Where does offering really go?
Northwest University is bringing up a generation of world changers. Every Friday during chapel, students have the opportunity to give financially, and that money is bringing change, starting in Seattle, and revolutionizing the world. Every year, students often ask, “Where is my money really going?” and “Is it only helping to fight human trafficking?” Here’s the inside scoop on what your financial sacrifice is really doing.
How it All Started
According to Phil Rasmussen, NU’s campus pastor, 12 years ago when he first began to work at Northwest University, NUMA (Northwest University Ministry Association) did not exist. That means that student leaders were not planning strategic ways to reach out
locally or globally. Every week, chapel would collect an offering toward a certain mission effort. However, Rasmussen recalls that students were originally not engaging with the speakers and therefore did not respond with giving. “It almost became embarrassing,” he said, mentioning that the students’ hearts were clearly not in it. So he began to ask God for direction, and along came his friend Natalie Grant.
Grant, a well-known, contemporary Christian singer and songwriter, is fighting to eradicate human trafficking even now. She met with Rasmussen to discuss possible ways to allow NU students to become involved with her organization. When students were presented with the opportunity to invest their money in order to have an impact on an issue that affects them locally, a new chapter began.
Where has the Offering Gone in the Past?
The first organization that the offering went toward was Abolition International. According to its website, the organization was founded by Grant in 2005 and is dedicated to “creating a collaborative community of inspired abolitionists who are determined to end sex slavery in our lifetime.”
“The Department of Health and Human Services reports that 30,000 children were trafficked into the United States—into our own neighborhoods and towns,” said Grant in an interview conducted by Children In Need, an organization dedicated to issues affecting children. She stated that what really caught her attention was that the problem of human trafficking is not just in other countries. Up until 2012, other organizations that NU’s offerings supported have included International Justice Mission and Project Rescue.
Where Will My Money Go Now?
This year, NUMA states that Friday offerings will still go toward fighting human trafficking as well as local efforts. Currently, many locals who have already joined the movement to end human trafficking include movie editors and the local bus transportation system. At the end of the semester, the multiple local missions directors will come together to decide how to divide the money according to the needs of each organization. Organizations in the local missions department at NU include Lighthouse, Embargo, and At-Risk Youth, which will focus on the Seattle area.
Why Should I Give?
One reason we need to give is because God has asked us to truly follow Him by loving others. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” says John 13:35. What a better way to show others that we love them than to sacrifice money we could have used to purchase a Starbucks caramel macchiato or shirt from Forever 21 and instead give it toward meeting their needs?
Some may say that it just isn’t that easy. According to Rasmussen, whether you give of your prayers, money or physical energy, the heart behind Friday’s offering is “to raise up Disciples of Christ.” Truly, it is important to be reminded that children, homeless people, and teenagers at risk are a few of the many waiting to be reached.
Written by Maritza Lino