Student Generosity Overflows in Chapel Service

Students in chapel

Nearly $10,000 raised for microfinance initiative in Mexico

CHICAGO, IL (March 27, 2009) – When Campus Pastor Judy Peterson told North Park University students to come to Wednesday’s chapel ready to give, she could not have imagined the outpouring of generosity that would ensue.

Just a week earlier she had issued a challenge to students to help raise $5,000 in support of Fuentes Libre, one of the University’s project partners that assists poor women in Oaxaca, Mexico. The money would go to establishing a bank that gives microloans to these women, who use the resources to start their own businesses. Inspired by the challenge, a woman from a local congregation agreed to match the $5,000 raised so that a second bank could be built.

Amazingly, $ 9,035 was collected in an offering taken during the March 25 chapel service, not including an additional $1,000 pledge or the $5,000 in matching funds.

North Park professor of business and nonprofit management Michael Avramovich was the speaker that day, addressing the story of the rich young ruler. “Jesus said more about money and stewardship than he said about heaven, hell, and prayer combined,” noted Avramovich, observing that more than half of Christ’s parables are devoted to finances.

He went on to explain that members of the North Park student body are like modern “rich young rulers,” and are faced with the same decision to be loyal to Christ or loyal to their own possessions.  

“In today’s world you and I are a part of the elite of this world just as this young ruler was in his,” Avramovich described. “In a world where fewer than one percent of the population attends university, let alone graduates, you know that you are wealthy. Even today many of us will spend more in one day on coffee or clothes, shoes or cosmetics—even on a vegetarian meal—than people spend or earn in a month or more of work.”

Greed is a question of attitude, he added. The poorest among us can be greedy, and the richest can avoid greed.

Peterson was moved by student response to the chapel message. “If we are willing to be the transportation for the work of God in this world," she said, "then there is no end to the things that might get delivered.”


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