Breakthrough Ministries, an organization aimed at helping students strengthen relationships, met for the first time Feb. 7. Pastor Otis Manning of Word of Faith Center spoke to a group of about 20 students. The Christian group is intended for people at every relationship stage: married, engaged, dating or just friends. “I’m not perfect-my wife will tell you that-but I’m qualified,” said Manning. He points to 24 years of successful marriage as proof of that qualification.
Manning first started visiting the Eastern campus three years ago because of the announcements Nancy Nelson director of the African American Education Program, sent out to local churches regarding campus events. “I was one that happened to respond,” said Manning. He first came to a beginning-of-the-year luncheon held by the department, then a Kwanzaa celebration, a Jazz festival and other events.
Breakthrough Ministries grew out of the friendship Manning and Nelson developed during that time.
“It’s kind of like Nancy’s been a liaison for me to meet students- It’s important to her that students have interaction with members of the community,” said Manning.
The topic of the group’s first meeting was choosing the right person to marry. Several future topics Manning hopes to discuss are: dating, prenuptial agreements, communication in marriage, interracial marriages and sex in the Christian marriage.
“If students who attend the group could leave EWU with a strong understanding of what it takes to have successful relationships based on Biblical truths, then we’ve accomplished our goal,” said Manning.
The group was created because Manning felt that students face a lot of challenges in the area of relationships. A lower level of morality, the risk of contracting STDs and easy access to sexually explicit material on the Internet are several social issues he sees today’s students dealing with. “Students need guidance; they really need guidance,” said Manning. Nelson and Manning are glad to see that the group has already started a dialogue among students who attended.
The number one thing Manning wants students to learn is how to discern the voice of God. “If a person can get that, that’s 50 percent of the battle,” said Manning. He said that every relationship has its own challenges and difficulties, but if students read their Bibles, pray and recognize that a marriage takes love, forgiveness and compromise then they have the groundwork for success.
Breakthrough Ministries meets every Tues. at 7p.m. in Monroe Hall 204A.