<![CDATA[Micah Mandate - Stories]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:23:38 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Missionary Family with Trevecca ties take on refugee crisis in Europe]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:41:40 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/missionary-family-with-trevecca-ties-take-on-refugee-crisis-in-europePicturePhoto courtesy of official site of The Church of the Nazarene
By Blake Stewart

A family of missionaries with Trevecca ties has been tasked by the Church of the Nazarene to take lead on how to deal with the refugee crisis in Europe.
After 23 years of doing missions work, Teanna Sunberg and husband Jay now serve as the Field Strategy Coordinator team for Central Europe for the Church of the Nazarene.
“I don’t know anyone who has had as strong of a presence in the refugee crisis like Teanna,” said Kathy Mowry, professor of intercultural studies and Christian education. “Teanna is the voice for the refugee crisis for the Church of the Nazarene.”
In 2015, hundreds of thousands of people from countries like Syria fled across the Mediterranean Sea to escape war and violence. This led to mass migration of refugees around the world causing millions of refugees to flee to countries across the European landscape. 
With nowhere to go, refugees are being held in camps until the government tries to find a permanent solution.
For now, a wave of refugees coming from countries in the Middle East like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are continually seeking sanctuary while living in make shift refugee camps and converted tent cities in sections across Europe in hopes for a better life. This mass migration has been the cause of many countries throughout Central Europe to close their borders to refugees, leaving thousands with nowhere to go.
Trevecca and the Sunberg family have been working together on an initiative to help in the refugee crisis through the Church of the Nazarene since 2008.
Jay and Teanna met Mowry and her husband Jon  in the early nineties and developed a friendship while serving as missionaries in Russia.
That friendship would lead to the two partnering up to develop Trevecca’s intercultural studies and missions trip programs that has sent upwards of150 students into Central Europe to deal with this on-going crisis.
“Working with Teanna and Jay we have been able to send our students to work in refugee camps and be present in the ministry by listening to their stories and providing resources,” said James Casler, director for the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.
Mowry was interested in developing formative mission experiences for students at Trevecca. 
She turned to Jay and Teanna because of their more than 20-year friendship and knowledge of mission’s work in Central Europe.
Their partnership led to Trevecca’s mission study abroad classes, the summer Immerse program and Submerge program, which places recent graduates in Eastern Europe for one to two years. 
The first summer that Mowry brought a team of students to Central Europe, Teanna and Mowry were on a bus traveling to Kosovo in the middle of the night discussing cross-cultural studies and what that would look like in the future for the church. 
The two began discussing the possibility of students graduating from Trevecca having an intercultural major that was paired with something that gives them a skill to support themselves in the ministry outside of the U.S.
That conversation led to the development of Trevecca’s intercultural studies major.
“Instead of calling it missions we call it intercultural studies, because if students go to a country where missionaries aren’t welcome then that closes doors,” said Sunberg. “This allows them to become marketable and contribute to the fabric of the country.”
The long-term relationship between the Sungerg’s and Trevecca has allowed the university to send students on mission’s trips to Serbia, Northern Greece and Croatia.
Six graduates have moved to Central Europe. Two are living in Northern Greece, directing refugee relief and four are living in Serbia doing disaster relief and caring for the physical needs of refugees.
Sunberg’s daughter, Lexie Sunberg, a senior social justice major is no stranger to the refugee crisis. 
Growing up throughout Central Europe, Lexie became very aware of poverty at an early age.
Living in countries like Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia, she was introduced to the Romas, an oppressed minority and one of the largest ethnic groups without a country of their own.
Through her experiences, she saw the refugee crisis first-hand and began to see the need of compassionate missionaries.
 Lexie began to follow a similar path of her mother.
She came to Trevecca in 2014 to study social justice and intercultural studies, participating in many of Trececca’s mission’s programs.
During the summer of 2016, Lexie and a group of Trevecca students traveled to a Idomeni, a refugee camp in Greece, where close to 15,000 refugees were living.
With little entertainment for the refugees, she and other students would spend time with people, hear their stories and build relationships.
“Just being there, dignifying their humanity and being the light of Christ in the light of darkness has value,” said Casler. “Through those simple practices our students are profoundly changed.”
 Lexie plans on getting her master’s degree in social justice in the country of Jordan and like her mother, she is committed to helping those in need.

