OTTERBURNE, MB – Every fall over the past few decades at Providence is a special time of year – not only since it’s the start of a new school year, but also because of the annual Harvest Festival Banquet. This took place on Friday, October 20th in the Student Life Centre, which was host to over 200 people, raised well over $50 000 for the Providence Fund, and was sponsored by Ruban Insurance Brokers.
“God has been faithful in sowing seeds here on this campus, and in the past few years it has really been a time of seeing those seeds begin to burst forth into something beautiful,” said Christina Duerksen in her address to attendees. Duerksen is a fourth-year University College student at Providence. “This place is special not only because of its small class sizes and its characteristically knowledgeable and caring professors, but because Christ is alive, moving, and ever-present within this community.”
Guests were greeted by members of the Pilots Women’s Soccer team, who welcomed visitors, directed folks to their tables, and helped to serve punch, dinner and dessert. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Seminary Dean Jeff Anderson, and in addition to what Duerksen eloquently expressed as the evening’s first speaker, the program also included speeches by President Kenton Anderson and Vice President of Advancement Ron Hogue, a musical performance by songwriter Carine Bado, and a video featuring Alum Devotion Ndlovu and Student Council President Conrad Jack.
This year’s theme was “Christ First,” which Dr. Kenton Anderson underscored with his words to all those in attendance. “We are people on the Way. There is a trajectory to our work. We do these things on purpose and not randomly. We are people of the Truth. We are constantly seeking to align ourselves and to represent the truth in what we say and how we understand our world and circumstances. We’re also committed to the abundant Life that God has called us to and set before us. Here at Providence, we follow the Way of Christ, rooted in the Truth of Christ, as we enjoy the Life of Christ.”
Ron Hogue echoed these sentiments when he conveyed that, “In a meeting with the Directors of Providence, Dr. Anderson commented that he gets to wake up everyday and have the opportunity – and I would add, the privilege – of doing something that matters. I can confidently say that this outlook is shared by all the staff and faculty that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in my time since joining the team in July. And while our work clearly matters, it requires the enabling gifts of our supporters.”
It is support from events like the Harvest Festival Banquet that allows Providence to continue its mission to teach people to grow in knowledge and character for leadership and service – something that this institution has had the privilege of doing for nearly 100 years. Every dollar raised directly impacts the educational and community experience of students like Christina, whose story is testament to the difference a Christ-centred education can have in a person’s life.
“As I prepare to move on from Providence, I take each of these valuable passions, lessons and experiences with me and ultimately leave more certain than ever that in whatever I do, the only worthwhile reason to do anything is to do it for the glory of God alone.” – Christina Duerksen