Elev8 and Life ministries didn’t forget about the college students that couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving by bringing a sense of family and friends to the college campus for the second annual Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 25, at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Elev8 is a young adult ministry from Praise Assembly of God Church and is similar to the Life ministry. Elev8’s purpose is to believe, belong and become and exists to lead young adults into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Life ministry challenges students to think about who God is and how God fits into the questions and answers of their life. The values are to live, learn, laugh and love.
The Occhiato Ballroom was decorated with a touch of fall with leaves, flowers and pumpkin centerpieces on the tables. The sound of music played in the background and people laughed and socialized filling the room with a hometown ambiance.
Lita Gallegos prepared the Thanksgiving meal fit for a king with turkey, ham, green bean casserole, corn, salad, mashed potatoes. The meal wouldn’t have been complete without the crowd favorite green chili. She also prepared an array of pies and a very large cake with a cooler full of refreshments that served approximately 100 students.
It was easy to see the meal was a hit from the many smiles and several trips for seconds and thirds, and no sign of leftovers. Many students expressed their gratitude to Elev8 and Life volunteers who made this event possible.
John Woodward, a senior majoring in chemistry expressed gratitude since there are many programs on campus that are non-existent during the holidays when there are still students on campus. He finds that Elev8 and Life’s Thanksgiving dinner is a fun and interesting experience.
“There are people here that I got to meet that I have never come across before such as people on the baseball and racquetball team and it is interesting to interact with a different set of people,” Woodward said.
Woodward attended the dinner last year and said it was an improvement.
“I really liked it better this year, I enjoyed the atmosphere, music, more space and the food was obviously good,” he said before saying the green chili was his favorite.
Udobong Obotette, a senior majoring in accounting and a member of CSU- Pueblo men’s soccer team has also attended the dinner for two years and was grateful since he was unable to make it home to be with his family in Oregon.
“This year there was a better turn out and the food was delicious,” Obotette said.
When asked what he liked most about the meal, without any hesitation, the green chili was also his favorite dish.
Pastor Steve Chavez leads Elev8 and felt compelled to reach out to the college students. He recalls his days at Bible college when the cafeteria was closed for the week of spring break.
“I had no food for an entire week and very little money and a family in the city opened their doors to me and fed me. I was so hungry and ate everything on their table and I suppose that I would like to return the favor that was offered to me,” Chavez said.
Elev8 is aiming at college students because it said there is a need.
“These are the future leaders of our cities and perhaps we could practice the golden rule and one day they would pass it on to another person in need,” Chavez said. “If we could share the love of Jesus with food then we win, if they accept than they win.”
Jonathon Lewis is the leader for the college ministry, Life a ministry he said is totally driven by Jesus Christ.
Lewis fondly remembers caring friends and adults assisting him during his college years and guiding him down the right road.
“Life is searching for ways to serve students at CSU-P and PCC and not just tell people who God is, but rather show them,” Lewis said. “Jesus often fed the poor and hungry when He was here and we thought we should do the same.”
Both ministries said all students are invited to attend Life and Elev8 services.
Life meets on campus at the clubhouse of the University Village Walking Stick Apartments every Tuesday at 8 p.m. The meeting is casual and the focus is having fun and learning about living the most amazing life possible. Lewis said he can be contacted at 719- 248-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
Elev8 services are every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Praise Assembly of God Church, 2000 Troy Avenue, in the Praise Activity Center.
Elev8 and Life are planning to make this an event with live music, prizes and lots of leftovers so that people will leave with to-go boxes with extra green chili.