Purposeful Lives

Benjamin J., sophomore, history
Benjamin J.
It was not long ago that I had first set foot on Schreiner University. I transferred here a year ago hoping to start fresh with new goals and achievements in mind. I transferred for some athletic and academic reasons and thought basketball and nursing was my future here at Schreiner.

It was not until spring of 2013 that my career path and heart was turned toward a global issue. I had attended a Christian conference for students seeking God; it took place in Atlanta, Georgia (Passion 2013). It was there I learned of the 27 million people trapped in modern-day slavery. There were individuals, families and children all under the hand of oppression and the injustice of our world. It was not until the third night of the conference that God would reveal to me that this is what I would pursue as my career and be committed to. The message came through a 19-year-old young lady who, from childhood, was first abused by a family member and then found herself, after a series of unfortunate events, in the trafficking industry in Asia. Then IJM (International Justice Missions) a non-profit organization based here in the United States rescued her and is providing her with a recovery program for all aspects of life. She was at Passion in the Georgia Dome, and seeing her on the big screens is an image I will never forget. I cannot explain nor understand why such things take place in our world, but I do know we cannot let 27 million people get swept under the rug and act as if it’s not our problem. The prophet Isaiah spoke in the 58th chapter and in the sixth verse “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?” I have hidden that scripture in my heart, and though I cannot change the world over night, I do plan to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

After I learned of this modern-day slavery, I have been a part of a movement here on campus that started with a few passionate students. We shocked the nation by raising the most support for The Nationwide Stand for Freedom Rally that took place on hundreds of college campuses, churches and organizations. Word reached us here on campus the day we stood for 27 hours that IJM headquarters in D.C would be praying for us and sending a representative to stand with us. The support we had was overwhelming. During fall 2013, Rebecca Ottinger and Lindy Davis would push for a free world chapter here on campus, and prayer for the young ladies who are trafficked in the San Antonio area.

After this life changing experience, I am now a history major and plan on interning with IJM in D.C. I also co-lead Shine Bible study with Travis Phlugaupt. It has been a life changing experience here at Schreiner and my hope is that every student will do as the university instructs from the moment they arrive: “Enter with hope and leave with achievement.”

I owe a huge “thank you” to the staff and leadership that make the experiences I have had, and continue to have, here possible.