<![CDATA[Trevecca host walk through awareness event for victims of domestic sex-trafficking]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 19:07:41 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/trevecca-host-walk-through-awareness-event-for-victims-of-domestic-sex-traffickingPicturePhoto By Unchained Movement
By Blake Stewart

Beginning tomorrow, students will get a chance to experience a simulation of what it’s like for a young girl to be trafficked.
The Unchained movement, a non-profit organization out of Spring Hill, TN will be hosting a human trafficking simulation experience on campus where students will see first-hand how a young girl is trafficked.
The organization was founded by Rachel Irby in 2011. Irby says while working in outreach she saw a gap in services with young adults and teens. Irby decided to create a program to cater to the needs of America’s youth that were victims of domestic sex-trafficking.
The Exposed Tour is Unchained movement’s main event. It is a walk-through awareness event and guided tour where participants learn from the start how young girls get lured into trafficking.
“This event is like nothing that you’ve experienced,” said Irby.
Participants walking through will see what life is like for girls being trafficked. Each participant will be assigned a story from a girl that has been trafficked and by the end of the simulation you will know what the outcome is for that girl.
The stories used in the simulation have either been experienced through the staff while doing street outreach or from clients that were victims of domestic human-trafficking.
“Its real life, its meant to be raw so people know what’s going on in the United States,” said Irby.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, in the United States, on average, every two minutes, a child is bought or sold for sex with the average age being 13. In Tennessee, every month 94 teens are trafficked.
“We want college students to step up on dealing with this issue and it starts by coming here and experiencing this and see where God leads you,” said Irby.

The event will take place in TSAC
Friday Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Sunday Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.
  • The cost of the event is $5.00 per person for general admission.
  • Trevecca students are free with student ID at the registration desk.
  • Trevecca students wishing to secure their place in line would be required to purchase a fast pass at the cost of $5.00 per person. Fast passes are recommended to avoid any long wait times.
  • If you purchase a fast pass, please show up five minutes prior to your scheduled time. Students who do not make their assigned time will have to wait in the general admission line.
  • The tour will last 40 minutes
<![CDATA[Trevecca men's basketball host hurricane relief exhibition game with Belmont]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 16:29:57 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/trevecca-mens-basketball-host-hurricane-relief-exhibition-game-with-belmontPicturePhoto by Trevecca Athletic Communications

By Blake Stewart

The Trevecca men's basketball team tonight will host the Belmont Bruins in the Trojan Field House for the first time in 21 years.

The two teams will play tonight as a way to raise money for hurricane relief. 

Over the last few months, disaster has hit regions across the U.S. and its territories leaving thousands without food and shelter.

 The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) proposed an idea to support  affected areas. 
The NCAA  granted a waiver that allows schools to play a third exhibition game to raise money for disaster relief.
All proceeds from the game will go to hurricane relief through the Salvation Army office on Trevecca’s campus located in Mark’s Guest House.
“This is a win for everybody involved,” Athletic Director Mark Elliott said. “It’s a win for Trevecca to play against Belmont, and for Belmont because they wanted another practice before they play their first game. It’s good for the fans, the hurricane relief efforts and the Salvation Army for us to partner with us to do it.”  
Trevecca and the Salvation Army have a more than 15-year relationship that provides Salvation Army officers and employees educational opportunities that equip them to better serve the mission of the Salvation Army. Students benefit from volunteer opportunities for various Nashville-area Salvation Army service opportunities.
Admission is free, but Trevecca suggests a $10 donation per adult and $5 per student that will be collected by representatives of the Salvation Army at the game. This game is not included in season ticket holder packages or student season tickets.
Trevecca PR group, Redeemed will perform the Star-Spangled Banner before the game.To make a donation to the Salvation Army:

            The Salvation Army
            PO Box 1959
            Atlanta, GA 30301
            Please designate Hurricane 2017 on all checks.

  • Donate via PHONEL: Call 1-800-SALARMY(!-800-725-2769) to make a donation by phone
  • Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving

<![CDATA[Social Justice Events]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:44:41 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/social-justice-eventsTuesday Oct 31, 2017. TEANNA SUNBERG – Missionary, blogger, writer and global speaker will be sharing about her work with Refugee and Immigrants as part of the “Seek Justice” speaker series. The Sunberg family have been working with Refugees in Eastern Europe since it began and continue to coordinate the work for the church. 

