by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer
Home-cooked Christmas dinner and decorating gingerbread houses are just two traditions of the Christmas season that students from Cedarville University brought to God’s Girls ministry in Dayton on December 6.
The God’s Girls ministry is connected with the Dayton Gospel Mission Inc., located on Burns Avenue just south of downtown Dayton. Every Friday, God’s Girls welcomes girls ages 7-18 who live near the mission to join seven Cedarville students for fellowship, games and a Gospel message.
“The whole ministry is about being faithful and consistent in their lives,” said Victoria Baker, a senior nursing major from Johnstown, New York.
— Abigail Jenks
“This has allowed us to build a trusting relationship," Baker continued. "I watch them go through some horrible things, but I’m also there for them through it. The world is trying to get them, but the faithfulness and pure simplicity of the Gospel is changing them.”"
On some Fridays, the students take the girls on field trips, which has included a photo scavenger hunt at the Greene Town Center in Beavercreek, Ohio, picking apples from a local orchard or playing at a trampoline park.
Beyond the field trips, there are special events like the Christmas party and a Thanksgiving dinner.
“Going to God's Girl taught me to be myself,” said Faith, age 14. “I've always been a shy person at school or around other people, but going to God's Girls has taught me to be myself and be more open to people.”
“God’s Girls is a safe place for me to go where I found a sisterhood,” said April, age 17. “It’s somewhere that girls of all ages can just be themselves and escape the real world for a few hours.”
For the Christmas party, Cedarville students wanted to share holiday experiences they have enjoyed, but that had not been part of the experiences of those who attend God’s Girls.
“Many of the girls don’t receive Christmas presents at all and don’t have money to give presents either,” said Jenks. “At the Christmas party, we gave each girl 25 small presents to give to family and friends. They were filled with excitement to not only receive a present this year but also to have the opportunity to give presents too.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.