Student Takes Spiritual Search To Nigeria
May 6, 2002-- College isnt
just about job training.
is one of the most significant times in a persons life for
spiritual growth," said Brian Edmonds, who is graduating from
the University of Virginia in May with a bachelors degree
in systems engineering.
a time to search out your spirituality," he said. "People
must define what religion will be for them. They may realize their
need for God or question their need for God."
summer, as part of his own search, Edmonds took a six-week trip
to Nigeria sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, a 50-year-old
non-denominational Christian outreach effort. Edmonds visited the
campuses of the University of Jos and the Federal College of Education
Pankshin, a community college in central Nigeria.
went to meet students where they were and find out if they had a
relationship with Jesus Christ," he said "Many students
there didnt know that many African Americans are Christians
because most American missionaries are white. But talking to students
our own age
allowed them to see Christianity in a different
light. Its not just about a preacher in a pulpit, but its
a daily walk that requires humility and growth and love."
up, Edmonds attended the Central Baptist Church on Baltimores
west side. He sang in the church choir, participated in the annual
Christmas and Easter programs, and, with his youth group, visited
parents were both raised in strong families that put an emphasis
on their Christian faith, and they passed that on to their children,"
also passed on a respect for education. Edmonds father, Joseph,
is an electrical engineer working for Baltimore Gas & Electric,
and his mother, Gail, is an administrator at Goucher College. His
sister, Anike, 28 (U.Va. CLAS 98), is an entertainment lawyer
in San Francisco, and his brother, Joseph, 23, is in divinity school
at Union Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with Columbia
University, in New York.
graduating from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, a math and science
magnet school, Edmonds signed on with the systems program at U.Va.s
engineering school, which allowed him the flexibility to take classes
in religion and philosophy. He made friends through the First-Year
Fellowship, a non-denominational Christian group, and Black Voices.
summer, he plans a missionary trip to Capetown, South Africa.
that, he plans to return to Charlottesville for a one-year internship
as a staff member for Impact, a chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ
that is reaching out to African American students. He then would
like to work for a management-consulting firm before moving into
the non-profit sector.
would find it hard to work 15 hours a day to boost the bottom line
of a big corporation," Edmonds said. "But to work 17 hours
a day so somebody could have a roof over his head or have enough
to eat, I could find the strength to do that."
Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858