Liberty University students take on a lifestyle of service

By: Deanna Drogan

While most college students choose to spend their extra cash on a cup of coffee, Liberty University students will be spending it on paying for a family’s adoption.

This year Liberty University Students living on the first four floors of Commons I will be aiming to raise $30,000 for The Fish and Bread Project.

The Fish and Bread Project is a discipleship program founded by Matt Short, the male residential director of the first four floors of Commons I. The program began in 2012 and has been affecting lives ever since.

According to the Fish and Bread Website, the program focuses on challenging disciples of Christ to grow in areas of generosity, prayer, community, service and perseverance.

“The belief is that when students are growing in these areas and live them out in practical ways, then others will benefit from their faithfulness,” said Short.

The project gets its name from the book of Matthew, where Jesus feeds the 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two fish.

“Like the story of fish and bread, we give the Lord our small piece and see Him do something bigger than we can ever imagine with that collectively,” Morgan Stone, the female residential director of the first four floors of Commons I, said.

This year the Fish and Bread Project will be partnering with the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, Family Life Services, Axiom Sports and Hill City Crash.

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If the students reach their final goal of raising $30,000 for the four ministries, their plan is to divide the money by donating $3,500 each to Axiom Sports, the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center and Hill City Crash. As for Family Life Services, the plan includes donating $19,500 in order to pay a full adoption fee for a family in need.

In order to reach this goal, leadership on all four floors will be challenging students to donate 1$ a week during their community group time. On top of this, students will be conducting two 5 Ks, a shirt sale and a Benefit Concert this year.

The first 5k will take place Oct. 29. The participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superheroes. All of the proceeds for the race will go to the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center. The second race will take place late April and all of its proceeds will go to the Fish and Bread Project as a whole.

The project’s mission is not only to raise awareness to people on campus, but also to people all around the world.

Hall leadership is encouraging students to get the word out through social media, fundraising charts, and posters on their halls.

Through all of this, Short’s hope is to see students who are involved in Fish and Bread, go out and make service a lifestyle.

“The most memorable part for me is to see the students graduate, go out into the world, and continue to serve in similar ways,” Short said.

Several Liberty students who have participated in this discipleship program have graduated and went on to volunteer for these ministries. Some even have gone as far as oversees with Axiom Sports.

“We reach out to Liberty for student volunteers to help us in the center,” Jenifer Snellings, the executive director of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center said.

As a believer of reaching out to the local ministry, Snellings is in full support of everything Fish and Bread has done in the past and is doing currently.

Though the goal for this year may seem like a challenge, students have already seen success just within the first couple of months. Through determination and faith students and leadership are confident that this year they will come out successful with the goal placed in front of them.

“We have 80 people on our hall and we have four floors working together to do this,” Kyle Major, the resident assistant of Commons I floor three said. “The possibilities are endless with this number of people all sold out for the same goal.”