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September 25, 2014 The Swinging Bridge



struggle with just how to combat the rapidly growing state, (as of writing this article, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had announced the US would help train Syrian rebels to counter ISIS aggression along with continued airstrikes), the world is uniformly horrified by the barbarism ISIS has been infamous for.

When the Iraqi army all but crumbled under ISIS pressure throughout the summer, roughly 100,000 Christians were forced to flee their villages. The majority of these had little to nothing save the clothes on their backs, their only choice to flee or be brutally killed by ISIS soldiers.

Prior to July of 2014, few had ever heard of the group and it was considered a fringe jihadist group, so radical even Al-Qaeda had denounced it. However, ISIS dominated international news headlines as it swept through Iraq and easily defeated a US-trained military, as well as overtaking parts of neighboring Syria.

With two American journalists and a British aid worker beheaded, along with an attempted public execution recently foiled by Australia and countless social media posts boasting of genocide and cruelty, ISIS has proven itself wholly and unflinching dedicated to eliminating anyone who resists their radical views.

David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors USA, a Christian persecution watchdog group, has linked the rise and subsequent flourishing of ISIS to the lack of concern for Christians within the Middle East.

ne of the most chilling stories of the summer was the sudden rise of ISIS, or as it’s officially known, The Islamic State.

Though both domestic and international leaders continue to

ISIS, which is Sunni, has dedicated itself to wiping out the pockets of Shias, Christians and other religious minorities within its territory.

In an interview with Christian Post, he states that “[there are] extremist groups within Islam, like ISIS. It’s not true of every person who is Islamic. But there are extremist groups like this who want to force people to convert to Islam at the point of a gun. Unless we understand that threat, not just to

off-campus in the New Cumberland Farmer’s Market. Throughout the summer, it has produced record amounts of zucchini, cucumbers, eggs, peppers and grape tomatoes, making 2014 the most productive year at the Grantham Community Garden.



tudents of Messiah College likely have witnessed the fruits of the Grantham Community Garden’s labor as displayed in the masterfully and beautifully kept quarter-acre garden located between Mountain View and Kline Hall. However, many are likely unaware of the presence of a second garden on the campus grounds. There are now two gardens growing on Messiah College’s campus. If one stares closely enough through the pine trees that line the railroad tracks in front of Old Main, one can easily distinguish the second garden from the rest of the plain, and domesticated greenery that defines the surrounding area of land along which Grantham Road runs. Funded by the senior gift committee of 2014, the second garden was conceived by the summer garden managers of 2013 as a means of expanding garden

operations. According to Andrea McIntosh, the Student Sustainability Coordinator here at Messiah College, the purpose of the second garden (a.k.a the garden expansion) is to “increase the Community Garden’s reach,” which will contribute to its mission of promoting real-life sustainable agriculture on campus. Following the success of the growing season of 2013, the summer garden managers of 2014 have successfully transformed roughly half of the oneacre plot of land into a lush garden. This is also the first season in which the Community Garden sold produce

Looking forward to the fall semester, the other half acre is scheduled to be plowed in preparation for the next growing season. Garden production manager Ian Morrison is planning to hold a demonstration session on plowing for those who are interested in helping in the process. Additionally, plans are moving ahead with the design and installation of an irrigation system accompany the next phase of the garden expansion. Cover crops will also be planted in the first garden with the help of the Ecology & Sustainability class in order to replenish the soil. In the meantime however, the fruits from this season are ready and available for purchase at the bi-weekly Grantham Community Garden farm stand. Future plans may also include some of the Community Garden produce being included in the meals prepared in the Lottie Nelson Dining Hall. A common assumption about the Grantham Community Garden is that despite the inclusion of the word “community” in its name, it is exclusive to students within the Sustainability major. Concerned about the apparent homogeneity, Community Garden outreach coordinator, Anna McKay is, “placing an emphasis on student involvement outside of the sustainability major.” Aside from the primary task of providing Messiah College students and faculty with

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Christians in the region but to people worldwide, we’re not going to respond properly. I think it has risen because of a lack of attention and a lack of concern for Christians and other minority groups.” Christian organizations worldwide, including such as Open Doors USA, Christian Aid Mission and Samaritan’s Purse, are working to provide refugees with aid and support as well as give refugees a chance to share their stories with the world. David Curry is quick to state that, “the support of Christians in the West is greatly necessary. With food, with water, it’s one of those things — this is going to be a problem for a long time. We can’t lose our focus that these are brothers and sisters, and that they have been persecuted for their faith.” While the persecution of Christians may seem a thing of the past, reminiscent of ancient times or days long past, millions of believers around the world and certainly within the Middle East risk their lives every day by choosing to believe.

local, sustainably-grown produce, the Grantham Community Garden also engages in other activities that are oriented towards outreach and fostering social justice. These include organizing external educational activities, arranging volunteer opportunities, and coordinating tours with the Oaks Museum.. Alex Correia, the administrative coordinator for the Garden, stresses how the Community Garden will greatly benefit from a diversity of skills. “We are a multifaceted sustainable business, and we need people from every major, such as but not limited to engineering, biology, business, communications, graphic design et cetera,” she said. Those interested in getting involved with the Grantham Community Garden and other sustainable efforts on campus, may contact communitygarden@messiah. edu or

// The Ebola Virus continued. at Messiah College, explains that though it is a “national security issue,” the possibility of Ebola reaching this college is highly unlikely and there are a myriad of safety measures to take to ensure that the virus would not spread. If you are feeling ill, the Engle Center at Messiah College is committed to serving your needs and giving out the necessary supplies to restore your health. Located next to Larson Student Union, the Engle Center is open from 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday. This center provides both health and counseling services. To make an appointment, stop by in person, contact them by phone (717.691.6035), or email them at

The Swinging Bridge: September 25, 2014  
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