Thank you for helping to keep this vital presence strong and life-shaping in our Georgia United Methodist schools and Wesley Foundations through support of your Higher Education and Black College Fund apportionments.

- Rev. Cynthia H. Autry, executive director of the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry


Andrew College
We are living in a time where children are acting like adults and adults are acting like children. I have come to the realization that people are faced with real life issues, and the sad part is that most people do not know what to do. Most people feel as if they are alone in this world. There are many people who do not have anyone they can turn to when trying times come upon them like a flood. As a Christian and a student I know that I am Never Alone here at Andrew College.

There have been times when I felt like I was alone. I am grateful to be a child of God because when I feel alone God reminds me that “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)  In our Bible studies at Andrew we focus on telling students that God will never leave them. As Christians we are here for each other; we are our “brother’s keeper.” As I tell my peers, Jesus loves them and so do I.

- Jeremy S. Reid, 19, an Andrew College sophomore majoring in pre-ministry from Twin City, Ga.


Armstrong Atlantic State University 
I never feel alone in my faith journey because having fellow believers is a way to connect with other believers who may also be on a faith journey. With this fellowship, not only are we not alone, but we can have spiritual growth together as well. We can do this by spurring one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).

-Karl Manning, 21, an Armstrong Atlantic State University senior majoring in Criminal Justice from Lawrenceville, Ga. His home church is White Bluff United Methodist Church.


Georgia Southern University
My name is Memmuna, which is a Muslim name meaning “a place in heaven/my daughter of grace.”  I was named after my father who is a Muslim. He walked out long before I was born and my mom was a single, struggling mother. Two weeks after I was born, my mom gave me to her friend exclaiming that she couldn’t handle a girl child.  I always grew up with that in the back of my mind.  I felt unloved and not welcome.  I was diagnosed with depression when I was 9 years old.  At the age of 10, a man that lived in our house raped me, and after that my life really went downhill.  I hated myself, I hated people and I hated life.  I had a very cold heart.

I came to Georgia Southern because something just kept telling me to come.  I was living with a friend but things didn’t work out.  I became homeless and I was living in the Henderson Library.  I remember being so hungry and thirsty and having no money.  I felt the need to go for a walk, and, while walking, I saw a girl named Mary sitting on a bench.  I went up to her and asked if she knew of a local food bank or shelter.  She said, “OMG no, but I can call someone!”

I ended up at the Wesley Foundation where I lived, in the prayer room, for about a month.  Being at Wesley, surrounded by all those people that didn’t judge me, helped my walk with Christ.  It made my faith stronger and caused me to believe in Him more.  One verse I remembered was Hebrews 13:5: “He will never leave [me] nor forsake [me].”

Over the next couple of months, God took me through an intense transformation process, and God gave me a new name.  Earlier, I said my name was Memmuna, but now I go by Faith.  Now I walk in freedom.  I still struggle, but now I have my Heavenly Father fighting for me.  There are just three things I want to end with:  He will never leave you nor forsake you, fear is just false evidence appearing real, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

My name is Faith and I am free because of Spirit of the Lord lives in me!

- Faith Endee, 21, a Georgia Southern University junior majoring in fashion merchandising from Lawrenceville, Ga.


Georgia Southwestern State University
By being involved with the Wesley Foundation, I will not ever be alone because there will always be someone I can talk to about my faith and ask any questions about my faith as I continue to grow in it. By being involved with the Wesley Foundation, I have become a part of a really big church family who will pray for me, encourage me and help me in any way that they can. The Wesley Foundation has really helped me in my faith. Before I started coming and really being involved I never understood the power of prayer other than praying for what I really want at the time, and thinking of myself as a good Christian even if I didn’t always act in a Christian way. Being involved with the Wesley Foundation has helped me find my strength as a leader and to also choose to be a Christian in my daily walk with Christ. This is where being involved with the Wesley Foundation helps me to never be alone – there is always someone there for me to talk with about my faith and who can give me advice as well as be someone I can turn to when I just need someone who will listen to me. The Wesley Foundation does all of these because the people who are in leadership positions at the Wesley House are good listeners and can truly help all who enter. They generally care about everyone and want to try to help them as they struggle in their faith and grow as Christian men and women. The Wesley Foundation at Georgia Southwestern helps me to never be alone in my faith journey because the people I meet there will be my friends for life and will be people that I can constantly count on as I continue to grow in my faith as a Christian.

-Mary Franklin, 20, a Georgia Southwestern State University junior majoring in sociology from Snellville, Ga.


Valdosta State University
The Wesley Foundation has been a sanctuary for me. It's been a place that I can trust to help me grow spiritually as well as mentally. The Wesley group is constantly striving to positively involve themselves in my life and essentially has become my second family.

-Carl Caballes, 19, a Valdosta State University sophomore majoring in criminal justice from Cumming, Ga.


Wesley Foundation of Macon
The mission statement for the Wesley Foundation of Macon, which includes the Mercer, Wesleyan and Macon State campuses, is to provide a place for students to worship freely, follow Christ and serve with impact. Wesley Foundation is all about community. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together … but let us encourage one another daily.” While I regularly attend church on Sunday mornings, Wesley has been a huge outlet for worship for me. It truly is a place of free worship – it is not uncommon to have students pacing the back of the room in praise and prayer or for students to dance in the back of the room. While I tend to be more traditional in my worship, it is a blessing to see my friends be comfortable enough to worship as they do best. Wesley is all about community. The people at Wesley – especially at Wesleyan – have become my rocks and my source of strength and encouragement. I feel completely comfortable and free to open up to any of the members of the team in whatever I am struggling with at the time. Wesley has given me the strong support system of friends that I have today. It is so easy to get in with the “wrong crowd,” especially in college. God has called me into a life in full-time ministry, specifically in college ministry. I have a heart for these college students and Wesley has only confirmed that calling. The more I see the hearts and support of the students, the more confident I feel in my calling.

­-Alaina Avera, 21, a Wesleyan College senior majoring in communication, Advertising/Marketing communication from Columbus, Ga. Her home church is Wynnton United Methodist Church.


Your support helps serve ministries on these campuses and on the campuses of Savannah State University and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

For more information or to give, visit the Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry at www.gahied.com.  Contact them at gahied@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 1529; Carrollton, GA; 30112.