Dorian McCall is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma who specializes in opera. His field often means traveling across the country to audition and perform as opera company’s put on shows. The exciting part of seeing the country and singing beautiful music is generally dampened by the reality of getting travel and lodging secured in a way that does not cost more than the performance may be paying. This is where the Nazarene Student Center was able to step in for Dorian.
Talking about summer plans over a cup of coffee Dorian expressed some frustration in finding affordable options for a multi-week stint near Bloomington, Indiana. As we were talking about different options I realized the NSC has churches all over the nation, surely one of them would be close to this opera company. After a bit of work online I realized that a former seminary professor and current Nazarene pastor lived within throwing distance of the area. We sent off an email asking if there would be a chance there would be someone who would take Dorian in for this period of time. Within a couple of days we had heard back and there was success! Dorian would have housing with one of the members of the Nazarene church for the entirety of his stay.
After arriving back home from his trip I took Dorian to lunch to catch up with everything that had happened. Dorian reflected that:
“Considering I didn’t know what a Nazarene was 6 months prior, I was taken aback that someone would be so gracious as to let me in their home(s) for a few weeks. Whilst I worked and was able to fulfill my studies, I also got the opportunity to experience Nazarene services under the helm of someone my current liaison greatly admires! His sermon series of the moment was edifying in a way that was and is important to me at this particular point of my attempt to walk in Christian faith and I can only imagine what fellowship the people of his congregation continually benefit from. I hope I have the chance to return!”
One of the goals of the NSC is to help students understand that there are people called Nazarenes who deeply care about people. In the current climate of politics and religion we often forget that there are people who simply need a place to call home for a few weeks. That opening one’s home and pantry means more than any service. That even if we disagree on some issues that we can still share the love of Christ with each other.
As the director of the NSC I am grateful for the Valley Mission Church of the Nazarene who is pastored by Dr. Paul Whiteford. This church is just one of many who are helping to share God’s love with our students. We hope to be able to offer this type of ministry to more of our students as we can.