College Preview Days a Success

College Preview Days a Success

More than 50 high school students, parents and youth workers visited Grace University during the College Preview weekend to enjoy the “Grace Experience” and find out just what makes a Grace University education distinctive. Students came from as far away as Texas to learn more about the academic programs and ministry opportunities on campus. 

“We are thrilled to host so many Christian young people who recognize that Grace University is a place where they can reach God’s call on their lives,” said David Barnes, President.

While on campus, students enjoyed a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, attended a class from their prospective major, experienced Grace L.I.F.E. Chapel, and had lunch with professors.image 2

Grace University, located in Omaha, Neb., is a regionally accredited, private Christian university with more than 40 diverse undergraduate, graduate and adult degree completion programs including education, business, psychology, music, nursing and Grace University, located in Omaha, Neb., is a regionally accredited, private Christian university with more than 40 diverse undergraduate, graduate and adult degree completion programs including education, business, psychology, music, nursing and Christian ministries. The university’s mission is to develop servant leaders for the home, the church and the world through excellence in biblically integrated education. ministries.

Legacy carried on to 4th Generation

Legacy carried on to 4th Generation

What a life changing experience! I recently returned from a two week trip to Lesotho and South Africa. I was asked to accompany my mom, CJ Callahan, and another woman, Sarah, in leading worship for a women’s retreat for missionaries in and around South Africa. These women are working alongside their husbands through Mission Aviation Fellowship. I immediately felt called to go as soon as I was asked. And after weeks of prayer, my mom bought the tickets and we began preparing. I was asked to bring some items from the states to fill up gift bags for the women, namely chocolate bars. Needless to say, I had a forty-five pound suitcase full of chocolate chips and Lindt bars when I was done shopping.

When we arrived in South Africa, after a very long day of flying, we met with some of the missionary women at their houses. Driving through the rural cities opened my eyes to the poverty that gripped the small country of Lesotho. Their roofs had bricks on them to hold them down because people do not have the money to buy nails. The drought had really impacted the people there. The grass was dying and dust storms had ravaged the area. There was actually a huge dust storm occurring when we flew in. The air was very dry, and a lot of the people were dry spiritually as well because of the hardships. I met with Kimberly, a woman who has been living in Lesotho for five years, who just in the last week had adopted a young Basotho girl. She told me about the country and what it is like to live in such conditions. Despite the many challenges that this country faces, the people are very nice and the mountains are stunning. After a day in the city, we headed up to the retreat center, which was actually across the border in South Africa. We put together the gift bags and prepared spiritually for the weekend to come.

Throughout the retreat, I saw God moving in so many ways. As my mom, Sarah, and I led worship, I could see a weight being lifted off the shoulders of these thirty-five women. A lot of the women had seen violence, deaths, and the struggles of so many. They came in with a lot of hurt, but as they heard the songs to the Lord, in their native language, they were overcome with peace and joy. Africa!!!They sang with a passion that was unsurpassed. Just to see the tears flowing from their eyes was worth every minute of preparation. We also had the opportunity to serve them in their free time by giving pedicures. I knelt at their feet and washed the dirt away. I took off the old polish, shaved away their rough edges, smoothed their calloused feet, and put a fresh and colorful coat of nail polish on them.

This was one of the most amazing ways that I saw God working. I kept thinking that this was such an example of what Christ does for us. He washes us clean, scrubs calluses off our hearts, and clothes us in fresh garments. I was overcome by love for these women as I listened to their stories and their missions. The weekend was full of worship, fellowship, reconciliation, and prayer. It all came to a close with the final communion. I played and sang while the women took communion and prayerfully communed with God. What a site to see. As we all said our goodbyes, I found it hard for me to leave. I wanted to stay in that loving community with women so on fire for God and seeking His will. The next day, I was able to see where the husbands of many of the missionary women worked. As part of the Mission Aviation Fellowship, they aid remote villages by transporting people to hospitals and flying in supplies. We were able to see a few of the men fly in and out on missions and see firsthand what it was like in the planes and in the hanger. It really brought to life the stories that I had always read about; missionaries who would fly out to help unreached people, like Nate Saint and Jim Elliot.

