Have you ever felt really home-sick? I have! I actually miss home all the time: I miss my family, I miss my friends, and – most important – I miss home cooked meals!!! I believe, every college student experiences homesickness, and there is nothing bad about it, unless you let it take over you: bad grades, being unsocial, perform badly in sports, etc. The trick is to know what to do when you feel overwhelmed by the desire to go home. Especially for students who live further away, it is a challenge. If you fly here, you probably know the struggle. It is not possible to go home for a weekend, and your parents most likely won’t come to visit you for a few days.
As a freshmen, that was what I most struggled with. After every game, my teammates would run to their parents, family members, or friends. I was used to see at least my parents at every game I played back home, and now there was no one. I couldn’t even call anyone because they were all asleep (I hate time differences!).
If you feel the same way right now, don’t worry! Even though it was a tough start into the semester, I soon realized that MNU quickly became my family. I found friends who came to watch me play, and my roommate’s parents basically adopted me. Even the professors and REs are great supporters here. I cannot imagine a soccer game without Patti or St. John cheering for us, and there are several more. I learned that MNU makes you feel at home, but it also takes a little bit effort from the students.
I know college life is busy, frustrating, and exhausting. It is easy to let something like homesickness take over. It is easy to look at old pictures and think everything new sucks, but another thing I noticed last year is that the more you separate yourself from others, the more you will miss out on all the fun. The consequence is that you get more homesick and separate yourself even more. Here is a list I created with ideas how to prevent that:
Start a project!
Call some friends and start something! Fall is the perfect time to go to a pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins! Winter is perfect for beauty or DVD nights. What about making a movie yourself or decorating the room for Christmas? There is a bunch of creative things to do. Did you know MNU had a ceramic classroom?
Talk to someone!
Talk to friends or your RE/RA or your favorite professor/coach! Maybe they know how you feel and can help you. If not, just talking helps a lot, too!
Nothing helps more than being around large groups of people. MNU offers so many events you can go to -> soccer for example =) It distracts and will change your thoughts. Plus, you spend some quality time with great people and won’t miss out on anything.
Find other people from your area!
For me, it helps a lot if I just have a little bit of Germany in Kansas. Also, there are a lot of people interested in what I know from home and vice versa. I can show them for example German dishes and they teach me something typical from their home. It is always fun and, in return, I learn something new.
Homesickness will overwhelm you if you sit in your room and do nothing. There is always something to do, even if it is homework. So get up, clean your room, go for a run, do SOMETHING!
Last night, October 4th, about fifty MNU students walked in the cold to the Harvest Prayer statue in the middle of campus and found a team of about fifteen people who were in way over their heads and praying their heart out for God’s will to be done because their human ability was just not enough.
Before I tell the story of last night and the incredible things God did, let me just say hello! My name is Renée DeVault, I am a freshmen Bible and Theology/Communications major at MidAmerica Nazarene University and I am having the time of my life here. I want to tell the story of October 4th as my “introduction” blog because it presents a model for what I hope my life on campus stays like.
Jordan Warren and a group of our friends have been praying about this series of events for about eight months but had only been planning this particular event for a few weeks, ever since meeting with a group of students who all shared a vision for revival on campus. Jordan did most of the planning, he reserved the space and the equipment, recruited the worship team, and recruited me to coordinate the prayer side of this “worship and prayer” event. When he said that he wanted to pull everything together in only a few weeks we were up for the challenge but I admit I was highly skeptical that it would all come together, further proof of why I should not be in charge 😉
But sure enough, posters were made, people recruited, equipment rented, songs practiced, and I found myself walking from my dorm to the campus mall with my prayer team, all bundled up for a cold night and scared out of my mind. We had about fifteen people setting up when I arrived a little after 5:00. I gave a disjointed pep talk to my prayer team, trying to fit four years of tips I’ve gathered from prayer ministry into a four minute crash course before rushing to help the worship team set up.
I am technology ignorant and physically uncoordinated so I generally helped with tasks like “hold this metal bar up”, “hold my phone for me”, “fill this bag with rocks”, and “You should take a picture of this.” I am constantly amazed by the technical “know-how” of my friends, watching them run wires and set up sound systems, it was definitely a very humbling experience.
At 6:00 when the team was scheduled to be practicing, the equipment wasn’t fully set up, the sound wasn’t working, the projector wasn’t working, and we were beginning to feel rain drops. Around 6:30 Jordan called us all together and asked me to pray. The fifteen of us stood in a circle, arms around each other and asked God to show up despite our human limitations, despite the sound not working, with no lyrics on the screen and possible rain. I was struck with the realization that if anything happened that night, it was going to be because of God, not because of anything on our part.
