Chowan Cares Week: Serving Where We Are
An annual tradition for Chowan Campus Ministry is Chowan Cares Week which promotes ministry through service. Creatively, Campus Ministry staff has given students, faculty, and staff a safe way to serve amid the pandemic. The emphasis of each of the days was to serve locally or to places where Chowan has been on mission trips.
The week kicked off with a successful “Make-One, Take-One” event. The Chowan community was invited to tie-dye socks for individuals experiencing homelessness. Participants rubber banded socks and squirted dye to make one-of-kind designs for themselves and others. Sophomore Rachel Van Buren described the activity as a win-win, “the tie-dying project brought people together and helped provide fun socks for the homeless. I liked the ‘make it take it’ aspect because I could make fun socks for others and keep some for myself. Knowing that I could make a difference and share God’s love to people, made the tie-dying project extra special to me.”
The colorful socks will be sent to Christ House, a medical residential facility with a mission to care for men experiencing homelessness in Washington D.C. Christ House is a place where Chowan students have previously served on mission experiences and through internships. “The act of creating was therapeutic,” said Rev. Mari Wiles, Minister to the University. “Students relaxed as they prepared socks to send to Christ House and for themselves.” The socks that students made for themselves will be a tangible reminder to pray for those experiencing homelessness.
On Tuesday after gathering around the flagpole to offer prayers for our nation, Campus Ministry invited students back to the Hawks Nest to make comfort bags. Students carefully packed bags with toiletries, snacks, and clothing items. The bags were then given to CBF Missionaries, Anna and LaCount Anderson who assist First Baptist Ahoskie with benevolence ministry. “We were so excited to participate with Chowan Campus Ministry students with this project. These care bags will be such a help to people who are struggling. Every week, we see people who just don’t have what they need to live comfortable lives, don’t have enough to pay their basic bills, and don’t have enough food for the families in their care. Knowing someone cares about them is huge,” said Anderson.
A recent mission site for Chowan Campus Ministry is Preble Street, an organization that assists those experiencing homelessness in Portland, Maine. Unsure of the next time a team could return, Rev. Wiles reached out to Preble Street to keep students connected with this organization. Preble Street asked Campus Ministry for Thanksgiving cards. In response, students, faculty, and staff lovingly created Thanksgiving cards filled with messages of encouragement to be delivered with the holiday meal.
Rev. Wiles regularly reminds students on mission trips to be flexible. This lesson holds true during these challenging days. Through Chowan Cares Week 2020 Campus Ministry reimagined ways to minister to others and as Rev. Wiles said “in a pandemic, we serve where we are and we share where can.”
For more information on Chowan Campus Ministry, please contact Rev. Mari Wiles at 252-398-6268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.