Compassion for the poor has been an ongoing theme at Colorado Christian University and a cause we take great pride in serving. In October 2011, CCU sponsored its third annual two-day symposium entitled “Compassion for the Poor,” which included two days of speakers, workshops, music and Skype reports from CCU alumni now working in Africa and the Middle East. Compassion for the poor is a theme that CCU never stops focusing on as one of our missions is to do Christ’s work by serving others. The privilege of attending college is something that many people simply cannot fathom as their primary concern each day is if they will be able to find food, clean water and shelter. Sometimes we get caught up in our day-to-day stressors and fail to stop and think that what we consider a “problem” such as traffic, lack of study time, unruly children or high gas prices are so insignificant compared to the daily problems of lack of drinking water, food, health care, and shelter many people face.
Speakers at last year’s conference included Dr. Robert Woodson, who rose from a poverty-stricken background to earn his GED, serve in the Air Force and earn a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1981, Dr. Woodson has served as President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprises, which he founded, and he received the “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 1990 for his work. Andrew Romanoff, after serving eight years in the Colorado House or Representatives, won national acclaim as one of the most effective legislative leaders in the country, and in 2005, he authored the Colorado Economic Recovery Act, which got passed after he built the broadest coalition in the state’s history. Mr. Romanoff earned his J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.
Lawrence W. Reed is currently president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), one of the oldest economics institutes in the country, which advocates the study and advancement of free vs. collectivist societies. Before joining FEE, he was president of the Mackinac Center, a think tank that is considered to be one of the most effective of its kind in the country. The fifth speaker at the symposium was Dr. Paul A. Cleveland, who, for the last two decades, has been a professor at Birmingham-Southern College. He has authored two books and written countless articles and essays. He has also lectured at colleges and universities in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. The sixth and final speaker was CEO Gary Stephens on behalf of Mercy Ships, who, since 1978, has operated hospital ships in developing nations in hopes of bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor by bringing resources to developing countries.
At the close of the two-day event, CCU President Bill Armstrong pledged ten points, on which he reported in early 2012. He challenged others to join in his commitment to:
- Pray for the poor regularly
- Urge others you know to pray for the poor
- Devote time at CCU meetings to pray for the poor
- Open CCU classes with a prayer for the poor for seven days
- Engage CCU students more fully with programs of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
- Place CCU students in CNE internships
- Get involved with the Mercy Ships ministry
- Form a CCU group to serve the poor
- Double the financial efforts of charities that serve the poor
- Travel to Africa and Latin America to see poverty firsthand
Several CCU students were recommended by their professors to take part in the symposium by offering prayers, providing music, leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, introducing speakers and asking questions following key note speakers. We are so proud of all those who took part in this amazing cause.
Join CCU in its commitment to Compassion for the Poor. To find out more information or to learn how you can help the world’s impoverished, please contact CCU.