 Chapel 9:30am   Teanna sharing in chapel 

Q/A with Teanna--  1:30pm  CLCS Fireside Room- Teanna will be sharing more in-depth about the current status of the Refugee crisis in Eastern Europe and how the church is responding!! (This is a location change from the previous flyers and Seek Justice posters) 

The TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition will be hosting a movie screening this Thursday, Nov 2nd from 6:30- 9 PM
Here is the  Facebook event link : http://bit.ly/2z30Yod


GOAT YOGA: Saturday 10:45AM  THE BARN   $5.00]]>
<![CDATA[Three Trevecaa students travel to D.C. to speak on DACA]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:47:00 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/three-trevecaa-students-travel-to-dc-to-speak-on-daca
By Blake Stewart

​​Three Trevecca students were chosen by an immigration-reform lobbying group to tell their stories to lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
Arturo Prieto, Berenice Olivia and Yenin Echeveria on Oct. 5 joined more than 125 other college students from 20 states to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that will allow them to continue studying in the United States.
The three are DACA students, or students who came to the United States as children and are currently protected under an executive order that President Donald Trump plans to end.  Trump has asked Congress to act on the issue.
The deadline to file for renewal status of the DACA program was on Oct. 5.  Recipients whose renewal status falls between October and March are eligible for renewal. Those outside of those months are not allowed to renew. 
“What I hoped from the trip is for politicians to know the urgency of passing a legislation that will allow Dreamers the opportunity to continue their education,” said Prieto, a junior international business major.
Prieto came to the U.S. with his parents when he was 4-years-old where he began school in Nashville shortly after. He says Tennessee is him home. 
“It’s all that I know,” he said. 
Preto, Oliva and  Echeveria were invited on the trip by FWD.us, a lobbying group that advocates comprehensive immigration reform. FWD.us paid the way for the trip including flight, hotel and food. 
“For the past three years, I’ve been really involved in my community with getting more informed with immigration and refugees,” said Oliva. “This was an experience that I really wanted to be a part of.”
Oliva’s renewal exprires in May 2018, so she is not eligible to apply for renewal status. 
"Knowing this brought up so many fears and made me want to get out there and share my story with our politicians,” she said. 
Arriving into the nation’s capital, Prieto, Oliva and Echeveria along with the rest of the group got together to discuss their lives and what their hopes and dreams were after college.
“Knowing that others across the nation share the same dreams as we do and hearing the impact we are making in our communities made us stronger as a group,” said Prieto.
During the trip students spoke with members of the senate and congress. All three students visited with Tennessee lawmakers; Rep. Jim Cooper, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. David Castoff. They also spoke with Rep. Kamala Harris from California. 
The 125 dreamers participated in a press conference with close to 30 different media outlets that included Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsay Graham who are co-sponsors for the Dream Act.
All three Trevecca students shared their stories personally with politicians that represent the state that they call home. 
“Listening to my story and the DACA neighbors we have here on campus is important because we have so much uncertainty in our future, all while trying to be a good student and citizen,” said Oliva. 
Preto agrees. 
“I want students to know that we are not much different, we are your neighbors, we are involved, we contribute and we just want an equal opportunity because we believe that we deserve it,” he said.
<![CDATA[Social Justice Club looks to add new members]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:02:05 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/social-justice-club-looks-to-add-new-membersTrevecca’s Social Justice Club offers opportunities for students of all majors interested in making a difference on campus and in the community.
Lindsey Stine, president of the club, says she joined because of her interest in mission work inside the United States.
“This was a good way to get involved and work with people and minister to them,” said Stine.
Stine says one of the clubs missions is to bring awareness of social injustices onto the campus and take that message into the community.
In its eighth year, the Social Justice Club has been involved in raising money for charities, campaigning for human rights and bringing awareness to human trafficking.
The club focuses on human trafficking and has worked with Rest Stop Ministries, a faith-based organization in Nashville dedicated to helping female survivor of domestic sex-trafficking.
Last year the club volunteered at Trevecca’s community health fair, raised money through clean water initiatives, participated in MLK service day and hosted an event on campus to raise awareness on human trafficking with End Slavery Tennessee.
“The club is looking to put on a fundraiser for different charities this year and host a documentary showing on human trafficking and child soldiers,” said Anna Turpin, vice president.
Club members also plan to get involved in the community this year by volunteering with different non-profits and charities.
“We want to look at the disparities in the criminal justice system and a goal for the year is to plan a trip to a prison in Nashville,” said Stine.
The club has eight active members and is actively recruiting new members.

“This is an opportunity for students to bring to the table anything that they are worried about and we can see what we can do with our small impact,” said Turpin.

