In September, President Lindsay spoke to the Gordon student body during chapel and offered a challenge to the students to “be a blessing” to the world around them. He distributed small amounts of money and asked the students to prayerfully and strategically invest those funds in the good of another person. He concluded by saying, "you can't take it with you, but you can send it on ahead!"
Gordon first-year students Christina Halsted and Moriah Gross were inspired by President Lindsay’s message and together decided to use the $2 they had received to bless children on the North Shore. After talking with some of their trusted Gordon faculty members and staff in the OCE, Christina and Moriah decided to invest in the College Bound program, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program in Lynn that connects Gordon students with children in elementary and middle school. Thirty-seven Gordon students tutor children every week through the program.
While Christina and Moriah were thinking through how to use the blessing they had been given by President Lindsay, the College Bound interns were considering how best to support the kid’s reading skills. Reading books together with the kids is a great way to make reading fun, but the program’s library was quite small and the kids were bored with many of the choices. The interns also wanted to send home books with the kids from the library, but feared further depleting the small library by letting the books go home with children. Unfortunately buying new books is an expensive endeavor!
After understanding College Bound’s need for good children’s books, Moriah and Christina came up with the idea to provide books to grow College Bound’s small library. They used their $2 from President Lindsay, along with additional funds from their friends, families, and their own wallets to purchase a lovely new set of books for the elementary-aged kids. Several other Gordon students also contributed their gifts from President Lindsay and joined the College Bound interns in a time of prayer for the program, knowing that financial gifts must join with the work of the Spirit to be effective.
From there, the idea grew into the “Just One Book” Initiative, which challenged Gordon students to bring a book from home after Thanksgiving Break that they enjoyed reading as a child to share with the College Bound kids. The idea was so successful that Christina and Moriah decided to try it again over Christmas Break!
During this past semester, God also stirred a community member’s heart to make a large donation of books to the College Bound program. Between this donation and the generosity of the Gordon community, hundreds of beautiful books have been added to the College Bound library. Tutors are now able to read new books with their students regularly and can send those books home with students to read in the evenings.
In his chapel address, President Lindsay said, "I want to prompt all of us to 'enter into the joy of our master.’” Seeing God provide so abundantly for the College Bound program through the generosity of His people has truly been a joy for Christina and Moriah, for the OCE, and for the College Bound interns, tutors, and students.