For many students, going home for the holidays just isn’t an option. Whether distance, finances or other deterrents are blocking the way, spending the holidays on campus or alone can leave some students with the holiday blues. However, at Oklahoma Baptist University, we believe our care for our students extends beyond the classroom, especially during Christmas break.
Each year, various faculty members will welcome students into their homes to spend the holidays with their families. Bruce Perkins, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, is one of the OBU staff members who opens his home to students during holidays. “We consider our home a gift from the Lord,” Perkins says,” so we believe hosting students in our home is a faithful stewardship of His blessing.”
Jinny Parra is a senior sport management major from the Dominican Republic. He has enjoyed spending his holidays with families from campus. “[They] are very special for me because you get to share with so many friends and family that really make me feel like home,” Parra said. “There are so many varieties of foods that you can just enjoy it as well.”
Making a lasting difference in the lives of students
Sharing the holidays with students goes far beyond a friendly offer; the relationships formed from this generosity often last a lifetime. For Perkins and his family, they have continued to spend holidays with former students, inviting them to take part in the festivities along with Perkins’ extended family members.
“We enjoy having students in our home throughout the year, not only during breaks,” Perkins said. “We love creating opportunities to connect with them on meaningful levels, and, hopefully, we provide some encouragement and support for them. Not unlike the students, one of the most gratifying aspects of working at OBU is God’s blessing of wonderful relationships.”
This gratitude is shared on behalf of the host families and students alike. For Parra, this time of the year provides many opportunities he is thankful for. “I have been here at OBU for four years, and I think this is my favorite season of the year, to be honest, because during this season people like to talk about Jesus,” Parra said. “So Thanksgiving and Christmas are the best times to talk about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.”
At OBU, not only do we support our students through a strong liberal arts core curriculum, but we also strive to create and nurture a university community where all members relate to one another in Christian charity and compassion. The holidays are just one of many opportunities available to the OBU family to rally around each other in support.
If you’re interested in learning more about OBU, contact us today and take the first step in your journey to find your place at OBU.