After we all prayed together, Jordan sent me to continue to pray while the rest of the team prepared for an acoustic worship set and the sound team desperately tried to turn on the sound. I began to walk around the area of our event and pray, just calling for God to come and praying for the people who were going to be coming. Fifteen minutes before seven, we found a button that hadn’t been pressed and suddenly the sound was working. There was barely enough time to do a sound check and absolutely no time to rehearse before about fifty students showed up ready to worship.
What these students got was a worship team that had never played together, a prayer team which had never prayed together, a sound system which hadn’t been fully tested, a screen which started working moments before the event, what seemed like the coldest night we’ve had in Olathe so far this year, and an encounter with the living God. It was incredible. That’s almost all I can say about it.
I saw people in tears who I had hardly ever seen show emotion. People I prayed for opened up about pain in their lives, doubts about God, anxiety about life, and generally just stuff they were struggling with. By the end of the night people were huddled in groups of two to five people praying for each other, listening for the voice of God with each other, and putting aside their worries as they discovered the joy that comes with corporate prayer and worship.
While packing up the event we shared stories about what God had done. I thought I had seen a lot but each member of our clean up crew had just as many stories as I did. It was late at night by the time we were done packing up and talking, but it felt like only a few minutes.
Some people may say it’s a small start. Fifty students, two hours of worship, no big deal compared to the huge churches and worship teams which draw thousands into auditoriums and stadiums, but numbers weren’t what we were going for. In the culture of a private Christian school, we wanted to have an event that wasn’t on the original calendar. Worship has become so normal for us that we wanted to move it to a different setting, know that we weren’t going to get spiritual formation credits, and seek God for the sake of God, not for the sake of routine or requirement. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the school scheduled events, we just reached a place where we wanted more of God than the schedule of events allowed for and we had a hunch that other students felt the same way.
So long story short we planned, we failed, but God still showed up. I can deal with that pattern. So we’re going to keep planning events because we want to be proactive in making our faith our own, not depending on what the school or ASG or Res-Life plans. We’re hoping that these events inspire people to plan their own and realize that there’s no pressure in having to perfectly plan something in order to develop their relationship with God and with fellow believers.
For our next “Night of Prayer and Worship” we’re planning on partnering with churches in the area to expand the ministry beyond MNU. For me, that’s the whole spirit of this school. We’re learning how to listen to and serve God here so that we can bring it out from here. Stay tuned, I’m hoping for many more adventures to come.
I’m sure a lot of you have heard of YWAM by now. They are an international Christian organization who’s sole purpose is to bring as many youth to Christ as they possibly can. They have gone all over the world to places like India, the Philippines, England and even Delaware. But the last two nights, they were in my hometown of Spring Hill, Kansas.
The local churches have been preparing for YWAM for months. The churches have spent countless hours praying, organizing teams, preparing food for the Impact teams, and setting up the stages. Honestly, I am relieved to be over with it. Also, I had no idea how the actual events were going to be and how the youth were going to respond.
First off, the performers and the speaker for both nights were amazing! Wednesday night, the team that performed and presented the Gospel was the Xtream Team. It was compiled of a bunch of buff men that broke hundreds of bricks with their arms, elbows, and even their heads! They also bench pressed a car engine, bent metal rods with their teeth, and ran through multiple layers of ply-boards. The whole night, my anxiety was very high. I was so nervous one of them was going to mess up and get hurt. I was not mentally prepared to see someone get a compound fracture. But despite me being a worst case scenario thinker, it was hard to not be impressed!
Here is one of the performers breaking a stack of bricks with his head!
The second night, the GX Team was in town and they were a group that had a team of pro skaters and a bmx cyclist. There was also a group that were professional dancers. They did some hip hop and contemporary routines for us all. Both groups did things that just blew me away. I do not know much about either well enough to explain it over a blog. Just trust me! They were both amazing!
The BMX Biker jumping of a ramp.
Here is a dancer from Guam doing a free style routine.
People responding to the messaged preached at the Impact World Event.
Now for the part that really matters. How did the students react? HUNDREDS!!!! So many kids went up in response to the message they heard! Hundreds of kids gave their life to Christ after just two nights! This ministry is a great one. I really did have my doubts, but they were put away after I saw all the people get up and go to the front when asked to respond. I really do believe lives were changed. Not every single one that went up, but I know a lot were changed for the better.
Impact has a few more stops in the area. They are going to a lot of schools in the Olathe area. A schedule for their Southern Johnson County tour can be found here. The events are free to go to, and all ages are welcomed.
If you don’t feel like you have time for yourself, others, or even everyone’s favorite friend Netflix; relax friend, you are not alone. There is a gravitational pull drawing us in all sorts of directions. From waking up for classes to then trying to squeeze lunch in between back to back classes. I know you’re probably wondering if it gets better. I think the busyness teaches us that we must either manage our time or our time will manage us. My advice would be to understand that sometimes priorities must change. Sometimes you have to buckle down and read those thirty pages, but other times you have to go on that walk to clear your mind.