On the last day in Lesotho, we were able to volunteer at the orphanage Beautiful Gate. We spent hours just loving on the kids. Most of them were either directly or indirectly affected by AIDS. Some of the kids have the disease and most were orphaned because their mother had passed away from AIDS. Hearing the stories of how these kids got there was heart wrenching. Some were left in fields, dumpsters, or on porches. Despite all of the pain that these little ones had already endured, they were some of the happiest kids I have ever seen. They laughed and jumped on me and held my hand and brushed my hair. They were so excited to have someone there who cared about them. I read books to them and helped feed them too. Again, once I was told that it was time to leave, I did not want to. The children were so precious.

This trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I saw God moving in such powerful ways and felt like such of part of what God is doing in South Africa. God is so good!

South Africa Update

South Africa Update

This July Dr. Troy Backhuus and Dr. Linda Vermooten of the Grace counseling program had the pleasure of leading a team of students on a cross-cultural trip to South Africaa last minute change from the original trip to Chennai, India! Though the team was left with only three days to adjust to the new plans, it soon became apparent that this was the trip God had ordained all along.

During the first week in Muizenberg, the team debriefed YWAM staff and counseled church members in the area, and helped lead a children’s Bible camp with a church in one of the poorer neighborhoods. photo 2 (1)The second two weeks were spent across the country in Durban, with Open Door Crisis Centre. ODCC works a great deal with individuals who are experiencing domestic violence or who have been trafficked. Most of the women on the Grace team were lodged at a safe house, and were able to do some counseling with the women sheltered there, as well. The team was also blessed to be able to distribute toothbrushes and food parcels in some of the urban and rural communities in the surrounding area, as well as share their testimonies. They also taught several times on basic lay counseling skills, understanding and processing emotion, stress and conflict management, domestic violence and abuse, and a number of other topics. It was an incredible experience that the students and faculty will not soon forget!

Spring Musical Takes Fun Trip from Canaan to Egypt

Spring Musical Takes Fun Trip from Canaan to Egypt

Grace University students, alumni and community volunteers have been spending their winter break preparing for a great production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat”.  More than 70 actors, singers, musicians and crew members will be performing this Broadway-style production.

 This show is directed and produced by the father daughter team of Mackenzie Dehmer, director of the Theater Department, and Dr. Greg Zielke, chair of the music department and conductor and Artistic Director for the Omaha Symphonic Chorus. The choreographer is Amy Wesely. This is their seventh production together and the first since the inauguration of the Grace University Theater Program.

“The story of Joseph and his coat may be well known but I imagine that people have never seen the show done this way. This is the first time we have approached a show conceptually and really made it our own. I say this every year but this really is our most exciting and ambitious production yet,” said Dehmer.

 Shows are Jan. 22-24 and 29-31. The performances are in the Suckau Chapel, 840 Pine St. in Omaha. Doors open 30 minutes before the show starts. Reserved tickets are $15 and general admission tickets are $10. For more information or to purchase and reserve tickets, visit www.graceu.edu/joseph. General admission tickets can be purchased at the door. Plenty of free parking is available in the university lots.

 The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.

Grace University, located in Omaha, Neb., is a regionally accredited, private Christian university with more than 40 diverse undergraduate, graduate and adult degree completion programs including education, business, psychology, music, nursing and Christian ministries. The university’s mission is to develop servant leaders for the home, the church and the world through excellence in biblically integrated education.

Students Serve South Dakota Ministry

Students Serve South Dakota Ministry

The Grace University Orality class was invited to be the entertainment for Byron Bible Camp’s fund raiser in Huron, S.D. Seventeen students and volunteers made the 300-mile trip to support the ministry and share the Gospel. The students presented key Bible narratives with different creative orality strategies they learned during the fall semester.

Grace University students give more than 24,000 of community service each year. The students gave their time to serve and this was not part of a class assignment or an extra credit project.

 “I talked with the group about the importance of sacrificial serving and doing something without the mindset of entitlement,” said Dr. Tara Rye, dean of women and course instructor. “I am proud of them. The entire class rearranged work schedules and homework to make this trip a reality.” The study of orality is a purposeful way of learning to transmit the Bible through a relational and social way so the stories can spread rapidly as an effective tool for evangelism and discipleship.

“The Bible is God’s word to us and it is 75% story. I am studying orality so that I can learn the stories of the Bible well in order to share them with others in the hopes of leading nonbelievers to Christ, as well as encouraging believers,” said Lauren Witteveen, junior Intercultural Studies major from Washington state. “The majority of people prefer to hear a story over a lecture, so I want to share the Gospel in a way that connects with people by telling Bible stories.”