“‘…For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothes you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” — Matthew 25:35–39
Some in society can be viewed as “less than” others—those who are imprisoned, hungry, strangers. Yet, these fellow humans are loved by our Creator and in need of someone to care for them. Clarks Summit University alumni step out to serve in countless numbers of ways and locations. The following stories tell how God is working through alumni to reach those who are hurting and in need of Christ’s love.
SERVING WOMEN NAVIGATING PREGNANCY
By Taylor Stuck (’21)
Connections for the future can be made anywhere. After volunteering at a sister location throughout junior high and high school, Clarks Summit University student April Mercier (’21) got connected with Options Women’s Center in Scranton during CSU’s Community Appreciation Day. This day gives students the day off from classes, so they are able to spend the morning volunteering locally. Mercier served at the center, starting a relationship that dovetailed with her double major in Counseling and Biblical Studies.
Mercier graduated in 2021 with her Bachelor of Science in Counseling. She accepted a position as pregnancy decision coach and assistant to the executive director at Options, as she is working toward earning her Master of Science in Counseling at CSU.
Mercier says that CSU has helped her to cultivate her skills and build confidence in her abilities. “I never thought I would be a counselor, but the training and experience I’ve gotten here has taught me that God is the one who gifts me with the ability to help people. He has equipped me with exactly what I need to be able to serve Him in that way.”
At Option’s Women’s Center, Mercier meets with clients who come for free pregnancy tests and talks them through their options. Her job is to educate and offer support to a woman who is figuring out how to navigate her pregnancy. Mercier is excited for what God has planned for the lives of each of her clients, and she loves being able to briefly take part in their stories.
“Getting to work at a women’s resource center has grown me in so many ways as a person, as a counselor and as a Christian. Working in this capacity has given me an even greater appreciation for life and for my God who is intricately sovereign over every part of it.”
Mercier admits, “if I didn’t come to CSU, I don’t believe that I would be working towards a master’s degree in counseling. God knew what He was doing in leading me here, and I’m forever grateful that I get to be a part of the CSU family.”