Ministry of the Week: Biola Buddies focuses on forming friendships
Sophomore Victoria White and her buddy, Nikki Schodlbauer, participate in a pumpkin decorating contest at the Biola Buddies Halloween event last fall. | Courtesy of Samantha Burgess
Biola Buddies is the perfect ministry opportunity for those with hearts geared toward making friends. For nearly 12 years, Biola Buddies has matched Biola students with adults in the La Mirada community 18-60 years old who live with disabilities such as autism, Down Syndrome, and other physical limitations.
The ministry’s aim is to see friendship, growth and bonding between the pairings. Ministry director Karly Cable, a sophomore psychology major, hopes to see less of a gap between the three. After being approached by previous director Kate Young last year, Cable joined Biola Buddies this year and became its director after much prayer and thought.
“[Young] felt the ministry needed a breath of fresh air,” Cable said. “It’s a bit scary though, having never been a part of the ministry before.”
Team members gather monthly to enjoy each others’ presence. Through these meetings come memories.
“The first Halloween party that I went to, I met my first buddy for the first time,” said junior Samantha Burgess. “I loved getting to know her and all the other community buddies and college buddies. This was the beginning of my involvement with Biola Buddies and I’ll never forget it.”
This year, Biola Buddies is focusing more on the community and while it is all about friendship, it comes with some expectations. The members must call their buddies once a week, meet with them twice a month and come to ministry events and member meetings.
With community and friendship as a focus, Biola Buddies uses Romans 15:7 as a theme verse:
“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
Many, like sophomore Victoria White, have been changed after joining.
“I was interviewed and matched up to my buddy, and since then, I’ve been humbled by the experience,” White said.