Hundreds of Regent Students Participate in Missions Week 2021 and Ongoing Community Outreach Opportunities
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 16, 2021) – Missions Week at Regent University, held from November 8-12, 2021, represented the culmination of a full semester of outreach events throughout the Hampton Roads community. During Missions Week alone, more than 200 students participated in an intercessory prayer night, a ministry connection fair, and Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing. Key speakers throughout the week also inspired and challenged students to engage in local and global missions.
“Scripture makes it clear that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to minister to the ‘least of these’ and to bear one another’s burdens. That’s what we aim to do through every outreach program we engage in at Regent,” said the university’s director of Campus Ministries, Pastor Mark Lawrence. “With the holidays coming up, our students are especially mindful that we are blessed to be a blessing and their commitment to spreading joy and love throughout the community has been remarkable and impactful.”
Key speakers throughout the week included Regent associate professor Dr. Alemayehu Mekonne, adjunct professor Dr. John Klem, and Regent Christian Ministries undergraduate students Caleb Cummings and Rebecca Swenk. Regent’s local ministry partners, which included all the partners listed below, also connected with students to share details of how they can serve others.
Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoebox packing was a hands-on highlight of Missions Week. More than 80 students gathered in the Library Atrium on Friday to pack over 170 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items and school supplies. OCC is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, on mission to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Along with the gifts, Regent students included handwritten cards that shared the love of Christ.
Regent student volunteers are regularly involved in supporting children, homeless individuals, and low-income families. Beyond Missions Week, here is a snapshot of ongoing outreach programs Regent Royals participate in weekly.
As part of a Dream Center initiative, students partner with New Life Church each Tuesday and Friday morning to help serve meals to people experiencing homelessness. They share a meal with these individuals during a short devotional and also help facilitate a mobile shower program.
Mercy Drops meets on Thursdays to distribute packaged lunches and care packs to homeless individuals. They also facilitate a pop-up grocery store in a housing community.
Through the People in Need (PIN) outreach, Regent students volunteer weekly to help facilitate logistics so that those experiencing financial strain or homelessness can receive resources.
Mercy Chefs allows students to prepare school breakfast and lunch for a low-income school every Friday.
In partnership with the Church at Hampton Roads, Regent students mentor the next generation each Thursday through Harbor North. Here, students support an after-school program for kids who live in Section Eight housing. Volunteers play games, lead Bible studies, and oversee snack distribution with kids from the community.
Students also participate in Eastside Fellowship, a ministry located in a trailer park. Every Friday, Regent Royals come out to play with kids, tutor them, and help meet the needs of local families.
Through For Kids Tutoring, Regent students tutor kids each Monday after school, helping them with homework and providing after-school care.
Heart and Hands is a ministry that meets every other Monday and focuses on equipping students for evangelism through worship, teachings, and community engagement.
Youth With a Mission (YWAM) is yet another partner with Regent, through which students participate each Tuesday in a time of public worship, prayer and evangelism.
Additionally, several Royals volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center to assist with administrative tasks and help their facility run smoothly.
Here’s What’s Coming Up in 2022!
In the spring, students are excited to renew their participation in Local Love. This local event organized by Operation Blessing is open to all students and involves disaster relief aid work.
Additionally, Regent Royals are invited to join Campus Ministries on Marcy 7-12, 2022, for a spring break missions trip with YWAM. Look for location, cost and other details coming soon to Regent Campus Ministries’ Instagram @regent_cm.
Why Students Believe in Outreach
Cummings, who serves as the outreach coordinator for Campus Ministries, shared that the heart and reason behind all outreach are twofold: “It equips students to be able to fulfill the Great Commission through service and evangelism, and it provides a tangible way for the community around us to see who God is and to know that Regent students are in their own backyard, seeking to encourage them and help meet their needs.” Cummings said he believes that these two goals glorify God by training students and loving His people.
Through these activities, Regent has seen its students cultivate an active, God-inspired love for people. “I think of events like the Operation Christmas Child packing party I attended my freshman year or the Operation Blessing project we did in 2019, and I am blown away by the kindness of God’s people,” said Carlee MacPherson, a Regent junior and frequent outreach participant. “I have watched the hearts of students open up in such a cool way. The love for another person that grows from doing something in humility for them is incredibly unique.”
Regent junior Sage Thomas also spoke to the value of Regent’s mission trips. During her experience, “Growth and confidence in spreading the gospel were evident in every person on the trip. It was a great opportunity to build godly community through service and lean on the Holy Spirit as a team. It also showed me the importance of simple but meaningful conversations.”
Regent is humbled to see its student outreach programs impact both the community and students. “Student outreach is an integral part of Regent’s mission,” Lawrence said. “The university is excited to see how God continues to grow these ministries as more students get involved and new opportunities arise.”
To learn how you can get involved or to learn more about Campus Ministries, visit regent.edu/campusministries.
Written by Jordan Lance – Student Writer
About Regent University
Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for nine years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2021).