Serving others isn't just a tradition, it's a passion

Last Updated 29 August, 2014

Northwest Nazarene University desires to transform students not just intellectually but in all aspects of life. One of the ways this is done is through opportunities for service—helping students learn to lead by giving themselves to God and to humankind. NNU’s tradition of service began in the early years of the college when students helped to maintain the campus grounds and everyday domestic operations of the school, specifically through Campus Day. Over the years student service has developed into outreach ministries that extend beyond the borders of the university. Today, one of the ways this tradition manifests itself is through ministry clubs. There are currently four ministry clubs at NNU: Angels, Hope House, International Justice Mission and Just Another Row. 

Angels club is made up of students who, twice a week, visit a shelter that houses physically and mentally handicapped adults.  These students go to play BINGO, but the meaning of their visits goes much deeper than that. Director of Student Ministries Julene Tegerstrand was shocked the first time she went to Angels and saw a collection of photos on the wall containing smiling faces of NNU students with the residents. In that moment, she realized the deep impact that NNU students can have on the Nampa community.

Over the years student service has developed into outreach ministries that extend beyond the borders of the university.

Hope House in Marsing, Idaho, is a home for children who do not have another home to go to. Some of these kids are from failed adoptions, some have mental, physical or emotional challenges, others come from difficult family situations. The Hope House campus contains dormitories, a church, school, gym and a family for these children who lack one. NNU students have been going to Hope House since 1984 to spend time each week investing in children’s lives. This is a great example of the lasting relationships that occur as NNU students go out and serve in the name of Jesus. During their weekly time at Hope House, students spend time playing with the kids and always make sure to put some time aside for a devotional so that the children will know that no matter what happens to them on earth, they have a heavenly father who loves them unconditionally. 

International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organization which is dedicated to fighting for and promoting justice around the globe. NNU has a campus chapter of IJM that is focused on spreading awareness of injustice not only in the United States, but also North America and throughout the world. Events that IJM coordinates include a campus poverty simulation, video screenings and the Stiletto Run—a fundraiser for fighting human trafficking.  

Just Another Row (JAR) is a new ministry club to the NNU campus that began in the winter of 2014. JAR was started by some NNU students who love to crochet and knit and thought that their crafts could be used for a higher purpose. With this vision in mind, these students crochet and knit scarves, hats, blankets or anything warm to donate to homeless shelters in the area. JAR has transformed a hobby into a ministry.

NNU is always looking for new ministry clubs to start and listens to the student body for other ideas for service outlets. Do you have an area of ministry you’re passionate about? Turn it into an NNU club and give other students the chance to join you in the joy of service.