A Heart to Serve the Marginalized

February 06, 2018

Columbia International University junior Elisa Pinkerton is focused on her God-driven goal: to practice occupational therapy in East Africa, particularly with Somalian refugees injured in civil conflict. That commitment to serve marginalized populations has earned Pinkerton the CIU Board Scholarship to assist her in her senior year.  

Pinkerton is a Psychology major who plans on graduate studies leading to occupational therapist with a certification in prosthetics.

“Ultimately, I hope that this platform which enables me to work with refugees will allow me to share the Gospel with individuals who may then share Christ in their home countries — many of which are closed and hostile toward Christian missionaries,” Pinkerton wrote in her application for the scholarship.

During her CIU career, Pinkerton has demonstrated her commitment to ministering to the marginalized and individuals with disabilities. She has volunteered at nursing homes, assisted in homeless outreach, worked as a caregiver at a camp for the handicapped, assisted women caught in the sex industry, cared for at-risk orphans in Zambia, and taken medical missionary trips.  

Pinkerton wrote that CIU has prepared her by undergirding her faith with the scriptural, theological, and philosophical teachings necessary to face the adversity of the mission field.

“My classes at CIU equipped me to interact with individuals from various cultural backgrounds … forcing me to strengthen and articulate my own worldview, the foundation from which I will live and serve indefinitely,” Pinkerton wrote. “In so doing, I acquired an understanding of human beings as made in the image of God which will influence the way I serve all people, especially those with disabilities.”  

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