2. When freshman 15 hits you hard
No this is not a myth unlike Santa clause ( spoiler alert), the Easter bunny ( spoiler alert the sequel), and bacon Friday goes on untill 10:30 (now I’m just saving you the embarrassment). Freshman 15 is real and it’s here. For those who are hearing of this terminology for the first time; I guess it would be worth my while to explain. Freshman 15 is the belief (that I’m living proof of) that one gains up to 15 pounds during their first year of college. Why? There’s not really one answer to that, you could just be eating because campus center food is on fleek ( delicious), or you could be stress eating, or maybe you eat every time you leave the cashier’s office. Now that you know of this epidemic, eat healthier!
3. When you have to use change to buy some mcdonald’s
It’s 10:30 at night you’re just now leaving the library after hours of studying your brain into a deep headache (yes it is possible). You decide you deserve a treat for your hard work so you drive down to your local Mcdonald’s. ” That’ll be a dollar nine.” The cashier says. So you hand her a quater, two dimes, six nickles and thirty- four pennies. If this hasn’t happen to you yet; don’t worry it’s a coming!
4. When you have to ask someone to sign you into class
This is for the times you know you’re cutting it close with attendance and you won’t make it in. The perks of being in a lecture class of about sixity students is you can find a homie ( a friend) who would be willing to sign you in if you can’t make it.
5. When you have to guard your laundry
Jonathan Green waiting for his load.
When it comes to laundry it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you leave your clothes and don’t look after it, few things might happen: Either your soaked clothes will be thrown out of the washer, your half dry clothes will be on the ground or you’ll be missing your favorite socks and sometimes underwear (this one I’m still in the process of understanding.) So one thing you must learn how to build is a “I don’t play games when it comes to my laundry” face or my friend college will be a very long socks-less experience.
6. When you have to wake yourself up for class
Our biggest enemy in this college warfare for our degree is our bed. Oh bed how evil are you! You welcome us in after a long day of classes, work, and running around. You are warm or cool whenever we need you to be. But you are so evil when we try to get up for classes you trap us in the warmth of you and the sheets! So we find oursleves creating more than one alarm to get us out of your trap. You! Will! Be! The! Death! Of! ME!
You have arrived, but you are not alone!
Too often I find mysef under the impression that I’m the only one struggling with getting use to this fast pace lifestyle. I think we all feel that way at one point or another, but you’re not alone. Maybe your struggle didn’t make the top six but it’s real and hard. So this is for you my friend, if you’re struggling with adjusting to any of these college lifestyles just know it get’s better, and you are not in this alone.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! My name is Hailey and I’m honored to be one of the freshman bloggers at MNU this year. My first video is just a little about me, what I will be posting, and what to expect. Please enjoy
The semester starts and you have a combination of confused freshmen and upperclassmen who are just ready to be finished with school already, but there is one week full of events that everyone enjoys: Welcome Week!
So whether it’s White Light or Paint Wars that grabs your attention, something is ALWAYS appealing about the first week of school.
Xandi, Ashley, Kat, and I before heading to White Light!
The gang, Post-Paint Wars!
But, for some of us, the first week of school isn’t about the ASG events. While they’re super fun and I always look forward to going, it’s the auditions for the fall play/musical that gets me going every year. This year is musical year and we had auditions for Brigadoon (Alan Jay Lerner) on the SECOND day of school! Of course, I just had to vlog about it, AND you can find that video below!
Be prepared, because this is one of the calmest vlogs I’ll post about Brigadoon. Check back weekly, especially as opening night approaches, for more vlogs about the adventures and a behind-the-scenes look at MNU’s Fall Musical Brigadoon!
Hey friends! I’m excited to say that I’m blogging for MNU again this year. Last year was a blast and I’m so thankful to be able to do this for another year.
With that being said, in case you didn’t tune in to MNU blogs last year, I’m going to re-introduce myself… here’s 5 things you should probably know about me.
1. I’m building a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I could’ve said “I love Jesus,” and that would’ve been accurate, but that doesn’t say much about my faith journey. I say that I’m building a relationship because that’s exactly what I’m doing. The past few summers and my freshman year at MNU were times when I had to examine my faith and figure out exactly what it is that I believe. I started to question many of my long-held beliefs and practices, so to say I’m re-building my faith is more fully accurate. It’s a beautiful and painful process, but I am seeing Christ for who He is and learning to be loved by Him.
