Agency helps Mesa State’s new students feel at home

Director Vicki Tucker works at the counter of Four Winds Coffee and Tea and the Christ Center. The center is an interdenominational nonprofit for Mesa State students.

Mesa State College students may have ventured into new territory by coming to Grand Junction, but Four Winds Coffee & Tea is doing what it can to make them feel at home.

The interdenominational, nonprofit organization, in cooperation with campus ministries, is serving up a free meal, Christian music and an opportunity to win a flat-screen television this weekend. The events raise funds for the various ministries on the Mesa State campus.

The annual “Meat the Freshman” event takes place at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Fine Arts building. The event includes a free steak dinner for college students and gives them an opportunity to connect with different college ministries.

Following the dinner, Four Winds is hosting a Welcome Back Week concert. Charlie Hall, a Christian worship leader and songwriter, will perform. He is a member of a group of musicians and speakers from the Passion Tour movement.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. at Brownson Arena and is open to the public. The first 200 Mesa State students will be admitted free with identification. Tickets for additional students are $3 each. General admission tickets are $7 and reserved seats are $15. Tickets are available at Four Winds and the Hamilton Rec Center or by calling 248-1058.

Hall travels around the world to sing and speak. He’s been dubbed the “Voice of the Passion.”

Four Winds Coffee & Tea, 1235 Bookcliff Ave., will be open after the concert and will remain open throughout the night as long as patrons are there.

The events continue Friday with games planned, including “Settlers of Catan” speed scrabble, a cell phone scavenger hunt and “Minute To Win It.” Games will start at 3 p.m.

Shea Bramer, winner of the Western Slope “American Idol” audition, will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

The coffee shop will give away 100 coupons for free coffee or tea at 9 p.m. It will have a drawing for one year of free drinks and a drawing for a 40-inch, flat-screen TV.

Four Winds Coffee & Tea opened in November 2009. It has special events throughout the year for college students and is open until 2 a.m. during midterms and finals. It is open to students to study or have prayer meetings. It has free Wi-Fi access.

Vicki Tucker is the director of the Christ Center, which includes study and prayer rooms in addition to the coffee shop.

“She has a heart for ministry,” said Andrew Marais, chairman of the Christ Center Ministry Board. “She has a pretty good handle on finances. She teaches a financial class in her free time. She has what a nonprofit needs. She has the discipline for financial things at the same time she has the spiritual aptitude to understand what we are doing here, and she’s young. She’s a perfect fit.”

Tucker hopes to bring in enough business to help fund the Amani Baby Cottage in Jinja, Uganda. The cottage is a Christian-based, short-term orphanage.

“We’d love to see the campus ministries use some of the funds to send students on mission trips to other countries,” Tucker said. “That’s really the final step. We know we’ve made it when we can help campus ministries send kids to different countries.”

“We want to have students engaged in local ministries as well,” Marais said. “We want students to do more than self-serve.”


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