At OKWU, servitude is an important part in the growth of students, and there are many different opportunities to serve. In the School of Ministry and Christian Thought, students are actively serving in different churches and ministries, OKWU Athletics assists with Bartlesville’s annual Day of Hope and a variety of sports camps, the nursing department offers local and international missions trips, and the campus Spiritual Life team hosts Restore service projects in the Bartlesville Community throughout the school year.
This past spring, the University sponsored two unique service opportunities: a service day helping local organizations and a spring break trip to serve at a Christian boarding school in Arizona.
Ministry Service Day
On a busy Saturday in March, thirty-five students and five faculty from the Oklahoma Wesleyan School of Ministry and Christian Thought served together at the Lighthouse Rescue Mission and the Mary Martha Outreach Center in Bartlesville. The Lighthouse is a Homeless Center which averages 40 men, women, and children living in the facilities at any one time. Mary Martha Outreach Center gives out over five million pounds of food a year to Washington County residents. They also give out food to fifty other agencies in seven countries and provide free clothing, furniture, and other necessities to those in need.
The students and faculty worked in the gardens at Mary Martha. At the Lighthouse, they sorted clothes, helped with lunch, worked in the freezer, and built a flowerbed. Fred Morris, Volunteer Coordinator Director at Mary Martha, and Errol Hada, Director at the Lighthouse, both said the work done by the large OKWU group was the equivalent of weeks of labor for their employees.
Service Day is not only an opportunity for ministry, but also a fun time of fellowship between students and faculty. After the successful service day this spring, the University is planning on having two service days during the fall of 2017.
Spring Break Missions
Over spring break, six OKWU students (Kiley Baker, Karley Baker, Brian Burpo, Micah Weygandt, Annie Heck, and Jacob Greene), along with Dr. Turner, headed to Arizona to visit Native American Christian Academy. NACA, founded in 1963 by Gertrude Jones, is a boarding school designed to bring quality Christian education to students living on various reservations. OKWU’s Science and Math team spent their spring break working with the students in creative activities, which included a physics magic show, making liquid nitrogen ice cream, building and launching model rockets, and event a robotics challenge. The students also spent time building relationships with the students at NACA. They served meals and ate with them, attended their chapel, helped coach sports teams, and even went to sewing class.
Along with the students’ hard work, they were also able to visit the Grand Canyon, Canyon DeChelley, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and Albuquerque, NM. This was the second opportunity the department had to send students to NACA (see Spring Break 2015) and they hope to continue making the trip every other year!
OKWU encourages its students to bring healing and wholeness to a hurting world in their daily lives, and the University couldn’t be more proud of the students who take those words to heart and serve in their communities and around the world.