by Chloe Bubion
It’s 8 p.m. on a Monday night. While most are busy with school issues, Krista Hengesh stands before a circle of Chapman women, asking questions and encouraging discussion under the twinkling lights hung in her backyard.
Hengesh, sophomore public relations and advertisement major and leadership minor,doubles her duties, as not only a full time student, but also as one of the leaders of the new women’s ministry group; Delight, which aims to bring the women of Chapman’s campus together to grow in faith and learn from one another’s experiences, focus on serving the community, and building friendships in the midst of their busy college schedule.
“People in college don’t often times have the chance to just sit and think and slow down, even if it is for six minutes,” Hengesh said, “so I love being able to provide that time to them.”
Originally from Oregon, Hengesh found herself at Chapman after falling in love with the location, atmosphere and community after a tour. As a freshman, Hengesh entered as a business major, but later switched to public relations and advertising as she felt it better combined her passion for people and creativity.
After working at a Young Life Christian camp in Canada last summer, Hengesh recalls that within the month of working together, the staff not only encouraged her in her faith, but changed her life so much that she was motivated to start a group on campus in hopes of fostering the same feelings she experienced during her time at the camp, here at Chapman.
“It was that community, that authentic care and love that people had for me and I had for them, that inspired me to start Delight,” Hengesh said.
As described on the group’s Facebook page, “Delight is a college women's community that grows together, serves together, learns together, and does life together while chasing after the heart of God.”
The group was inspired by a “pin” Hengesh came across on Pintrest, introducing the ministry works of two college women in Nashville, TN. Chapman’s Delight, which follows direction from the founding group at Belmont University, meets every Monday at 8 p.m. in Hengesh’s backyard. Hengesh, along with the group’s three co-leaders, freshman integrated educational studies major Annie Newman, junior communications studies major Lindsey Sarver and freshman peace studies major CJ Coulson, begin the night with a discussion about stories the women are assigned to read each week, and then move into a time of reflection and worship.
The setting is informal and inviting for member’s of the group to participate and share personal experiences and thoughts on the stories they read. Although discussions maintain a foundation of Christian values, Delight’s approach to women’s college ministry makes all feel welcome.
“Regardless of your religion, it is a welcoming place that encourages new friendships and a more positive outlook on life,” said sophomore strategic and corporate communication major Joanna Huckins.
Beyond religious beliefs, Delight also welcomes women from across Chapman’s campus, including those who are and who are not a part of Greek life.
Hengesh states that having the opportunity to listen to people’ s stories and how their experiences have impacted their lives is, “the true beauty of Delight.”
Hengesh has inspired others through her work with Delight.
“[Hengish is] So driven and always strives to help others,” said co-leader Lindsey Sarver
It is this passion for contributing to the welfare of fellow female students that makes Delight so enjoyable for Hengesh. “It is not about us (group leaders) teaching the girls who come, it about us all teaching each other,” she said.
On days the group does not meet, members post uplifting videos, quotes, and prayer requests on the Delight Facebook page.
“It’s nice to have something where we can all talk or post things we think are worth sharing,” freshman business administration major Megan Burrey said.
Hengesh’s hope for the group is that the meetings and discussions will help women realize what she believes is truly important during their time in college- developing authentic friendships and planting a seed of hope in women’s lives.
“When they (group members) hit a low point in their life,” Hengesh said, “ (I hope) that they remember the things we talked about on Monday nights- and they turn to God.”
Besides the women attending and other females on campus, Delight has captured the attention of men as well.
Junior film production major Matthew Komo also finds Hengesh’s work with Delight inspirational. “I genuinely admire the confidence in her to start something that is much larger than herself,” he said.
Like many who have heard about the women’s group, Komo said he is, “excited to see the potential of what Delight can become.”
Hengesh has not only helped other women, but has seen personal increase in her leadership and organizational skills through preparation and running group meetings.
Regardless, Hengesh stresses the women’s ministry group would not be successful without the help of her three partners who, “make this all possible,” she said.
With several weeks behind them, Hengesh is optimistic for the future of Delight and has many goals set to see it grow. One is to hold a retreat for the group members next semester. Her main priority for the group: to keep building upon the family feel of the group, increase awareness about Delight, and urge others to join and be part of the community.