Salt & Light

At New Hope Christian College, we are dedicated to the spiritual health and growth of our students. We exist, as our mission statement states, “To disciple emerging Christian leaders by developing their theology, ministry skills, and character in order to win souls, plant fruitful churches, and lead as exemplary ambassadors for Christ in the ministry and marketplace.” Fulfilling this mission statement is dependent on four different components that make up the stages of our spiritual development. One of them is our Spiritual Growth Conference. We dedicate two days a semester to pour into our students through prayer, worship, and active service.

The heart of this year’s conference was found in Matthew 5:13-16 which reads, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” There is nothing more Christ-like than serving people in practical ways that meet their physical needs so that they will be open to meeting their spiritual needs. 

Someone who exampled this very well was Mother Teresa. She went to India and fed people with bowls of soup to help them with their physical needs before attempting to pray for their spiritual needs. In the same way, when Jesus touches our lives, our natural response is to serve Him and serve others and then tell others what He has done for us. 

This year, we had the opportunity to partner with St. Vincent de Paul to be “salt and light” in our community. We split our student body into two groups with two separate projects. Location one: Painting project at a family center that created a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for clients seeking aid or resources. Location two: Garden clean-up at low-income senior apartments. Each garden box is assigned to a specific resident to grow veggies, flowers, etc. These gardens are a form of therapy and exercise for the residents. 

It was an incredible experience for the staff and students to be “salt and light” to our community. Pastor Wayne comments, “GOOD WORKS produce GOODWILL, and GOODWILL opens people’s hearts to the GOOD NEWS.” Salt is needed because the world is rotting and decaying, and light is needed because the world is dark. Jesus tells us that we are salt and light. We are disciples who carry the hope of Jesus to this broken world. 

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