April 14, 2016 | Events |
Students participated in the 10th annual Bisons for Christ event on Wednesday, April 13. Hundreds of volunteers worked on approximately 200 service projects.
Bisons for Christ, a day of service through College Church of Christ’s campus outreach ministry the Rock House and the alumni relations office, allows students to connect with and serve the community. Projects included serving widows in their homes, visiting children’s homes, ministering to senior citizens, holding sport and academic camps for children in the community, taking care of animals at the local humane society, and more.
Rock House intern Katelyn Manchester said this year’s theme, “Here Am I, Send Me,” is being incorporated into every aspect of the event in hopes of showing students that their service and ministry extends beyond the day.
“This day helps us give back to the Searcy community and show our appreciation for letting us be a part of this wonderful place,” Manchester said. “The community needs to see our love and support for it and not that we are in our own little bubble.”
The Mitchell Center for Leadership and Ministry launched a mobile app for students and the University community called HU Service Central the morning of the event. The app allows users to find volunteer opportunities in the area and record their hours of service, and it displayed numerous projects occurring that day throughout the Searcy community. According to the app, more than 400 hours of service were logged by more than 260 app users.
“The app is a bridge between technology and service,” said Ben Hansen, graduate assistant in the Mitchell Center. “It brings out the best in Harding’s community of service by using what we already have, a smart phone, to connect us with different people and opportunities in the community where help is needed.”
Todd Gentry, college and outreach minister at College Church of Christ and co-director of Bisons for Christ, said he hopes the theme demonstrates that all are called to do ministry where they are.
“Bisons for Christ helps students understand that they can be part of ministry here,” Gentry said. “It also helps develop leadership in students. They realize they have talents that can be used for God.”
Gentry said many community ministries have been started through Bisons for Christ, and it has been incredible for him to watch the event grow.
“It is amazing to see lives changed through this event,” Gentry said. “One great thing about the event is that it is not just one day, and ministry continues afterward. People are served. Attitudes are changed. Christ is glorified. Some have become followers of Christ because Jesus was preached without words.”