|"God’s grace is free; so is our food," proclaims the UM campus ministry at Rose State College, led by Liz Wilson, second from right. OKC-St. Matthew and Wickline churches provide special support to the Wesley Student Fellowship.
By Elizabeth Wilson
MIDWEST CITY—What started out as a free meal is nourishing people in many ways at Rose State College.
Every Tuesday, a free lunch is provided to students, staff, and faculty. We emphasize the word free because we serve the meal with no strings attached—and we are finding out how rare that is.
Every week, we are asked: What do we have to sign up for? What do we have to listen to? What do we have to pay? What do we have to do?
Every time, our answer is: Nothing.
The food really is free.
Because we do this, people we serve want to know what United Methodists believe.
Several students going through serious personal struggles have come to us asking for prayer. Because of this ministry of free meals, they feel comfortable enough to share intimate details of their lives and ask someone to pray with them.
One young man who had recently undergone foot surgery faced the same medical procedure on his other foot. He told one of our team members about an upcoming doctor’s appointment. In a conversation between them at a later time, that team member asked, "Your appointment to get your next surgery is tomorrow, right?"
He looked astonished and said, "You remembered. Why would you remember?"
Another woman was very upset at God, her family, and the world. Her brother had been killed, and the family was fractured over his death. She asked, "How could this happen?" Some ministry team members shared their thoughts with her, they prayed, and she left with a plate of food in her hand. At the beginning of this school year, she sought us out again. She was back on speaking terms with her family, and she thanked us for supporting her.
We believe that, with every free plate of food given out, a plate of grace is served as well. Grace is there for all of us to receive; we must take the initiative to accept it. Our lunch ministry operates the same way. It is there for all to receive; they just must accept it.
—"Liz" Wilson is the student minister at Wickline UMC, in Midwest City, and leads the team responsible for the Wesley Student Fellowship at Rose State College.