Sitting in the dining room of the Wesley Foundation on the University of Kentucky campus, I have had a chance to reflect on what I have seen and heard here. I have spent some time serving on an Urban Mission weekend for middle school aged children with my friend, William Herndon and the students he serves here at UK. I have had a chance to see firsthand the ministry that is being done for, with, and through the college students who live and fellowship in this place. I notice the students who are living life here and see the bonds they are making with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve been thinking all evening about the changes they are facing in their lives and how valuable it is to have a sense of place and family when you’re away from home. I think about what it means to have a place where it is safe to explore who you are and Who God is.
Imagine you have left the place you grew up and the people you have known all your life. Maybe you have moved fifty miles away. Perhaps you have moved hundreds of miles away or even overseas. This might be the first time you have ever been on your own. Maybe you have a good support system back home, but maybe you don’t. Life is uncertain, and you are just now really beginning to realize that you have to learn who you are. Going to college can be one of the toughest transitions people will ever have to make, and even if they do have a good support system, chances are good that their support system is not nearby.
So, what can be done to support and care for the souls of those young adults as they are tossed into the real world, typically for the first time in their lives? There are many college ministries that exist, right there on the front lines, to help fill that deep need for students. Without these college ministries, many students would not be as successful in their transition into life on their own. Take a moment to watch the video below, which was made by the college ministries in the Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Hear it from the own mouths of those they serve. Then, consider supporting them with your prayers, time, talents, and finances. Often, their ministries are chronically underfunded because they are simply not in the forefront of our minds most of the time. Yet, they provide a truly invaluable service to the future of the church and the world.
Patricia Taylor is the editor for the Soul Care Collective.