News

Tabor College Fundraiser Takes the Pie?

April 15, 2014

Categories: General News

Tabor College’s bravest faculty and staff surrendered their faces, and pride, to 16 students with a plate of whipped cream in hand, all for the shrieks from the crowd of bystanders, and for Thailand, too.

The pie throwing contest followed a fundraiser where every dollar raised meant students could throw a pie at a professor/staff’s face.

Students raised money for a good cause, not just to humiliate their superiors.

The New International Carson House, NiCH, a theme house at Tabor, raised $1,500 from March 31-April 5 during Service Week to provide a water well and other improvements for a ministry in Thailand.

The money raised will be sent with Tabor community member and missionary Naomi Phillips to her family’s ministry in Thailand. The funds will be used primarily for a hand-dug water well, but also for a fishpond. The fishpond will allow farmers to learn how to fish so they can eat for a lifetime.

“We are a rural grassroots ministry, so anything we do, we want to be producible by the local people,” Phillips said about their local labor process. “We try to build everything with what’s in our environment so that anyone can reproduce it, no matter what their economic basis is.”

Phillips and husband Michael felt called to minister in Thailand in 1990. Phillips says their pioneer work for 25 years with Thai and Lao village leaders affects five semi-literate tribal groups with programs that provide general education, leadership training, agriculture and alternative careers for women leaving the sex trade.

“The tribal people live out in the mountains,” said Phillips of the cross-border ministering education program. “We bring them down into the home so they can have a good education with proper food, also with the hope of evangelizing them.”

When two of the Phillips’ five children wanted to go to college at Tabor five years ago, the whole family came with them and helped them get established in U.S. culture. The Phillips are returning to the ministry in Thailand, now that their children are out of school.

“With the training center, we’ve lost all of our property and all of our buildings. We are starting brand new,” Phillips said. “It’s been a bit of a challenge.”

Phillips attends Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church and mentors students at Tabor, including several NiCH members.

Senior Cassie Whiteneck, NiCH coordinator, said choosing Phillips’ ministry for a fund focus was a natural choice.

“We knew we wanted a more challenging goal than the $800 we raised for Heifer International last year, but we wanted to keep it personal,” Whiteneck said. “Naomi has always been there for the student body when we needed someone, so we’re glad to do the same for her.”

Since its creation in 2011, the NiCH hosts a Service Week every year where students are invited to participate in a variety of service opportunities, such as lawn maintenance, clothing donation to a shelter, etc. All of these activities will benefit their charity of choice.

Michael Phillips and son Aaron are back in Thailand now, while Naomi Phillips’ Canadian citizenship prevented travel alongside her family earlier this year. She will join them in Thailand very soon.

“It’s like a new adventure,” Phillips added.