I must say, being a Pioneer is fo shizzle the bomb.
Before I move into telling you why, I’ve decided to share with you why I chose MNU in the first place. So sit back, (or forward- whatever is most comfortable for you) and (hopefully) enjoy reading a little bit about my story.
I am a Pastor’s kid. In fact, I’m a Nazarene pastor’s kid. Meaning, I’ve grown up going to and being brought to Church my whole life. And actually, I’m grateful for it. I’ve got amazing parents that love Jesus, love each other, and they love us kids. I am the youngest of four. I am from SouthEastern California, El Centro to be exact. A relatively small agricultural border town community.
I played football the first three years of high school, ran four years of track, and two weeks of soccer (We can discuss that later). I’ve grown up playing sports, but playing at MNU is still more of a DREAM than a reality… mainly cause we’re bosses at pretty much all our sports, and i’m no boss… Anyway, I enjoy playing the guitar. I started playing the summer going into my senior year and starting next Tuesday I’ll be teaching two guys in my hall all that I know!
Now to my choice of MNU.
I chose MNU over several other schools for a few deliberate reasons.
1. The Faculty and staff seem to be predominantly genuine lovers of God and lovers of people. More than just talk the talk, they authentically care for people, extend grace, and are patient (again this is in general). Anyway seeing that type of a person live their life in such a way obviously makes me want to learn from them!
2. The Community is off the chain. When I came on an extended SCOUT visit, I stayed in Snowbarger. While I was here, rather than being treated as some little high schooler, I was treated as a friend that just happened to be a couple years younger. I dig that.
3. Frankly I wanted to get away from home. Not that those who live close to MNU shouldn’t come! But for me, I wanted to get away from California and familiarity. I figured that if I went to a place where I wasn’t really known or knew of anyone else, I’d be forced to be more independent and be forced into “clinging” to God-depending on Him for support and family. I testify today that He is faithful to provide.
4. Referring back to the Faculty and Community, the attitude/atmosphere seems to be intentionally Kingdom-minded. What I mean by that is that the rhythms and standards and events and policies are attempts to make an environment that is Christ-centered and Christ-like. For the sake of others we choose to live the way we live. For example living in the dorms, we work to observe quiet hours when it’s late at night and early in the morning. This is because when you’re trying to sleep, people yelling in the hall or blaring their music often makes it harder to fall asleep. For the sake of others we choose to live the way that we do. I really dig that.
Finally (for now), after my first year of college officially in the history of mankind, I confess that I came away satisfied. And now that I am four weeks into my Sophomore year, I am still really enjoying it!
College is different from all of my previous school experiences. Most distinctly is in the fact that I now live and eat with the people that I go to school with. It makes for more “relational-building” time. For that I am ever grateful. I’ve got a great roommate, and the guys in my hall are stellar. I’ll be sharing more about them later on-some are in the photo above! For now though
I’m going to say toodles and peace in the Middle East friends!
Grateful in Him,
Mario Paul Flores