NGU Prepared Alumna Wilkinson for Service in New Ministry
Tiffany Wilkinson, a 2007 Christian studies alumna, believes NGU prepared her well for her new ministry opportunity with Access to Success (A2S); a ministry she has been involved with since February.
A2S is a Nigerian educational nonprofit. It provides sustainable programs that generate positive change for Nigerian children and their communities. Their vision is that each child/person in Nigeria finds a dignified path to a successful life and is empowered to live out God’s plan for a future filled with hope.
“We run a daily after-school academy for over 200 children, provide summer camps (basketball and empowerment camps), offer scholarship programs and each summer we have what's called an "entrepreneur incubator" for business minded students to pitch business ideas that will grow their community,” she said.
She says this provides the students the opportunity to partner with U.S. business people and be mentored as they work on their business plan.
“We also work with an international development program camp for widows and orphans who have been displaced by Boko-Haram. There is so much, but it's beautiful to watch the Lord's hand at work,” she said.
She believes NGU paved the way for her to be involved with an organization like A2S.
“My degree, life disciplines, exposure to local and international missions, friendships, all of it, has been used by the Lord to prepare me for this kind of ministry,” Wilkinson said.
Before A2S, Wilkinson spent time living abroad in Senegal, as well as a few years in China.
When asked why she chose to attend NGU, “I chose NGU because the moment I walked on campus, it felt like family. I came to an encounter day, and spent the weekend with some amazing girls that poured into me and showed me the truth of what NGU is all about.”
She chose Christian studies as her major “because I've always been in love with scripture. NGU provided the intellect and guidance that I needed personally, as well as on the mission field.”
She recalls many fond memories of her time at NGU from working in the admissions office with Andy Ray to remembering the exact moment when she knew the Lord was calling her to a life of travel and mission to other cultures.
“That's a time that I will always carry close to my heart. I have so many fond memories of ‘family.’ Playing together, laughing together, and crying together. Just so many treasured moments,” she said.
A2S founder and president, Andrew Lovedale, recently told Wilkinson that when he was in Nigeria, there was an elderly lady who was given her first Bible. She was dancing and celebrating in the streets. When a much younger lady asked why she was dancing when she couldn't even read, the elderly lady replied, "I have my own Bible and my children will read it to me" and then proceeded with her celebration.
“It's moments like those when I realize how fortunate I am to be a part of the NGU family, and to take what I've been taught to those who have not yet been given access to the things given [to] me,” she said.
Another A2S programming element is the scholarship students they have in the U.S. Currently, there are five students from Nigeria that are in school [high school and college] in the States.
“One of our students is getting ready for college. It was one of my first thoughts, when I found out she was looking around that she needs to visit NGU. North Greenville produces some of the most loving, kind-hearted, service-minded, spiritually mature family members I've ever known. I would want nothing less for this sweet girl.”
Wilkinson made a visit to campus recently to see her NGU family. While on campus, she met with Dr. Allen McWhite, Director of Center for Global Engagement.
Wilkinson says there are opportunities to “Go,” and A2S is always looking for people/organizations to partner with. Her hope is that she is able to connect NGU students with A2S and their programming elements in such a way that “we can all grow together towards empowering the children.”
For information about A2S, visit a2sfoundation.org and to learn more about NGU’s Christian Studies degree programs and mission opportunities, visit ngu.edu.
Cover photo: From left: Former roommates: Whitney Ferguson Barefoot ('07), Tiffany Wilkinson ('07), and Allison Hoppes Platt ('07)
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