Originally written by Joseph Englehardt, Trinity Digest Staff Writer
As a part of African-American History Month, Trinity will be celebrating African-American Festival Week from February 17-21, sponsored by the Multicultural Development Office (MDO).
Trinity’s organized observation of African-American History Month comes from MDO’s dedication to “education and awareness of multiculturalism in the local community, and unity for the sake of Christ and provide activities and programs to engage communication.”
“The purpose of African-American History Month is to celebrate African-American achievement, not just celebrating culture because everybody’s culture should be celebrated,” MDO director Clary Butler said.
Former MDO director and current Atlanta pastor Keith Norman will be the keynote speaker at this year’s African-American Festival, preaching during undergraduate chapels throughout the week. Trinity’s Gospel Choir will also lead worship as in previous years.
On February 20, MDO and Trinity’s Discipleship Cabinet (DCAB) will be co-hosting a multiculturalism workshop.
The celebration of African-American History Month on Trinity’s campus continues after the festival. A haircare workshop specifically tailored to the unique qualities of African hair, but open to everyone, will be available Saturday, February 22. A shuttle will also be provided to Sign of the Dove, a multicultural church in Waukegan, on Sunday, February 23.
Last year’s AAFW included an event called High Definition, which focused on urban fashion and performance art. A similar event, Night at the Apollo, on Friday, February 28 will feature improv, poetry, and music. The title of the event references the TV show “Showtime at the Apollo,” which was well-known for its amateur talent night and featured many up-and-coming African-American performers.
Any questions about African-American Festival Week can be directed to the Multicultural Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Allison Koenig, Digest staff writer
A group of twelve TIU students returned from an 18-day mission trip to Rapelle, India on Tuesday, January 14, where they partnered with the India Rural Evangelical Fellowship (IREF) — a missions organization that works to spread the gospel in rural India through church plants and other service projects.
The team lived on the IREF compound for the majority of their time in India. The compound also serves as housing and a school to about 3,000 orphans. During their stay, the team prepared songs and skits to perform for both the Vacation Bible School program and the youth conference, and helped to pray over participants and serve communion at the conference.
Staff leader and Johnson Hall assistant residence director Kelly Newlin shared of the team’s work in India. It was Newlin’s first time participating in the annual trip.
“We did a lot of children-focused ministry, including a Vacation Bible School program for the compound’s children. We also helped with an evangelistic youth conference, which about 5,000 kids attended,” Newlin said. “Kids came from hundreds of miles away for the conference.”
Sophomore Katlyn Stoneman shared a story of how their ministry through music had an affect on the compound’s children, even across language barriers.
“We were helping a doctor and his wife with scabies and lice treatments one day at the school. A lot of the kids were crying because the treatment is pretty painful and scary, but they asked to sing the song, ‘I’m Trading my Sorrows’ with me. They didn’t know it, but they were singing a song about giving up their sickness and present pain to the Lord, and it was just amazing. I get goose-bumps when I think about it.”
TIU sophomore and Missions Cabinet (MCAB) Advocacy Representative Heidi Backstrom made her second trip to India this year. She noted that her prior experience at the IREF compound, along with the trip’s extension this year to a full two weeks at the compound, allowed for greater engagement with the culture and with those they ministered to.
“The trip being longer definitely made a difference. Last year, we had to leave right as we were starting to get to know the kids, but this year, we had more time and could get to know them better,” Backstrom said.
Backstrom also shared of the cultural issues that create difficulty in IREF’s work, including the poor treatment of women and the lingering effects of the caste system.
“Even though the caste system isn’t legal anymore, it’s definitely a problem,” Backstrom said. “When they [IREF] plant churches, they have to plant a church for the higher caste people and one for the lower caste people, and then try to merge them together.”
Local poets Tania Runyan and Marci Rae Johnson will be visiting Trinity on Friday, January 31 as part of a book release and poetry night sponsored by the Trinity Fine Arts Festival and Trinity College’s fine arts journal, The Trillium.
Runyan’s most recent books are How to Read a Poem: A Field Guide and Second Sky. She has published three other collections, including Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. More information about Runyan’s work can be found on her website, taniarunyan.com.
Johnson’s debut poetry collection, The Eyes the Window, was awarded the Powder Horn Prize and published by Sage Hill Press in November 2013. She also teaches English at Valparaiso University in Indiana and is the poetry editor at Wordfarm Press. Much of Johnson’s writing can be found at marciraejohnson.blogspot.com.
