CIU students pray, serve community
By Naomi Balk and Ireland Kost
CIU Student Writers
The mission of Columbia International University is to educate people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. And students are making sure that impact begins at home.
A recent CIU Prayer Day began with a session of prayer and worship. But then the students put feet to their prayers when they fanned out across the Columbia area for a variety of service projects. Some didn’t have to go far as they picked up trash along Monticello Road, the gateway to the campus. Others volunteered at the Salvation Army Family Store where they sorted donations and organized the store front.
“It’s a huge responsibility to run a store like this but volunteers help us get things done and keep the costs down so we can donate the proceeds to people who need it in our community,” said the store’s Operations Manager Leslie Jones. “We enjoy having (CIU students) come volunteer.”
CIU sophomore Hart Mathis called the Salvation Army experience, “fun.”
“We never really think about it,” Mathis began, “to be able to serve in the littlest way can have the biggest impact on someone.”
At the local Habitat for Humanity headquarters warehouse, students measured, moved and unload supplies for future home building.
“It was great to serve the community, even in something we could not see the immediate impact of,” said junior Hannah Wegren.
Another vital role was played by CIU students who packed emergency food boxes at Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Some students got into the holiday spirit as they decorated the EdVenture Children’s Museum for Christmas, while others went shopping for items that were later packaged for Operation Christmas Child gift boxes, sent to needy children around the world through the ministry Samaritan’s Purse.
Excitement is building on the CIU campus with a dramatic increase in enrollment and on-campus expansion including the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center. Information on enrollment is available here or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.