The 2017 Harvest Festival invited friends of Providence to join the Otterburne, Manitoba institution in making a “climb.”
Themed “Climb with Us,” the annual Thanksgiving celebration was hosted by Crossroads Christian Communications CEO Lorna Dueck and featured musical performances by Candace Hamm and Jeongah Park.
Following a dinner of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie, Providence President Dr. David Johnson expounded on the evening’s theme, saying, “We are climbing to become a leading Canadian Christ-centred university right here in Manitoba.”
Dr. Johnson also highlighted several reasons for optimism at Providence.
Recalling the June fire that destroyed the Bergen Hall men’s residence, he pointed out that, thanks to the opportunity to develop a new facility, he never encountered a sense of panic. “In recent years the culture here at Providence has changed,” he said. “We are more optimistic today than we were five years ago.”
Additional reasons for optimism, he pointed out, included three consecutive budget surpluses, the highest University College enrollment in nine years and a fundraising campaign that is closing in on its goal.
“By God’s grace and because of our faithful friends, on Wednesday of this week we went over $11 million in IMPACT 2020: The Campaign for Providence,” he said. “In less than half the duration of the campaign we have been blessed with 88 per cent of our goal.”
Prior to Dueck’s send-off and the singing of the institutional hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” Dr. Johnson left attendees with the image of Providence as a difference-making school.
“We have something to offer the world that no one else has,” he explained. “At this time in history Christian universities and seminaries have a life-changing and world-changing part to play. We make a difference in this messed-up world.”