My name is Kristina Anderson. I am 26 years old and am a Resident Director at Bryan College. I was born and raised in the great state of Iowa and attended Northwestern College, not too far from my home town of Sioux City. After finishing my undergrad at NWC I went to Geneva College, in PA to pursue a Masters in Higher Education. Upon attaining that degree God brought me down south to TN, and Bryan College where I have served 2 years and where I will return in the fall.
Every year Bryan sends out teams to different places throughout the world to serve over spring break. This year I had the privilege of serving as the mentor for the team of students going to Opelousas. I had no idea what to expect coming down here, but God really showed up and worked that week.
The six of us on the Bryan team were able to meet up with about 20 people from Northwestern and serve with Hope for Opelousas for one week. Our primary objectives for the week were to paint the house that Hope for Opelousas had recently obtained, close in the garage, run a basketball camp, have a block party to meet new kids, and help out other ministries in Opelousas.
If you were to drive down Madison Street it would be hard to miss the bright yellow house with blue shutters and red brick. There are also beautiful flowers lining the base of the house and garnishing the windows, which were planted after we left. There is now a basketball hoop set up, which is a huge draw to the kids in the neighborhood. Since we closed in the garage downstairs it adds another room for tutoring to the four in the main house. We will be working on the finishing touches to get that room ready for tutoring next school year.
The block party was the main event of the week that I think all of us were looking forward to. It was a chance for us to meet the people in the neighborhood and a lot of the kids that Loren and the rest of the volunteers have been reaching out to all year. It was very encouraging walking around the neighborhood with Loren and seeing him interact with the people in the Hill. The interest that they showed in the ministry and the respect that was given Loren was really amazing. It was evident to me then and it’s evident to me today that God is really working in the Hill. The people are ready for God to move. That got me really excited to be a part of this ministry this summer.
If you would have talked to me even six months ago I would not have even been able to tell you where Opelousas is. But since that time God has been showing me his networking ability and has made Opelousas another home, with connections to many places that are close to my heart. I have been here for 5 weeks and my worldview has been challenged immensely and I can not wait to see what God has in store for the rest of the summer. The Spirit is alive and well in Opelousas. To God be the glory, amen!