The club meets at the fireside room in CLCS every Friday at 3p.m. For more information contact Stine at LDStine@trevecca.edu]]>
<![CDATA[The aftermath of Harvey hits home for Trevecca student]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:34:43 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/the-aftermath-of-harvey-hits-home-for-trevecca-studentPicturePhoto courtesy of Gabby Smith

Gabby Smith spent her first week of classes frantically sifting through texts and photos sent from her family, while her grand-parents waited for someone to come rescue them from their flooded Texas home.
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, and many members of Smith's family, just as she was getting her semester started.
“I didn’t sleep the first two weeks of school because I was receiving texts about my grand-parents,” said Smith. "Their house was on the verge of flooding."
Smith, a sophomore worship arts major, couldn't wait any longer to go home and check on her family.  Just seven days after the hurricane hit, she loaded her car and made the 12-hour drive. 
After making the drive from Nashville to Texas on Thursday afternoon after class, she arrived home at 4 a.m. and went straight to work with her family and hometown church, First Church of the Nazarene
During her two days there, she helped gut her grand-parent’s home and helped clean up all the debris. She worked with her church cleaning up the rubble in the community and bringing supplies to the church like diapers, food and water.
Orange Texas, a small town along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico that borders Louisiana was flooded by Hurricane Harvey’s waters in late August. Orange Country officials declared an evacuation for residents ahead of severe flooding predictions on Thursday Aug. 31.
“I had been through hurricanes before when I was younger, but didn’t realize the severity of the situation back then,” said Smith. "I was there for Hurricane Ike, but the difference between the two was the need to evacuate.”
 Smith’s sister lives two streets away from their grand-parent’s home that flooded and like many in the area were without flood insurance. Smith’s sister was left with over two feet of water in her home.
Orange Texas sits near a bayou; the area is surrounded by waterways and many of the locals have boats for fishing and crabbing. 
Smith said her grand-parents live far out in a rural area of the town and were waiting to be rescued from their flooding home that had close to four feet of water. 
​“Social media was a big aspect for a lot of the rescues that took place in the area,” says Smith. "My grand-parents were saved by total strangers."
 Some of the people that came into Orange Texas were a group of volunteers known as the Cajun Navy. Formed in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina to assist in the rescue efforts in Louisiana and surrounding areas.
 Smith says she was overwhelmed by the number of students that reached out to her on campus during this difficult time. 
 “Strangers have come up to me and asked how I was,” says Smith. "The quick response and lack of hesitation has affirmed where I need to be."
The relief effort has expanded on campus in response to the aftermath of Harvey.
 The chaplain’s office and student government scheduled a relief trip to Texas during fall break and will be going to Smith’s hometown of Orange Texas.  The trip filled up quickly, with 22 students planning to go. 
Joshua Ray, student body chaplain, grew up in Woodlands Texas, a community just 28 miles north of the Houston area, where Hurricane Harvey caused destruction.
 “Being from Texas is a big part of me wanting to go down there," said Ray. "I moved there right before Hurricane Ike and saw first-hand the devastation that is done from these disasters. As student body chaplain, it is my duty to create a community that helps others and to be faithful to those in need."

Photo courtesy of Gabby Smith
<![CDATA[Spiritual Deepening Week features guest speaker]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 17:51:09 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/spiritual-deepening-week-features-guest-speakerPicture

​Spiritual Deepening Week kicks off today and a 30-year veteran of compassionate ministry in the Nazarene Church will be speaking at several sessions over the next few days. 

Phil Stout, a pastor for more than 30 years has focused his leadership in the church on ministries of compassion and justice. Stout did his graduate work in Peace studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and would move on to receive his Doctorate of Ministry degree at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

“I know Phil to be a failthful preacher of the gospel. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and reconciliation is a sign of the coming Kingdom of God,” said Shawna Gaines, university chaplain and assistant professor of Christian worship. 
In addition to being the lead pastor at First Church of the Nazarene in Jackson, Michigan, Stout is an adjunct professor at Spring Arbor University and Olivet Nazarene University where he serves in the ministry department. 
Stout is also an author who has written for various publications and authored one book, Beyond Dissapointment…Hope
Stout says his purpose in life comes from the book of Acts 20:24 that says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
“Phil has an ability to see peace and reconciliation naturally flowing from the good news of the gospel,” said Gaines. "In the midst of an anxious time, Phil will bring a word of good news to us."
In addition to speaking in chapel, Stout on Tuesday will lead a Seek Justice lecture in Quick Lecture Hall from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

"Dr. Stout’s talk as part of the “Seek Justice” speaker series is to help us live into the  “alternative community” which reflects  the portion of the Lord’s Prayer where we pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," said Jamie Casler, director, J.V. Morsch social justice center. "I pray that Dr. Stout’s  time on campus will help us understand what it means to reflect this “alternative community”  into the Trevecca community, the city of Nashville and around the globe." 

