Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A record 50 CSU students attended the Converge retreat hosted by the Baptist Collegiate Ministry in Myrtle Beach in early February. “We were in the top five largest groups at the weekend conference,” said Tam Odom, director of women’s ministries and creative arts.
“It’s a weekend for us to fellowship, have fun and get to know each other,” Hannah Burnett said. “And also just to worship and praise God.” As a freshman, this was her first experience with Converge.
“The whole weekend was about putting compassion into action,” Burnett said. “Wherever your heart breaks is where they were telling you to serve — that’s the biggest way to show love to others.”
The students had the opportunity to contribute to World Help’s Operation Baby Rescue when one of the CSU students learned that only a few hundred dollars more was needed to rescue a child. According to WorldHelp.net, Operation Baby Rescue is an initiative that provides lifesaving treatment to thousands of children battling the effects of malnutrition in impoverished communities in Guatemala.
Odom said, “Every heart in the room was in unified mind that we must do this. For college students, that amount of money might seem impossible to get, but … God can do immeasurably more!”
A student suggested that the group skip lunch the next day. After pooling that money with additional donations, the total was $714, which not only rescued the one child, but began the effort to rescue a second child.
Jon Davis, campus minister, said, “I personally think that it was nothing short of a miracle, being that it was late and we had been going all weekend, because not one person questioned or gave any pushback on giving up their money for this to happen. In fact, they were overjoyed to give. Any time you have joy in giving then you have the mark of the Holy Spirit.”
For Hannah, the weekend was well spent.
“God just revealed to me more how my heart breaks for children,” she said. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to help save a child’s life in a very real way while at Converge. “It was so awesome,” she said. “That was the best way to end the trip.”