2. People are my greatest fascination.
I absolutely love people. I used to think I was an extrovert because of my need to be around people, but I’ve realized that I just simply want to get to know the people that inspire and intrigue me. Human connection is my favorite thing in this world. I love running into people that I feel drawn to and then building a relationship with them. That being said, I don’t like shallow relationships. I prefer deep, authentic, vulnerable, real friendships. The kind that we are made for.
3. I live for moments.
Concerts. Road trips. Adventures. Coffee dates. I would much rather spend my money on experiences and memories rather than clothes or shoes. During the first semester of my freshman year at MNU, I decided that I wanted to go to Colorado, so I packed up my stuff and drove to Colorado Springs by myself. I’m all about seeing new things and falling in love with places and being spontaneous.
4. Music and art are my passions.
I started singing as soon as I could talk. I started playing piano when I was in middle school. I started drawing and painting in high school. I’ve always found that music and art connect me to myself, others, and the Lord. I find the most joy when I can use my hobbies and talents to bless others and bring joy.
5. I still have a lot to learn.
There is so much I don’t know. About myself. About my faith. About what I want in life. But that’s okay, because I’m learning. I’m expectant that my sophomore year of college will consist of lots of learning… not only in my classes, but also in my every day life. I have a solid group of friends that I’m learning alongside, and together we’re figuring it all out. (Or trying to, at least.) It’s exciting to question and wonder and hope and dream.
…so there you have it. I hope this post revealed more of who I am! Catch ya next week!
When I was in 3rd grade, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and left an estimated 1,800 people dead and many more injured, homeless, and hopeless. Being a child, I couldn’t comprehend exactly what had happened, but I knew one thing. That the people affected needed help. They needed hope.
I don’t know why Hurricane Katrina affected me so much as a 3rd grader, but it did. After hearing about the immensity of the devastation, I decided that I wanted to help as much as I could. I gathered up some lemonade mix from my pantry, propped up a table at the end of my driveway, and held a lemonade stand. I made signs saying “Proceeds go to Hurricane Katrina” and that was about it. It was simple, but it made a difference. I had people come up, buy a cup of lemonade, and tell me to keep the change on a $10 bill. As a 3rd grader, that was a huge deal. When all was said and done, I had raised about $140 for disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
A few weeks ago, when the news about the earthquake in Nepal spread, I couldn’t help but think back to my 3rd grade self. The enthusiasm and fearlessness I had when it came to helping others. A child-like mentality. I didn’t worry about the logistics of things. I didn’t let fear of failure get in the way. I just did it because I wanted to help. And in the end, I did.
After hearing details about what’s been going on post-earthquake in Nepal, I felt like it was my responsibility to do everything I could to help out. It was a weird feeling. I mean, lots of natural disasters have happened since Hurricane Katrina and I hadn’t felt this sort of inclination toward those. So why Nepal? And more importantly… How can a broke college student with a full time job this summer help out? I don’t have money and I don’t have time.
I believe it was God who placed this sort of “broken-heartedness” for Nepal in me. I believe that He wants to use me to help. After God set this passion inside of me, I started praying about ways that I can help. I knew that I was being called to do more than just give $20 to an organization. God wanted me to provide ways for others to get involved. He wanted me to empower and encourage others to make a difference with me.
When natural disasters strike, it sometimes becomes overwhelming for people to help. There are hundreds of organizations asking for donations. Some people get skeptical. Some people think they don’t have enough to give, so they don’t give at all. Some people don’t even think about it. Some people just don’t care enough. I wanted to wipe all those excuses away. I wanted people to be able to give as much or as little as they want, assured that 100% of the money will go to an accredited organization that will directly help Nepal.
As I thought more about this, I began brainstorming ways to raise money for Nepal. I thought of doing another lemonade stand. I thought of a bake sale. I thought of a concert at a coffee shop. I thought of lots of ideas, but none of them were cutting it. I knew that when I thought of the right idea, it would light a spark in me.
And, when I was trying to take a nap in my dorm room one afternoon, the spark was lit. Right as I was drifting to sleep, I thought of creating greeting cards. Immediately, names of people that could help me came to my head. Ideas for designs were being drawn up in my mind. There was so much going on in my brain that I got up, grabbed a notebook, and wrote everything down. I started researching every little detail. I knew without a doubt that this was what I was supposed to do.
I started asking some people to be on my team. I picked a mission organization to partner with. I contacted local businesses about selling cards. My dream was turning into a reality.
I’ve had many doubts throughout this process, but I’ve had to remind myself that God is faithful. If He calls me to something, He will equip me. I keep looking back to my 3rd grade self and it reminds me of what child-like faith looks like.
I don’t know what this will all end up looking like. I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know that I serve a God who is for me and will help and provide. He’s been faithful so far and I expect Him to be faithful until the end, as He promises.