Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brunch supports spouses

The Office of Military Affairs hosted the event Saturday in order to foster fellowship

Dine — Military spouses got the chance to encourage one another over lunch. Photo provided

Dine — Military spouses got the chance to encourage one another over lunch. Photo provided

Liberty University’s Office of Military Affairs hosted its second-annual military spouse brunch Saturday, Sept. 21 in the Hancock Welcome Center.

The event was intended to introduce military spouses to each other in order to build a support group within the military community at Liberty, according to Meghan Ellis, associate director of military affairs.

“With Military Affairs here at this school, we really want to give all of you the opportunity to connect with each other and know that you’re not alone,” Ellis, also a military spouse, said in her opening statements. “We’re all in this together.”

Ashley Eskridge, military outreach coordinator, described the basic goal of the brunch.

“This event is a great time for all our military spouses to connect and have a time of fellowship with one another,” Eskridge said.

Following the formal welcome by Ellis, the spouses participated in an ice breaker game called “What’s in Your Purse?” Laughter ensued as everyone got to know one another better.

Ellis introduced the keynote speaker for the day, Carol Godwin. Godwin, wife of Provost Dr. Ron Godwin, shared her testimony and a message of encouragement with the spouses.

“God has a plan,” Godwin said. “He is faithful. Surround yourself with people who will love and encourage you.”
While sipping on tea, Godwin said she believed one of God’s greatest gifts is friendship.

“The good news is friends are there for the good times and the bad,” Godwin said.

Throughout the morning, military spouses shared their stories with each other over a catered brunch of scones and quiche.

Bethshan McLeod, wife of a Navy Reserve officer, shared about the importance of the event and the camaraderie it promotes.

“(The brunch) was a wonderful opportunity for military spouses to get together and meet new people who are in the same situation,” McLeod said. “Deployment is a very difficult thing for the military member as well as their families, and it can put you into a tailspin.”

Ellis, whose husband Staff Sgt. Ryan Ellis has been deployed three times with the Marine Corps and the Army, shared how the late Dr. Jerry Falwell helped her husband during his first deployment in February 2003 by having all of her husbands fees incurred during that semester waived.

According to Ellis, it is now the job of the Office of Military Affairs to assist students, like her husband, during the hard times of deployment.
Ellis said she hopes to branch out with the next event.

“We really want to involve and include Lynchburg military spouses,” Ellis said. “I’m hoping that the next time we have this it will be very community driven as well as supporting of our Liberty spouses.”

Ellis said she hopes to have another event in spring 2014.

“It’s always been our goal to have (a spouse event) once every semester because we do that for our veteran students,” Ellis said.

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