Harvesters’ take on Missions Emphasis Week

KNOXVILLE – As Missions Emphasis Week comes to a close at JUTN, Harvesters President, Nathan Long, and Vice President, Katie Eikenberry, spoke of the work that went into this years’ chapel events.

Long, who has been involved with Harvesters for two years, explained the role Harvesters plays in Missions Emphasis Week.

“We choose the theme for MEW, we work with Wolf and the chapel team to coordinate speakers and services which will reinforce the theme and encourage the student body during the week,” Long said. “We will occasionally plan extra events during the week to help spark further conversation or thought about that weeks theme. For example, this year we hosted a discussion with the chapel speakers and arranged for a prayer night to focus on the refugee crisis.”

This year the chapel theme focused on refugees.

Long and Eikenberry shared how the theme was chosen.

“This year, since refugees were a large topic and many people at Johnson work with refugees, it seemed to make sense that it was our chosen topic,” Eikenberry said.

“Last year, the theme was how missions and community development may work together, a subject that does not receive a lot of attention. This year it was the refugee crisis, a topic which is controversial even among Christian populations,” Long said.

This year, author and Director of The AMOS Project, Troy Jackson, and Regional Director of Peace Catalyst International, Martin Brooks, addressed the refugee crisis.

Long said that he found Jackson’s theme of being intentionally involved challenging.

“I really enjoyed the fresh perspective which Troy Jackson brought to the immigration crisis and Christian involvement in the public sphere. I think that as Christians, we sometimes underestimate the power in being present. Thus, our communities are lacking in the salt that we could bring to lives, systems and relationships.”

He said he felt challenged to be more intentional in his relationships with the Knoxville community.
In regard to planning for next year, Eikenberry explained what they hope might go better and what they hope to maintain.
“I think that MEW was a success this year. We didn’t quite accomplish all of the plans that we wanted to, as MEW was a few weeks earlier than it normally is and we didn’t have an abundance of time to plan the things we desired to plan” Eikenberry said. “I think that each year, Harvesters should switch it up in some aspect, but I really enjoyed Wednesday’s chapel experience. To try and replicate the persecuted and hidden church had an impact on me,” Eikenberry said.

Students can be notified of upcoming Harvesters events through their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Students interested in joining Harvesters can email harvesters@johnsonu.edu or Nathan Long at nathan.long@johnsonu.edu or Brent Brewer at BBrewer@johnsonu.edu

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