By Kamryn Koble | Contributor
On Oct 25, Taylor was one of 150 locations taking part in a Q Union event featuring six speakers, three being students here.
Director of the Calling and Career Office Jeff Aupperle lead bringing the event to campus. Q Union focuses on creating a space where people can engage with big questions. The focus was the word "hospitality," and students were challenged to submit videos defining and applying this to college life.
"We structure ourselves in a way that community is available to students, but they make the choice to participate in it, and by doing so, it's a cost to them," Aupperle said.
Junior Pat McNamara focused on the idea of valuing people at a cost to oneself in his on-campus speech. This idea opposes violence of a physical, mental or verbal nature, and the vehicle away from violence is peace. McNamara urges the campus to pray for peace, examine themselves for violence, and to overvalue people no matter what the cost.
"View every person as a brother or sister, which automatically makes one value them more than a stranger," McNamara said.
Junior Mirgul Zhumagulova shared the compelling story of her family's surrender to Christ through the love of an unlikely stranger.
"It's through relationships that we tell of the gospel without saying a word," Zhumagulova stated.
After the death of their young son, the Zhumagulovas moved to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and encountered a man from the U.S. while selling apples. This family supported them through their infertility and eventually led numerous Zhumagulovas to God through the force of their relationship despite differences.
Junior Stephanie Mithika explored the topic of extending hospitality to people marginalized because of sexual orientation. She discussed how Christians adopt a posture of hostility to those on its margins.
"Tolerance is just an acknowledgment of our differences and nothing else," Mithika stated. "It's not our differences that separate us, it's the way we choose to engage with one another."
She calls students to engage with each other in the hospitable, loving manner of the gospel.
The evening also featured three adult speakers through video. Author Jo Saxton defined hospitality as seeing the stranger, alien and foreigner as an equal. She called listeners to not only engage with others or donate to causes, but to see them with affection like family.
"If you don't know someone who's your other, it's time," Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water said.
Charity:water's mission to bring clean water to everyone, uniting donors across religion.
Founder of Love Does and Best Selling Author Bob Goff encourages us to engage others with love and enduring hospitality.
"People don't follow a vision, they follow availability," Goff said.