On-Campus Ministry in the Time of COVID-19

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Fall semester on the BJU campus has seen its share of struggles, blessings and uncharted territory. Regardless of the circumstances, several societies, faculty and staff have stepped up to ensure that students in COVID-19 isolation in Reveal Hall feel supported and are well taken care of.

Several societies have displayed leadership and servitude during this time of need. Michelle Benson, director of Student Health Services, says, “We have seen others step up to create personal ministries through purchasing care packages, delivering snacks and meals, and offering distanced fellowship over the phone and through window screens.”

The Impact of Societies

Men’s and women’s societies were designed to encourage cooperative, godly relationships and to encourage Christlike behavior. Several societies have gone above and beyond to practice these principles this semester. Members of Zoe Aletheia have been delivering meals, creating baskets and writing letters to personally motivate individuals in isolation.

See Also: COVID-19 Student Info

Abigail Harris, the Community Service Council representative for the Wildcats, believes that we should all follow the golden rule. “We should treat others like we want to be treated. How would we feel if we were in isolation? We would want to feel like someone cares about us and is praying for our recovery,” she said.

Other societies such as Tau Delta Chi, Pi Delta Chi and Pi Gamma Delta have also been delivering meals on different days of the week. Each society adds a little bit of personality to the deliveries. For example, the Pi Delta Chi Classics have written “get well” notes during their prayer meetings, which they put inside the lunch containers.

Keeping Students on Track

Volunteers and BJU staff are also delivering meals. Brent Wustman, general manager of Dining Services, says, “We get the number prior to the meal and any special diet needs as well so we can accommodate. The meals get picked up at the cashier stand in special hot and cold bags along with beverages and dessert.”

Wustman explained that students usually get the comfort meal of the day because it would be too difficult to plan out specialized deliveries.

IT and academic departments have made sure that students will be able to transition into an isolation period and then back to the classroom without getting caught behind. Professors have done their part by recording lectures and livestreaming classes.

“Students are already dealing with so much. They have to keep up with classes and school work while feeling sick. We have a responsibility to make their transition into online schooling just a little bit easier,” said Jeanine Aumiller, faculty in the Division of Communication. 

Aumiller has taught several classes in which students have been absent because of testing positive for COVID-19. While dealing with technology can be difficult, she thinks that it is worth it. 

The overall support and unity that students, faculty and staff have shown has been heartwarming.

I have personally been so encouraged by the servant’s heart of so many students. We could not do all the food pick up and delivery without the help of the students,” Benson said.