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October 23, 2012

Press Photo

BCF students participate in “One Homeless Night” increasing awareness of the homeless.

According to statistics, there are over one million people in the United States of America who are classified as homeless. On Friday, October 19, over thirty students at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville devoted their time and attention to increase awareness of the homeless during an event titled, "One Homeless Night." Held outside behind the Wellness Center on the BCF campus, students became extremely mindful of the homeless condition that grips nearly 1 in every 330 Americans, and millions more worldwide, as temperatures quickly plummeted to the low 50's. As the cool weather emerged, students huddled together near the homemade boxed structures, praying as they experienced the plight of "One Homeless Night."

Under the big oak tree illuminated with strands of white lights, students joined in a time of praise and worship led by BCF Senior Revani Rosalia. Participants heard from Ken Tuck, co-founder of Love In Action, International Ministries in Dothan, Ala., as he spoke on the love that he has for those who are homeless physically and spiritually. Tuck shared story after story of the men and women that he's met who do not know the Lord and struggle every day to get back to a point of financial stability. BCF students also heard from Dwight Deal, pastor of The Harbor Church in Dothan, Ala., as he spoke on the love that Christ has for those that society would simply cast aside.

Both speakers challenged BCF students to open their eyes to the world around them and be willing to do even the simplest act of kindness for someone that is in need. They stressed how people pay close attention to the spiritual walk of professing Christians and they want to see that genuine love of Christ that is preached among them. Lives are changed when people see believers practicing what they preach.

BCF Assistant Professor of English Geoffrey Reiter presented a devotional from James 2:14-26, rallying students to become active servants of Christ within the community and among the homeless and less fortunate.

"It was awesome to see students take a night out of their busy schedules to come fellowship, worship, and pray as a community. Many times we get caught up in our busy lives that we forget about the person walking past us who may be without the joy and salvation of Christ. It's like my dad says, 'People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.' I have challenged myself to live with this in mind," stated Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) Director Ashley Fredryk who was in charge of homeless experience.