“I was strongly encouraged to look into being a Refuge leader by friends and prior to this, I didn’t think I could do something like this,” senior Ben Cockrell said.
Cockrell, political science and social justice double major, is a Refuge leader this year. He believes it is an exciting challenge to be part of the student-led Refuge team and is eager to see how God will use him in leading. He has big hopes for Ouachita’s student body and is ready to see what God is going to do through Refuge. Cockrell wants to see students grow in their faithfulness, fearlessness and fellowship.
Faithfulness has been a topic on Cockrell’s mind as well as the other leaders’. As they discussed their goal for Refuge, they concluded that it should be “faithfulness.”
“As the leaders we needed to learn how to be faithful and help teach other people how to be faithful,” Cockrell said.
Cockrell believes that faithfulness is a pivotal trait to develop when pursuing to grow your relationship with Christ and others. He also thinks that faithfulness goes beyond being involved in different groups or activities such as Refuge.
“Completely independent from the groups you are in or the event to take part in; faithfulness goes beyond all these things and sets root into our relationship with Christ. Those aren’t bad things but if you do those things for any other reason than for God then they are empty,” Cockrell said.
He also explained how these things are important because, “doing those things does not mean you have a faith-filled relationship with Christ, but the intentions behind them show your true character.”
Because Refuge is student-led, Cockrell expanded on the idea that, “he and the other leaders have to be vigilant about their personal walk because if they aren’t trying to grow in their faith and if they are not in the Bible it shows and takes a real toll on the rest of the student body.”
“We hope the Refuge leaders and the students of Ouachita become fearless,” Cockrell said.
While wanting the entire student body to be fearless, Cockrell also wants to be a fearless leader and make some positive changes in Refuge.
“I don’t want to do things the same as they’ve always been done simply because that is how they’ve always been done,” Cockrell said. “I want to embrace the freedom I’ve been given as a leader to further the kingdom with an open heart and fearless spirit.”
Cockrell is very passionate about Christians finding their identity in Christ and Christ alone and not in what others think about them. He believes ultimately, that you should only care about what God thinks of you and not base your life decisions on what other people may think of you.
Cockrell asserts that we don’t need to have the “plateau mindset we have.” He wants Christians to remember where their joy comes from and why they are here.
“We have to realize how radical the Lord wants us to live. As Christians, we cannot be afraid of sacrifice; whatever that maybe giving up. It might be some of your friends or your social reputation. God calls us to be fearless in our walk with him,” Cockrell said.
However, Cockrell also knows that it is pertinent for believers to have community with each other as well.
“One of my favorite parts of Refuge is the community it provides for Ouachita and Henderson students. Fellowship is such a big part of our Christian faith. Refuge is a great place to build that. You don’t have to go to Refuge. No where in the Bible does it say go to Refuge; it tells us to continually meet together and fellowship with others,” Cockrell said. “Fellowship doesn’t always look the same but Refuge is an amazing place to fellowship with other students and find out what it’s like to worship through song, word, prayer and fellowship. God wants us to have other Christians in our lives…to help grow us in our faith.”
By Phoebe Huff, staff writer