The Global Outreach division of Cedarville’s Christian Ministries provides students with opportunities to put their knowledge into action, giving their faith feet.
“Here at Cedarville we get a lot of the ‘know what it is’ and ‘how does it play out in our lives’ understanding of the gospel,” said Keith Holcomb, assistant director for Global Outreach. “Living it out and sharing it is what Global Outreach is about.”
One of the specific ministries of Global Outreach is CU Outreach, a program that ministers to students attending local universities.
Holcomb said this ministry focuses on getting Cedarville students into the community. The students minister on different college campuses in the area Monday through Friday nights.
“It is a unique experience to go and take everything we are poured into constantly at Cedarville,” said Chris Nunan, senior student and CU Outreach leader. “To take what we have learned and what we know, and invest it in the lives of others in an environment radically different from Cedarville.”
He said Cedarville students work with like-minded ministries on the campuses to share the gospel with students without taking them out of their comfort zone. While the ultimate goal is to witness to others, Nunan said Cedarville students understand that it is also important to create relationships for this to happen.
“You meet a lot of other students from other colleges,” said Hannah Gallardo, a sophomore student with the ministry. “The time that you get with the students and just connecting with them is really important.”
Ellen Raquet, a freshman student involved in the ministry, said CU Outreach is about more than pushing an agenda.
“It’s about creating a relationship, then speaking to their heart,” said Raquet.
While the program has existed for many years under Nunan’s guidance and the name “The 28:18 Project,” the program has been re-vamped over the past few years.
Not only has the name changed, but the level of student involvement in the outreach ministry has also seen a dramatic change.
Nunan said last year there were approximately 20 students involved in the ministry, but this year the number has jumped to over 90 students.
To help equip the students, CU Outreach hosts two weekly events focusing on the ministry. Nunan said these gatherings offer students a chance to connect with others and discuss their struggles and triumphs of the week.
On Sunday evenings, Nunan runs evangelism training to help students feel more pre-pared to share their faith.
And Gallardo is responsible for planning the Tuesday night CU Outreach prayer nights. Gallardo explained that at the prayer night, students come together and pray specifically for the ministry and the people they have been able to talk with.
This time also provides students with a chance to reflect on where their focus is and, if needed, an opportunity to shift it back to God.
“It’s talking to God, relying on him and acknowledging that you can’t do it on your own,” said Gallardo.“This is evangelism. This is about sharing God’s gospel. We are so privileged to share it. If you focus on you, you lose the point.”
Nunan said, “Without God we can’t do anything. Ultimately, we are not the ones that can change hearts. Lifting them up in prayer is a huge aspect of the ministry.”
He said learning to put faith into action is an important step in the journey of a Christian.
“Witnessing forces you to know intimately what you believe,” Nunan said.
In order to be effective witnesses, Gallardo said students need to look inwardly and understand what they believe. The experience is a way for students to grow in Christ and in their understanding of their faith, she said.
Raquet said, “One of the takeaways from the night was that I had never had such a burden for people before.”
Holcomb said, “We encourage students to be a part of CU outreach, wanting them to go and practice what they heard and develop a heart for the lost.”
Students looking to get involved in the ministry, either by going to the campuses or through prayer, can contact Chris Nunan by email.
All students are also invited to join in praying for the ministry in BTS 208 from 8-9 p.m. every Tuesday.
Taylor Hobbs is a freshman psychology major and reporter for Cedars. She enjoys stereotypical Canadian things like saying “Eh” and watching hockey.