ORU students help poorest region in Europe

By Sara Rozalina Krstevski ('12)

Shining Light MinistriesWhen Oral Roberts University President Dr. Mark Rutland says "It's time for the offering," he is greeted with a large cheer and applause from over 3,000 students willing to give. Not your traditional response for an offering from college students, but its part of what makes ORU different. The first missions project of 2012 was to help Shining Light Ministries raise money for the distribution of flour for making bread in Serbia.

Shining Light Ministries is a charity organization based in North America that provides humanitarian aid and the gospel to the Western Balkans region. This particular project took place in a town called Leskovac in Southern Serbia to a community that has a 90 percent unemployment rate.
Slobodan Krstevski, president of Shining Light Ministries, is thankful for ORU's partnership.

"I've already had a positive impression of Oral Roberts University as a godly institution," Krstevski said. "The fact that ORU is thinking outside of the institution and caring for others in need shows that they are really living the Gospel."

The project had a total cost of $4,800 and helped 400 refugee families.

"Very often, these people have nothing in their cupboards. This flour is going to keep them alive during the winter. This is how important flour is over there. It is also a tool to spread the Gospel," Krstevski said. "The students are not waiting to finish their studies to do what God is telling them to do. They are doing it now. Very few schools do that."

Thomson Mathew, dean of the ORU College of Theology and Ministry, stresses the impact that these chapel missions offerings are having on the students.

"We want to make them aware of the needs of the world and develop in them a lifestyle of compassion and giving," said Mathew. "This idea of chapel offerings has touched the entire campus and has moved us to be more compassionate and aware of the pain of the world."

Slobodan Krstevski believes that this project will help ORU students grow spiritually and in maturity.

"This shows that ORU students are not only on the right track for studies, but that ORU is preparing the young people to think outside themselves and that is an invaluable experience," Krstevski said. "They don't just think about making a difference; they show it through their actions."

The goal for ORU chapel offerings during the 2011-2012 school year is to raise $130,000 for missions.

For more information about Shining Light Ministries, go to www.SLM-Balkans.org.

Editor's Note: The writer of this story, Sara Rozalina Krstevski, an ORU senior majoring in Media with a concentration in Convergence Journalism, was the best resource for this story because she is the daughter of Slobodan Krstevski, president of Shining Light Ministries.