The night will conclude with an open mic session. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own original poems or a piece that they enjoy to share with the audience.
The book release party will be held in the Johnson Hall Lounge and will start at 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
Trinity International University (TIU) men’s and women’s soccer coach Patrick Gilliam has been named the recipient of the 2013 Frank Jewell Award by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
In 17 seasons as the TIU women’s soccer coach, Gilliam has compiled a 262-109-16 record — a mark which gives him the fourth-most wins among active NAIA coaches — which includes a pair of NCCAA national championships. This season, the team won the CCAC Tournament championship, earning a berth in the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship. Gilliam has also spent a total of nine seasons as the men’s head coach.
Sophomore defender Kathryn Simonsen believes that Gilliam’s leadership and passion for the game of soccer are more than enough to warrant his nomination for this award.
“I’ve never met a coach that is so persistent on furthering ad developing the game of soccer,” Simonsen said. “For him, soccer is an opportunity that he takes to share the passion and love to anyone who comes in contact with it.”
Senior Jessica Williams echoed Simonsen’s sentiment of Gilliam’s dedication to not only furthering his love for soccer, but investing in the lives of his teams as well.
“Coach Gilliam not only strives to further the game of soccer in his teams through extensive study, but he cares most importantly for the testimony of the teams and the lives of his players,” Williams said. “He leads and guides them to grow as people and exemplify Christ on and off the field. I can think of no one who does this better or with more passion or dedication.”
Gilliam will be presented the Frank Jewell Award during the upcoming National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention in Philadelphia, Penn.
On Jan. 25, 2014, Trinity International University (TIU) will be partnering with the North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) to host the sixth annual NSSED Dance.
Based in nearby Highland Park, IL, NSSED is a special education cooperative that provides programs, services, coaching and consultation to 18 school districts from around the Chicagoland area. The mission of NSSED is to equip special education students with life skills that can help them become successful adults following their education. According to its website, there are 39,000 students between ages three and 21 enrolled in NSSED programs within these 18 districts, learning everything from performing basic household chores to applying for jobs to being caring and contributing members of the community.
Trinity’s relationship with NSSED has been a long-standing one. Throughout the school year, NSSED students visit Trinity’s campus to interact with other students while practicing their life skills. The relationship allows Trinity students — including education majors — to volunteer in assisting these students while they are on campus.
The purpose of the NSSED Dance is to provide these special needs students with another opportunity to interact with students their own age in a fun environment outside of the classroom. It also allows the experience of a traditional high school dance for the students who are a part of this unique school system.
Now in its sixth year, the NSSED Dance has become one of the most popular outreach events at Trinity. Last year, over 100 students and staff volunteered at the NSSED Dance, which hosted 12 NSSED students. Those interested in volunteering at this year’s dance can contact Heather Cordero at email@example.com or Joi McGowan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early in the fall semester of 2013, Caleb Afulike was faced with several financial hardships. He had just begun his first semester of studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and had bills to pay for his tuition and rent. On top of that, his family’s car had recently broken down and required extensive repairs that they likely could not afford.
With these financial stressors weighing on him, Caleb decided to turn on his iPod and listen to some worship music while he checked his email. Within moments, his worry turned to celebration.
“I opened my email, opened the first message and saw the word, ‘Congratulations,’ and I was so overwhelmed with joy that I began to dance right there in my house,” Caleb said. “My wife asked me why I was dancing, and I told her, ‘Just let me dance, and I will tell you!’”
The email, as Caleb would tell his wife, was regarding the Don and Joy Carson Endowed Scholarship (established in their honor—see above story), and Caleb had been selected to receive a scholarship worth $15,000 to apply toward his education at TEDS. It is a gift for which Caleb is incredibly thankful, and one which he plans to use to pursue God’s calling in his life.
Caleb was an evangelical pastor in Kaduna State, Nigeria, for nine years before coming to America. In 2010, he moved to Massachusetts with his family—a wife, Happiness, and three children—to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After graduating from Gordon-Conwell with a Masters in Divinity and a Masters in Biblical Languages, God called him to continue his studies at TEDS.
