May. That lovely month where college students all across the nation make their way home. The hassle of packing, finishing finals, and traveling are all a part of the university experience and home becomes that light at the end of the tunnel for many of us. For the past two years, I have made the trek from Regent University all the way back to my hometown of Valdez, Alaska, for the summer break. My excitement is focused on seeing my family again, so the journey goes by fairly quickly now. Read more
The e-mail from Regent University’s Director of Marketing and Communications read, “Congratulations, Bloggers! I am pleased to welcome you to the family of blog contributors for ‘Out of the Ordinary,’ the new Regent student blog” (March, 2012). I remember that day well. I was ecstatic. I wanted to try out my writing hands, kind of like one’s “sea legs.” In my blogs, I had, and still have, a two-fold purpose that I wanted to accomplish.
The first was that I wanted to bring glory to God in each blog. I knew that the temptation would be strong to wander off of that purpose and pursue some sort of agenda. I asked God to keep my writing aligned with His purposes. One thing that I have learned in this time of blogging for Regent is that if one earnestly desires to bring glory to God in whatever it is he or she is doing, He will accept it as praise and worship and use it for even mightier things!
The second purpose that I wanted to accomplish was to fulfill the blog objective which “. . . is to highlight how your education and experience at Regent is reflected in all areas of life.” (Tocquigny, March, 2012) Wow, what a privilege that a great university like Regent would ask me to talk about my education and experiences, and how it has transformed my life, if I only had the time and opportunity to expound on that.
As an online student, I haven’t even visited the campus yet; however, I look forward to visiting some day and meeting the great faculty, and hopefully fellow students, who have guided my education and experience at Regent. In all of this, I want to take the time to say “thank you.” First, I want to thank Jesus for what He has done for me personally in His saving grace. I became a Christian in 1995, and these last 19 years have been amazing. I am a truly transformed man, and am continually being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Second, I want to thank Regent and everyone who is associated with the university. From the school’s founder, Dr. Pat Robertson, through every dean, department head, instructor, faculty member, fellow student and alumni; the people of Regent University have embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are always looking for innovative and tangible ways to share that Gospel worldwide. By God’s amazing grace in so many ways, this has been a truly wonderful educational experience!
Regent University Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, personal communications, March 06, 2012
Student Blog Contributor Guide. Tocquigny: A Measured Approach. March 8, 2012, Regent University.
We made the most of our last day of ministry in Richmond. From tutoring in public schools to digging in the dirt, our team had a jam packed day working in the community. Thank you for praying for our team throughout our trip!
Spring: Today I got the opportunity to hang out with some awesome kindergartners at Chimborazo Elementary School. Although considered one of the best schools in the neighborhood, the school still needs assistance. In our classroom, we got to go through reading stations with the kids and bring them to lunch. I had an awesome opportunity during the reading stations to minister to one of the girls named Spring. Read more
We couldn’t think of a better way to spend Ash Wednesday. We worked with kids, served in houses and ended the evening with a special Ash Wednesday service.
Getting “Wacky:” Today was “Wacky Wednesday” where the students from CHAT get to choose electives such as cooking, sewing, JV basketball, and dancing. Half of our group helped out in these events while the other group of us went to the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club to tutor the younger kids. Read more
From painting projects, to tearing up carpets, our mission team served local homes and organizations. Towards the end of the day, we threw on our gym clothes and headed to the dodge ball and basketball courts. With a rainbow of foam balls flying, we engaged in an epic dodge ball tournament with a group of local middle schoolers and high schoolers. Read more about our fourth day in Richmond below from Esther and Emily.
The simple acts: This morning we had a devotional with Paul and Anna, two CHAT leaders, and the message was so on point. Paul spoke on the passage of John 15 and how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Even though pruning may seem like a hurtful process, it is all out of love. Paul also challenged us to tell God, “I know I’m going to see you today, help me to acknowledge you and see you in all things.” This really encouraged me because, although that may be my prayer many times, I don’t always act upon it. However, today while my group cleaned out a house, I remember just scrubbing a toilet and finding the joy in that simple act. I realized that even though it may not seem like much, it is still ministry and it is act of praise. God has been teaching me to find joy in the small things because ministry does not always have to look like a busy schedule or doing big events. Today blessed me so much and I’m looking forward to more adventures tomorrow.
