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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Building Bridges

January 26, 2023

Building Community with a Heart of Service

Kudzai Mhondiwa

Andrea Keele discusses having a heart of service with Walla Walla University’s increased efforts in community outreach. 

A total of 6,161 groups of people amounting to 3.16 billion make up the total amount of people who have not been reached by the gospel message around the world. [1] WWU supplies its resources to these groups of society through its global outreach programs.  

WWU’s service initiative includes the Center of Humanitarian Engagement’s annual Service Day, Enactus crisis response team, student missions led by Andrea Keele, service trips abroad, and many more available for students year-round. 

Community service can come in many forms such as collecting food, community cleanup, clothing programs for low-income schools, or even traveling across the globe to teach kids in the Great Plains of India. 

A study conducted by Rosenbaum, V. M. of Lehigh University found a higher mean score of the “liveliness factor” from a sample of 1,058 students in comparison to students that had not been involved in community service. [2] Evidently, there are outstanding benefits to service even though various students have yet to find this outwardly expressive energy and action from community outreach. 

So, what does having a heart of service entail? Andrea Keele, the assistant chaplain for student missions, answered, “It’s a willingness to leave your own comfort for the sake of bettering other people.” [3] Keele acknowledged the opportunities found in selflessness providing a sustainable future for those that need it most. 

"A heart of service comes from action – it is born from gratitude, empathy, and best taught by witnessing and experiencing it for yourself.” [4] Keele reiterated the importance of taking actionable steps in igniting this heart of service, while noting the inheritable traits of gratitude and empathy characterized by those who first served you.  

Those that overburden themselves by taking on outreach programs are offered a word of advice from Keele: “Find an area where you come alive as you are serving that matches your gifts and passions. You’ll find your energy increases rather than getting taken away.” [5]  

Looking towards the future, Keele stands among the leading figures in WWU who are building the bridges that unite society, calling on its students to create within them a heart of service.  

A heart of service transcends as far as the people of the northern and southern hemisphere to the neighbor next door. Change begins with you.  



  1. Missions statistics. (n.d.). The Traveling Team. 
  2. Rosenbaum, V. M. (1997). Understanding college age volunteers' behavior. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Lehigh University.
  3. Interview with Andrea Keele, on 1/17/ 2023.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
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