Groundbreaking at Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry In early May, we held a groundbreaking for our new Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry facility in Lawrence, KS. More than 80 friends and supporters of the ministry were present for the occasion, with one person traveling from as far away as Ohio to be with us! The gathering was a very happy occasion. Everyone expressed such joy to see the building campaign now underway.
Ponka-We Victors, the only Native American member ever to be elected to the Kansas State Legislature, shared her thoughts with the crowd, describing the moment she met Patricia Main, co-director for Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry, along with her husband, Will. Ponka-We described how Patricia came up to her at the state capital, asking if she could pray for her. Ponka-We said it's something she'll never forget and that she continues to count on Patricia's faithful prayers on her behalf.
LCMS Kansas District President Keith Kohlmeier and his wife, Marlene, also were present. We were truly encouraged by his affirming words for Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry, for the work that Will and Patricia do among the students and for the building campaign. Rev. Scott Snow, who serves as pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Wichita, was present as a member of the mission board of the LCMS Kansas District. Rev. Jack Preus was present and shared his thoughts, saying, “I’m so excited by what I see happening here that I want to somehow be involved in this.”
Others present shared how their experiences at the groundbreaking was "a real eye-opener” to Native history and the need for ministry on campus. Another person exclaimed, "Now this is ministry. It goes on every day and deserves our support!"
Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx summarized our need for campus ministry very well, adding what he believes will be a true blessing for Haskell Indian Nations University students and for the greater Lawrence community. We would like to share his comments with you here:
I am very pleased to join with you today to break ground on the Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry Center and Leadership Institute. On behalf of the Lawrence City Commission and the greater Lawrence community, I applaud the efforts and work of Rev. Will Main and Patricia Main for their work at this campus to empower and equip young generations of Native Americans with essential leadership and life skills.
The work of the Lutheran Indian Ministries here in our community is invaluable to the youth that participate in their spiritual and educational teachings. From your formal religious teaching to casual social gatherings, you are reinforcing the belief that all people need a place to feel welcomed and embraced as part of a community.
Today’s groundbreaking is a new beginning for the Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry. By taking this physical leap to expand your facility, you are taking a spiritual leap and committing to grow your ministry and reach out to even more students, faculty and local residents who are seeking your support, love and guidance. This new center will be home to many and will serve people through distance education courses, theological training and spiritual guidance.
For the past 43 years, Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry has been a resource for Native Americans in Lawrence and those who come to Haskell for their educational pursuits. Today’s groundbreaking solidifies the need for your service and is another step toward fulfilling your mission to raise up leaders and serve the many Nations of Native Americans locally and abroad.
Thank you again for allowing me to participate.
Will (Sioux) and Patricia (Cree) summarized what it means to have a larger facility for campus ministry to the students.
“We were so blessed to see all the people who came out to the event to support the building campaign,” shared Patricia. “So many people affirmed our desire to have a positive impact on all the Native nations represented on campus and also on our greater Lawrence community.”
Will explained how the new facility will bridge the two communities and help to close the gap between the two cultures, saying, “We’re not Lawrence and we’re not Haskell, so we can act as hosts for the two as they learn from each other and seek to build each other up.”
Will and Patricia both say with sincere conviction how all of this is an answered prayer: the new facility, greater outreach on campus and in the community, and teaching students the need for Christian leadership.
Will adds, “It’s all about God and His Son, Jesus, and how He means to bless us to be a blessing to others.”
For more information about the new facility for Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry, read our Northern Lights Spring 2014 Special Edition Newsletter.
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