Stout says his prayer comes from the book of Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Spiritual Deepening Week Activities
Chapel Service Monday at 6:30 pm
Chapel Services Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and  6:30 pm
Seek Justice Lecture Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Quick Lecture Hall 
Chapel Service Wednesday at  10 a.m. and  6:30 pm
Chapel Service Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Communion will be served

<![CDATA[Social Justice Events on Campus]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:24:44 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/social-justice-events-on-campus
  • GOAT YOGA: Every Saturday 10:45-11:45  (5.00 for TNU Students)
  •  TNU Farm Stand: Thursdays from 12-3 TNU Fountain  
  • Sept 25    Ministry Chapel – 8 nonprofit org. represented.
  • Sept. 25-28 Phil Stout-  Spiritual Deepening Week-  Read more at www.philstout.org
  • Peace, Justice and Reconciliation - Chapel 
  • Sept 26, Phil Stout- Seek Justice Lecture – Quick Lecture Hall 1:30-3pm
  • Oct. 17. Chi Chi Okwa- World Vision – Children and Poverty – Chapel 
  • Oct 31. Teanna  Sunberg- Refugees in Eastern Europe – Chapel
  • Oct 31.. Teanna Sunberg- Seek Justice Lecture-  Quick Lecture Hall 1:30-3pm
  • Nov. 9-12. Unchained Human Trafficking Experience – TSAC   This is a human trafficking simulation experience where you will see first hand how a young girl is trafficked
<![CDATA[Survivor tells story in chapel]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:53:31 GMThttp://micahmandate.com/stories/survivor-to-speak-in-chapel
By Blake Stewart

A survivor of one the longest lasting civil wars on record on Tuesday spoke to Trevecca students in chapel.  
James Baak, founder of Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation and Development, is in Nashville to tell his story of survival of redemption.
"By inviting Mr. Baak to share his story, I hope that students will learn of today’s refugee struggles and begin asking how they can be the hands and feet of Christ as we strive to answer the call of Mathew 25:35 which states 'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, … I was sick and you visited me,' " said James Casler, director, J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.
 The outbreak of war in southern Sudan altered the lives of thousands of young Sudanese men and children more than 25 years ago. Between 1983 and 1987, civil war in southern Sudan caused an estimated 20,000 young boys to flee their homes and villages. 
 The civil war broke out in 1983 in southern Sudan causing government forces of Norther Sudan to continue its campaign against the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, where rebel based groups began initiating boys into the war.
 The boys were forced to flee and seek refuge in Ethiopia to avoid death and being inducted into the northern Army. The journey to Ethiopia turned out to be a 1,000-mile trek to escape the harsh reality of what their homeland had become.
 On their journey, many of the young men would die from hunger, dehydration and exhaustion. The survivors are known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.
 James Baak was one of the survivors.
Baak says that after fleeing his community he wanted to get a gun and return to his village to defend it from the aggression. That aggression changed when he arrived to his new destination.
 At 13, Baak arrived at a refugee camp in Ethiopia where a friend asked to join him at a church where he would hear the gospel for the first time. 
Baak heard the verse John 3:16 which states, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
 “That was a turning point in my life to know that there is a God who loves me and if I believe in him I will not die,” said Baak. "After I believed in Christ that changed everything in my life, I wanted to know more about this God.”
 Baak would eventually meet a missionary man, begin his educational journey and earn his high-school degree at a refugee in Kenya where he would later start a ministry.
James now leads the organization, Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation and Development. The organization works in the south-Sudan and internationally, where he addresses the spiritual needs of his people.
“James has taken on a leadership role that is lacking in the South Sudan," said Meredith Wheeler, long-time friend of Baak's and employee of Just Act Now, an organization that works with war trauma victims in the South Sudan.
“There are about 3 million refugees or internally displaced people in the South Sudan. The scale of need here is dire," said Wheeler.
“I left home as a boy in search of a way to defend my community, I returned as a man with God’s message of eternal security and everlasting peace,” said Baak.