University trains, prepares student Harvey relief team

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California Baptist University students will head to Houston, Texas, Oct. 12 – 15 to join the massive relief effort occurring in the wake of the Hurricane Harvey devastation.

Spiritual Life’s Compassion Ministries assembled the 44-person relief team in a month, notifying student leadership of the opportunity and quickly planning the service project. Within three days, an overabundance of student interest to serve in Houston prompted the office to recruit more staff members and faculty to attend.

The relief team will serve through the North American Mission Board, a Southern Baptist organization centered on church planting and providing relief within the United States. The NAMB enables college students to aid in relief work while serving alongside NAMB team leaders. Faculty and staff from CBU’s offices of Leadership and Transition, Residence Life, Spiritual Life and Facilities will be present.

Julie Dobbins, director of Compassion and Women’s Ministries, reflected on the importance of serving as students.

“For those of us who are followers of Christ, we desire to have a heart like his and put ourselves in positions where we are able to serve as he did,” Dobbins said. “The neat thing about disaster relief is that many people might be able to send financial resources but might not have the time to go serve, whereas college students have a little more flexibility and capacity to go and do the work.”

The team will leave Thursday for Houston and return Sunday. Service opportunities on Friday and Saturday will include relief work in areas where people have lost their homes along with various cleaning, clearing and flood recovery tasks, known as “mud-outs.”

“My biggest prayer is that an attitude of service will come naturally for the team once we are on the ground,” Dobbins continued. “I hope that we’ll be able to spend time with homeowners there, to listen to their stories, to show them that we care about what happened, and to show them that because we love Christ we want to bring help.”

Dobbins said Spiritual Life hopes the team of students and staff will be a source of encouragement to the people of Houston as they pray and serve those affected.

About Danielle Nelson

Asst. News Editor

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