School is out for the summer, but 13 Columbia International University students are finding it an ideal time for ministry.The students are enrolled in the College of Intercultural Studies (CICS) internship program that integrates guided study and field experience in cross-cultural ministry under a CIU faculty mentor. Amanda Keeny is serving two months in Odessa, Ukraine teaching English and partnering with a local youth group as a means to present the hope of Christ found in the gospel.
CIU Is Different
I could write at great length on all I’ve learned at CIU, but I don’t think many people would read it. Instead come with me down memory lane, and I’ll share four lessons that have shaped me during my time here.
Freshman Year – The Importance of Integrity
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desirable than great riches.
It’s hard to respect a leader who doesn’t practice what he preaches. Imagine listening to an Army General instruct on accurate shooting, when he himself had never shot a gun. An English teacher’s lectures would seem meaningless to you if she didn’t know how to speak English. And it’s hard to respect Christian leaders when they seem to say through their lives, “Do what I say, not what I do.”
Another semester has come and is nearly over, but before we rush off into the excitement of summer, there is more work still to be accomplished.Final exams,Research papers,Last minute assignments, …you get the idea.Every semester I adopt a tactic to help me survive the final few weeks. One semester it was exercise, another time it was a special iTunes playlist, and once it was off-campus activities.
One of the aspects I most appreciate about my time at CIU is the opportunity I’ve had to learn from the theological persuasions of classmates. While CIU does a great job emphasizing its core value of Evangelical Unity, there is also room for discussion among brothers and sisters in Christ. Often these discussions stimulate further thought and scripture searching which benefit me intellectually and strengthen me spiritually.
I once heard someone say, “God is able to redeem even our mistakes for His glory.” In light of the recent passing of evangelical leader Chuck Colson, I understand more clearly the reality of that statement.
Advisor. Educator. Mentor. Role model.
Over the weekend I started reading Not a Fan by Kentucky pastor Kyle Idleman. The basic premise of the book is distinguishing fans of Jesus from followers of Jesus.Idleman defines fans as “enthusiastic admirers,” people who are “close enough to Jesus to get the benefits but not so close to require sacrifice.” After describing characteristics of fans, Idleman argues that Jesus was looking for completely committed followers – people who count the cost of true discipleship.