“Trinity is well-known around the world,” Caleb said. “Many of my professors in Nigeria have gone here, and it was a school I have wanted to attend for a long time. I appreciate how it is an evangelical school that holds fast to the authority of Scripture and is also academically vigorous.”
Now at Trinity, Caleb is pursuing his PhD in Old Testament—a degree he hopes to complete in five or six years. Though he is only in his first year at Trinity, he already appreciates how his professors have his best interests in mind and want to help lay a foundation for his success, even if that means extending deadlines or arranging last-minute meetings.
Thanks to the scholarship, Caleb can continue his studies and pursuit of his mission. He plans to use his opportunity to earn a degree so that he can return to his homeland and more effectively teach God’s Word.
“When I was a pastor in Nigeria, I knew very little about the Old Testament,” said Caleb. “It is my hope that I can learn about the Old Testament so that I can help other pastors and church leaders learn more about the Old Testament as well.”
Even though Caleb still has financial concerns, as do most students pursuing higher degrees of learning, he is grateful for the Carson Scholarship and the opportunity that it has afforded him.
“Getting the Carson Scholarship has renewed my faith and hope in our God who provides for the needs of his people,” Caleb said. “The scholarship was an answer to many prayers. I was not sure how to make it through this semester with how much I was owing. Even if I do, I was afraid that I might not be able to register for spring because my unpaid debt. But this scholarship has paid off my debt and has given me hope for spring tuition. I am so, so grateful.”
For Paul and Marianne Wheeler, the decision to invest in students through Trinity International University was founded on several reasons: a close relationship with Trinity staff during a difficult season, a desire to help relieve the financial burden of higher education, a passion for spreading the Word of God across the earth, and ultimately an obedience to God’s calling on their lives.
The Wheelers’ closest connection to Trinity began through their church, CrossLife Evangelical Free Church of Libertyville. They had been members of the church for many years and had met many Trinity students and staff during their involvement in the church. Paul and Marianne express gratitude for the role that TIU students and staff have played there.
“We were always appreciative of the many ways that Trinity professors and their spouses—as well as Trinity students—actively participate in the life of our church,” the Wheelers said. “They use their expertise to teach, sometimes preach, work in the children’s and music programs, and are mentors.”
Late in 2001, the Wheelers found themselves connecting more deeply with the Trinity community when Marianne was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Within hours of Marianne’s diagnosis, a couple from CrossLife sought out Paul and Marianne and counseled them through this difficult process. That couple was Don and Joy Carson. Don Carson—better known as D.A. Carson—is a research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he and Joy play an active role both in the Trinity community and at CrossLife.
The Wheelers were both thrilled and humbled that the Carsons were so attentive and loving in their assistance during Marianne’s treatment and recovery.
“The Carsons immediately reached out to us and mentored us through a very difficult year,” Marianne said. “Their counsel was instrumental in helping us meet all the mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges we faced.”
Upon Marianne’s recovery, the Wheelers felt that God was calling them to honor the Carsons for their assistance. They could think of no better way than to fund a scholarship in their name. Thus, in 2004, the Wheelers established the Don and Joy Carson Endowed Scholarship—the first PhD scholarship in the history of TEDS.
“We felt that the scholarship enabled us to show tangibly our appreciation both to Trinity, its faculty and students, and especially to the Carsons,” Marianne said.
Since its endowment, the scholarship has allowed the Wheelers to grow even closer to the Trinity community and see firsthand the impact their gift has had on its recipients.
“Since the scholarship was established, we have had increased communication and interaction with the university and have seen the Christian worldwide impact that the faculty, students and former students have made,” the Wheelers said. “We also have had the opportunity of meeting several recipients and have focused prayer for them.”
The Wheelers add to this that for them, one of the biggest blessings of their decision to endow this scholarship is to see how these students are impacting the world for the kingdom of God. Many of the recipients of the scholarship are international, and the Wheelers have had the pleasure of seeing these students return to their home countries and use their education to share the Word of God.
“The ultimate reward is knowing that we are contributing to the spread of the gospel, both here and abroad.”
Ultimately, Paul and Marianne are thankful that they heeded God’s calling to honor the Carsons. Their investment in Trinity students is something that will last for many years to come.
“The endowment was established in perpetuity—long after we’re gone—and that’s a great thing to think about,” Paul said. “The more students who can benefit from things like this, the better off the world will be.”