OKWU Voices

OKWU Voices

Life is always full of challenges, but 2020 felt different. Things felt altered.

In a season of virtual workplaces, endless Zoom calls, and social distancing, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the word “community” into sharp focus. It’s caused us here at OKWU to consider: what does it really mean to be part of authentic, life-giving Christian fellowship with those around us? 

In this issue, we’ve invited voices from across the OKWU family to explore this theme. We reflect on the value of community in a year marked by isolation, and we tell the stories of those working to show Christ’s love in the pandemic’s dark places. Through it all, we’re proclaiming this biblical message: We are not alone.   

In Matthew 28, Jesus gives His followers this promise: “Surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” We held onto that promise through 2020, and we’re holding onto it for tomorrow, too. We hope that our OKWU family of alumni and friends will be strengthened and encouraged by this issue.

No matter what, you are not alone!

“For me, spiritual community means hope,
and I appreciate the presence and support of others now more than ever.” 

Brianna Hudson
Class of 2022

“My community with OKWU, my church, and my family is here, around me now, and I need to take advantage of every opportunity to engage it. I hope that whatever value we take from this last year will continue on. I don’t want things to go back to normal; I want life to change for the better.”   

Natalie Church
Campus Care Coordinator

“Before the pandemic, I may have said that community was being around people with shared values, ideas, or goals. Now, I believe community can come in the simplest of forms.”

Sunshine Hattingh
Director of Student Academic Services

“When the love of Christ drives me, I have
the strength of ‘I will.’ I will love my neighbor.
I will be in community with others. I will care for those who are disenfranchised. I will prioritize ministry. I will… I will… I will…” 

Kyle White
VP for Student Development

“For me, 2020 was a season of increasing my faith and trust in the Lord. I leaned on Psalm 56:3: ‘When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.’ The Bible reminds us the Lord will not leave us, a comfort when we feel alone.  This pandemic season is memorable and offered opportunities for growth if one was brave enough to seize it.”

Jana Russell
Academic Advising Coordinator

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