Making Friends: Today was a full, but tiring day. We cleaned a whole rental house, including ripping up carpet, and we also got to hang out with the kids in the neighborhood at the gym. There were a couple of girls there who I wanted to connect with, but I felt intimidated by the year-long interns who already had an established relationship with the students. I decided to share my fear with our understanding leader, Jason, instead of just internalizing it. He encouraged me to just “go for it” and go up to the girls and say, “Hey, my name Emily and I’m going to be your friend.” I immediately decided that even though I only have a few days left here to develop relationships, “what do I have to lose?” I ended up making friends with these two amazing, loving girls. We had some small talk, played dodge-ball, and laughed about how I couldn’t pronounce their names. One girl hugged me and said she hopes she sees me tomorrow—success.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
With a blanket of snow covering Richmond, we took the early part of the day to learn more about CHAT’s mission and serve them by completing tasks that will enhance their ministry. Read below to learn more about our experiences serving and residing in Richmond. Read more
The Regent University Richmond Mission Trip has officially begun. Over the course of the next week, students will facilitate the inner city children programs run by Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT). Regent students will be writing each day about their experiences. Check back on the Out of the Ordinary Student blog for updates. You can also follow the hashtag #RUatRVA on Instagram and Twitter to see live updates from the trip. Please be praying for our team as they serve the Lord and His people this week.
Arriving in Richmond: Saturday afternoon we arrived in Richmond, unloaded our luggage, and headed straight for the Richmond Slave Trail. I had no idea that Richmond was the second largest city for slave trade and I did not know what to expect when we started the trail. We were told that the slave trail would be a couple hours of walking and it would also be a prayer walk, praying for the city, healing, and particularly race reconciliation. Read more
Good things happen when we are willing to embrace change and go with the flow. This is something I know all too well. What is this flow? God’s wonderful, awesome and powerful Holy Spirit.
A couple months ago, I did something that I never thought possible. While completing my culminating internship, I was asked by the principal of the internship site to conduct an assembly for grades 1-8.
In the past, I probably would’ve tried to wiggle my way out of it, but when asked, I accepted the challenge. No sooner than I said yes, he asked, “Do you think you could also do the Teacher’s Devotion and Assembly on Monday? Again, I decided to willingly submit by adding, “Sure. Yes I will do it.”
Afterwards, Mr. Bonifas took the time to give me some pointers about how he conducts the assembly and shared the theme for the week. The lesson I was scheduled to share was taken from John 3:3 about how to be born again.
The morning of the assembly, I was going over my notes in the auditorium when a friendly little girl with a bubbly disposition came over to ask me what I was doing. After sharing what I was about to do, she replied, “What is born again?” I took that as my cue to share a mini version of the lesson. Read more
Finals week is done and now I can rest easy. Well, that is almost true. All of my on-campus classes have concluded, but I still have a week’s worth of work for my eight-week class on small group communication.
This semester hasn’t been any more or less difficult than my other semesters, but it has been different. Knowing that every annual event like the Chili Bowl, the Costume Party, Pancake Feast, and Winter Ball will be my last produces a sense of nostalgia that I did not expect.
It’s not like I don’t want to graduate. I do! Regent has prepared me to go into the world and be a Christian leader but it has also provided me with such a loving community that I know in the end it will be hard to go. Maybe those feelings will fade into excitement with this upcoming semester. I’ll let you know, but until then I’m just going to relax the days away–and by relax I mean complete as many of my Christmas Break Bucket List items as possible!
Leila’s Christmas Break Bucket List
- Start looking at jobs.
- Sleep 8 hours every night.
- Improve my cooking skills.
- Volunteer at the food bank.
- Watch all the Christmas movies!
- Think about building a tree house.
- Read all the Chronicles of Narnia.
- Work on my standup comedy act.
- Experience Christmas at Williamsburg.
- Get as many pictures with Santa as possible.
- Plan out community events for my life group girls.
- Get through as much of my Netflix queue as possible.
- Purge my room of unnecessary material possessions.
- Complete some of the crafts on my Pinterest “If I was DIY Savvy” board.
- See all the good movies that are coming out with friends and family (i.e. “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” etc.).
Wish me luck! What is on your Christmas Bucket List? I’ll let you know how my list goes if you share with me yours! Sound good? Great! I’ll see you after Christmas Break!
Living according to the lifestyle of the so-called “developed world” needs the resources of about three worlds to sustain. While our daily routines have a significant impact on the environment, our holidays impact the scarce resources of this world even more. How can we plan holidays with a smaller carbon footprint?
- Travel shorter distances to nearby holiday destinations.
In contrast: traveling to destinations that are far away uses much more jet fuel or petrol, which depletes the limited oil reserves and pollutes the environment.
- Choose small, rural accommodations such as private farms or cottages, which might be utilizing more natural sustainable resources.
In contrast: visiting large holiday resorts or hotels might sound attractive, but these enterprises use huge amounts of energy for building materials, food, water and electricity. Read more