From the Parent Council
“Community” was the topic of last month’s Parent Perspectives newsletter. (Thank you, Winslow, for that wonderful reminder.) “Service” is an action, the fruit of a community at work. As with “community” we see that “service” is an intentional part of George Fox University’s make-up.
One of the values that George Fox commits to includes “being a community of trust, camaraderie and respect where we practice collaborative leadership. We value the contributions of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees and find unity through serving one another.” These values are exemplified both locally and globally.
September finds the entire George Fox community reaching out to its neighboring community on Serve Day. And, throughout the school year, there are opportunities to manifest the value of service: weekend projects (The James Project and numerous homeless ministries), weeklong projects (Winter Serve and spring break serve trips), as well as the end-of-the-year service trip, May Serve.
This year, May Serve is a three-week-long ministry, missions, and awareness trip during which students will work with the people and culture of Swaziland. May Serve is specifically designed for a team of students to experience and understand Christ and his kingdom from a perspective outside their home culture of the United States both individually and corporately. The team goes with the mind-set of being learners of those they are going to serve. The goal of this year’s May Serve is to partner with missionaries and Swaziland nationals through various projects and to help in enhancing their ministries. The country is being ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic so the team will be learning a lot and will be able to share the love of Christ through their presence and care while there.
As parents, what is our part of this action process? What opportunities are available to parents? No. 1, of course, is prayer. Speaking with Andrea Crenshaw, director of outreach and service, she expressed the necessity of parents praying for this project: “We would covet prayer support most of all. We know the Lord already knows the needs of our team and those that we will come in contact with in Swaziland. We want to be sensitive to what the Lord wants us to be about; that we would be selfless, humble, learners and encouragers to each other on the team and our hosts in Swaziland.”
The prayer list is extensive, starting with the planning and logistics, continuing through travel and health issues, as well as covering the trip’s goals and individual and team experiences. Next, parents can partner in serving with the act of giving – giving of our time with local fundraisers as well as with financial contributions. This year’s Spring Letter Appeal, which will be mailed from the university in March/April, will contain opportunities for parents to financially support May Serve. You can find May Serve information and financial giving opportunities on the George Fox website or by contacting Andrea Crenshaw at 503-554-2323 as well as visiting morganmckeown.theworldrace.org and swaziland.myadventures.org.
Just knowing that my children are living within the George Fox University community and being spurred into action through example and service opportunities creates in me a grateful heart. Parents, we are blessed in having our children engaged in this university where academic excellence and opportunities of sharing the message of Jesus Christ are offered both locally and globally.
Parent Council Chair-Elect