Northern Illinois University (NIU) graduate and LCMS Pastor Marty Marks and nearly a dozen fellow alumni and current students continued to reach out to the campus community by offering “free Huskie hugs” as classes resumed Feb. 25.
The group enjoyed a “very positive” reception, according to Marks, senior pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, DeKalb, and NIU campus pastor, and plan to resume the activity in about a month, “when people may need a reminder that they are loved,” he said.
The mood on campus seems “good,” now that classes are back in session, Marks told Reporter, although “some students are still struggling,” particularly those who lost friends in the Feb. 14 shootings.
While “being around each other and familiar things on campus” has been “very therapeutic,” Marks says he expects to see more people struggling in the weeks to come, particularly caregivers who have taken on “lots of extra work and stress.”
“We need to be in this for the long haul,” he said, “aware that a Christ-like presence and His love shows through in how we respond to each other day in and day out, not only when under crisis conditions.”
Posted March 6, 2008