Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium audience members stood and cheered after BJU President Steve Pettit announced at the close of Bible Conference that fundraising for the annual offering had exceeded the $150,000 goal.
The total shown on the screens flanking the stage was $185,520.03–with additional funds expected in the coming weeks–that will be directed toward providing a Save the Storks mobile unit for the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to grow its community impact. Save the Storks is a leading national pro-life organization.
Save the Storks vans and buses are equipped to provide abortion-vulnerable women free ultrasounds and pregnancy and STI testing. More importantly, the vehicles bring the women the hope of the Gospel through confidential counseling sessions.
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“I think it’s a tremendous lesson for our students that it’s a cause everybody could get behind and then the synergy of working together,” Pettit said. “That’s the effect of it. It’s something that God cares about, and we care about it. And it’s not just our student body but others are affected by it. I’ve had pastors write to me already and the excitement is knowledgeable to them, and they’re not even here. My prayer was that God would deepen the spiritual life of our students.”
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Save the Storks president Paul Isaacs—a 1993 BJU graduate—texted Pettit during the evening service to offer his sincere appreciation to the University community and others who worked diligently on various on- and off-campus fundraising efforts and gave sacrificially.
It was Isaacs’ chapel message in the spring of 2019 that compelled the student body to take up the charge of fundraising for a Save the Storks unit. More than 50 student-led fundraisers complemented donations. The bus will dovetail with the Carolina Pregnancy Center’s services, which include free ultrasounds, a mentoring program for men and women, and a closet for providing clothes to mothers and their children.
“We are thankful to the Bob Jones University community for this incredible gift. We are especially touched by the vision of the students and their heart to save the next generation from abortion and their compassion for the moms and dads,” said Dr. Alexia Newman, Carolina Pregnancy Center director. “For us at Carolina Pregnancy Center, this is another tool to share the love of Jesus Christ and the hope of salvation found in Him.”
Funds raised above the cost of an outfitted bus will allow BJU to assist the Carolina Pregnancy Center with other projects.
“We will meet with the Carolina Pregnancy Center and really get a better idea of some of the startup costs. There’s always a lot of things involved in that, and so we want to do everything we can to help them through that,” Pettit said.