Yesterday was one of my (Rick) favourite days of the year at Heritage. As we’ve done for the past several years, we took all the first-year students down to the village of Hespeler (about a twenty-minute walk from campus).
One of the Big Five Themes at the college is to “Live on Mission.” We want students to be engaged in sharing the love and message of Christ while they are doing their studies at Heritage.
That’s why we partner with several local churches in an initiative we call “Love Hespeler.” Students work in groups to serve people who live in Hespeler; they pray for them, rake leaves (for free), collect food for the food bank, and find other ways to be a blessing to the community. Our hope is that our deeds of kindness open opportunities to tell the reason we serve–because of what Christ has done for us.
So yesterday was the start of Love Hespeler for this year’s incoming students. They heard about the history of the village from a local business leader. Hespeler has a rather glorious past–it produced uniforms for Canadian forces in the early 20th century and was also the home of Hespeler Hockey Sticks (used by Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and other hockey legends). However, in more recent decades the village has struggled. The good news is that things are changing for the better and our students get to be part of it.
After hearing about the history of the village, each student was given $5.00 and told to walk through the village and buy a coffee or ice cream cone. It was a fun way to introduce them to Hespeler village.
Please pray for our first-year students as they become part of our Love Hespeler Initiative. Pray they will serve the people of the village well. Ask God to give them opportunities to explain the reason for the hope they have inside them (1 Peter 3:15).
Pray for the ESL classes that Linda leads in the Hespeler Library. These English conversation classes for new Canadians begin today (Friday). Ask the Lord to help our students serve those who come by helping them with English and bringing the love and light of Christ to these new friends.