Two years after the program stopped, Campus Ministries has decided to reintroduce Afterglow and make it one of their main projects for this school year. On Aug. 24, the first gathering of Afterglow was held in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists with approximately 30 attendees.
Afterglow is a program where students come together to sing, pray and share testimonies with their schoolmates. Campus Ministries’ theme for the year is, “Belong. Behold. Become.” Afterglow focuses on the
“Behold” part of the ministry because individuals are encouraged to share their stories
on how they have seen God work in their lives. Campus Ministries aims for this fellowship to aid students in their relationships with God.
“We realized as we looked around this campus that there are a lot of people who have stories,” said Julie MacLafferty, a theology major and a Campus Ministries leader. “Afterglow is really just a way for people to say, ‘Hey, this is my story. This is what I’m experiencing with Jesus.’”
Testimonies shared on Aug. 24 included a range of stories from students who struggled with breakups, suicidal thoughts, school decisions,
financial challenges and God’s calling.
“I think it was really important to hear about this,” said Kevin Bartolome, a freshman allied health major. “The
testimonies here were just crazy. Hearing about what some of these people went through just really strengthens my faith.”
Bartolome said that Afterglow provided a safe and friendly environment for students to learn from each others’ experiences.
“Everyone goes through a lot of struggles,” Bartolome said. “But what makes it that God can’t help us through this storm?”
Associate Chaplain Anna Bennet said, “Afterglow previously faced problems as not enough people volunteered to lead out, which was the cause of the two year gap of the program. Today,though there have been people who stepped forward to help, Campus Ministries is still looking for students who are willing to serve.”
“We are always looking for anyone who is willing to take any participation,” said Miguel Esparra, one of the Afterglow leaders. “So to help me set this up, or to help speak, or with music. Whatever kind of way you feel you can help with, Afterglow will always be willing to listen and apply it.”
Afterglow is one of the 11 major programs Campus Ministries offers. Participants meet on Friday after vespers in the CAYA room inside Collegedale church.