My parents gave their lives to missionary ministry. One of the lessons they taught by word and example was the joy of Christian hospitality. Growing up, our home was always open to visitors from other countries.
One day I asked, “Dad, why do you always invite the visitors to our house?” His answer has stuck with me for 50 years. “We’ve been visitors in their countries and needed their hospitality. It’s our place to show hospitality when they visit our country.”
It turns out that this was great preparation for our work here at IWU. It is our joy to welcome many, many guests to campus each year. Every visitor is important to us. We want each guest to FEEL welcome on this campus. Watching this short video illustrates just how important campus visits are – both to our students and to IWU.
Nicole Ignasiak, one of our student tour guides who also happens to be a stand-out IWU women’s basketball player, shares about one visitor in particular,
“I gave a tour to a pretty shy boy and his mother. They seemed like they did not have a lot of experience with the college process. They were so appreciative of all the advice I gave them and love I showed them. When I prayed for them at the end of the tour like I normally do, the mother started crying. I could really tell I impacted this family in just 55 minutes and it was so rewarding. She couldn’t stop thanking me! I love talking about a school I love to students that need a home in the future.”
I am truly grateful for people gifted in hospitality, like Nicole. Our admissions staff along with all of the IWU students who provide campus tours and/or host a prospective student overnight are invaluable to IWU. They provide loads of pertinent information, share their passion for IWU, answer a wide variety of questions and open their hearts in hopes of helping each student they encounter find their calling for college.
To give you an idea of just how busy they are, IWU has hosted 2,206 prospective students since August 1, 2017. Those visitors represent 26 states and 3 other countries. October 2017 was a new record for our team – 866 visits in just one month.
Imagine having 2,206 opportunities in just five short months to love a stranger, which is the true meaning of the word hospitality. Jesus modeled this in many ways. The New Testament writers remind us often of the joy of welcoming visitors.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
We are honored to have such a tangible way to practice hospitality. With that in mind, it would be our delight to welcome you as well. Come by anytime! Or, sign up for a day when our amazing admissions team has arranged these specific visit days:
Spotlight on Life Calling – January 19
Spotlight on Nursing – February 2
Spotlight on Art – February 9
Spotlight on Music – February 19
General Visit Day – January 19
General Visit Day – February 19
General Visit Day – February 24 (Includes optional Transfer Track)
General Visit Day – March 23
General Visit Day – April 6
General Visit Day and Spotlight on Juniors and Sophomores – April 13
I hope to see you soon!