Patricia Main (Cree), co-director at Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry in Lawrence, Kansas, recently hosted a women’s gathering for students at Haskell Indian Nations University.
“We had about 18 students attend the event. It was really awesome because I wanted to be sure they understood the power of words—both negatively and positively—and how it’s time to let go of past hurts and find healing in Jesus. We especially talked about the power of God’s own Word and how we can trust what He says about us.”
Robin Santos (Tohono O’odham), administrative assistant to Patricia, spoke with the students about what it means to have childlike faith and how they can all learn from children who are often so quick to forgive. Then Sharon Hallum-Arce, another guest speaker, addressed topics such as prayer, trust and overcoming obstacles.
At one point the women were each gifted with a plaque created by Karen Wagner, a faithful volunteer of the LIGHT House. Each plaque featured an encouraging thought or Bible verse to remind the students that God sees each of them as precious in His sight. Other volunteers who helped with the event include Diana Harrison, who provided her photography services, and Carol Walker and Kelly Walker who decorated and provided special door prizes for the students attending the event.
Angelica Mora, one of the students, shared what it meant for her to attend the gathering:
“Listening to the stories made me think back to my childhood and how my family struggled growing up. I enjoyed my childhood but, as I got older, I started to realize [some of the poor choices that led to] so much hardship in my family.
“Going to that event really made me feel like, no matter what background we come from or the hardships we have gone through, we can still use that to be a better person in the future. … It motivates me to achieve more and be educated. … I want to set an example for my siblings.”
For many students, living on campus may be their first experience away from home, a home which is often situated in an isolated Native community. Patricia explains how assuring the students of God’s love and presence brings them joy and adds to their confidence.
“We want them to know they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ I let them know they are a work in progress and their lives are in the hands of the Author and Finisher of their faith. They were so happy to hear these truths!”
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