Friday March 12, the Campus Ministries Outreach team, who are in charge of Local Love, spearheaded a service opportunity for students in the Regent Library Plaza with Operation Blessing, a ministry run through CBN. The goal was to pack 3,200 cinch sacks with faith-related materials for children who would receive these bags when Operation Blessing sends materials for disaster relief (such as food, supplies, and workers) across the United States. Students spent anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours writing short notes of encouragement and putting together bags, which then were placed in boxes and loaded onto trucks to be taken to storage facilities for later use. The event was immensely successful, with the goal being reached two hours before the anticipated end time.
I had the opportunity to speak with Caleb Cummings, who led the charge in making this event happen. He said, “[watching the event unfold] was really encouraging because it was a reminder that…in this season…we can still be the hands and feet of Jesus in a practical way.” He shared that a partnership with Operation Blessing had been a goal since last semester, and the CM Outreach team hopes to partner with them again in the future, because, as Caleb said, “[they are] so hands on in meeting needs.” He continued to explain that they not only seek to meet physical needs, but also spiritual needs.
As a participant in the event myself, I had the pleasure of seeing up-close the impact, work ethic, and hearts of the volunteers. Not only were students able to be outside in beautiful weather, but they also had the opportunity to do something they knew would make an impact on people outside of the circles we get to interact with at Regent. Seeing the joy students took in doing something for someone else was such an encouragement to me, and I know it was an encouragement to others as well- both those affiliated with Regent and those with Operation Blessing.
I asked Caleb what he would say to those who are hesitant to participate in events such as these. He told me, first, that he understands the hesitance, but also that “the Lord has called us all to be a part of what He’s doing, and there are so many ways for us…to grow our experience and knowledge of what it means to love in deed.” He encourages students to take some risk to be able to continue to love in both word and deed, as Scripture explains we are called to do.
If you were not able to be a part of this event, be sure to look out for different ways to be involved with Campus Ministries Outreach and Local Love in the future!