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.
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!
These are 8 memories that I hope to never forget. Freshman year was a blast, and although I’m glad it’s summer, I’m gonna miss the Stockton dorm life! Shoutout to all these amazing people who made fun memories with me.
1. White Light Event
Enjoying a classy evening with my friend, Dani Morgan.
This event was not only the one that broke the ice with me and my hall mates, but also where I officially met one of my best friends at MNU… Hannah Bostic. I saw her standing alone by the bleachers, went up to her and said “Let’s be friends,” and the rest is history.
Having fun at the awards party with Gideon’s Army!
I’m convinced that this is the best campus job out there. It also has the best boss. And this year’s team was the best, as well. I will never forget how Pete tried to pin McKenzie and I against each other. And Marisa’s endless, but hilarious, story-telling. And Kory and I’s games of hangman. And the constant, but hidden, note passing between Maggie, Kat, and I.
3. Colorado Trip #1
Eating at Qdoba in Colorado Springs with some church friends.
On my birthday weekend, I road tripped to Colorado Springs to visit one of my best friends, Melodie, and also another friend of mine from church. It was so fun to explore with them and enjoy the mountains together.
Some SCOUT students hanging out in my room.
SCOUT was the main reason why I fell in love with MNU, so getting to host a SCOUTer this year was a great experience. It was awesome to see my friends and the other SCOUTers hang out in my dorm that night! So much fun. Shoutout to Elda, who was the best SCOUTer I could’ve asked for.
5. Spiritual Life Retreat
Drawing and praying during evening prayer.
I learned so much at this MNU retreat and met a lot of cool people that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have met. The fellowship was outstanding. (To read what I learned while at this retreat, check out a previous blog of mine here.)
6. KC Hangs
Chillin’ with Super Mario in Art Alley.
There were countless hangs in KC this year, there’s no way I could pick just one. My personal favorite places to go this year were First Fridays, Thou Mayest, Art Alley, Power and Light, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
7. Colorado Trip #2
Stopped for a selfie with the mountains in the background! What an amazing team to work with.
I had the privilege to work alongside some amazing people on a missions trip at Golden Bell Camp in Divide, Colorado. We had a blast and made some awesome memories. (Check out Mariah’s blog posts about this trip here and here.)
8. Tour de Compadres
Waiting in line with these beautiful girls!
Easily one of the best concerts of my life. The music was perfect. The friends were perfect. The night altogether was perfect.
That’s a wrap, freshman year! Here’s to many more memories this summer and next year. You’ll all be hearing about them when I blog again next year! Until then… HAGS!
A few weeks ago, I completed an assignment for Public Relations class, in which I was assignment to a group and we had to organize an event for a local non-profit company. We chose Kids TLC, an organization that provides shelter and social services to children and youth who are facing abuse, neglect or family disruption, located right here in Olathe. We planned this event basically the whole semester. We had weekly meetings, contacted various people, gathered a lot donations in order to carry out our event. My group had a little bit of everything, a comedian, a perfectionist, a peacemaker, a worker, and an enigma.
Our glorious leader, Kensi Kitsmiller. She was our peacemaker, she was a benevolent ruler, and she never did anything or order anyone to do anything without making sure everyone was on board with here decisions
Ladies & Gentlemen, meet Armand Banks, our comedian also he was the one who kept track of our notebook and made sure everything that we all did for event was in our notebook. I played football with Armand at MNU.
Next we have our perfectionist, Rebecca Smith (aka Becky). As you can see Becky has a son, and well… really she has a lot on her plate. She has multiple jobs, goes to school, and takes care of her son. I’m so impressed with how she handles herself. She was our secretary she wrote downs everything at our weekly meetings and she answered all of our questions about what we were all assigned in each meeting. She by herself almost spent about $100 dollars on our event, (Good thing MNU paid her back.)
Now here is our enigma, Mauricio Bobino. This guy is unique individual to say the least. He never really talked much at our meetings, also he worried us a lot because it seemed like he never understood the task that we given to him, but he always did was he was supposed to and surprised us a lot by going above and beyond in some of his taks. I also played football with Mauricio.
As for me, I was the worker. I just kept my head down, and I did what I was told. I was appointed the graphic designer of the group, and it was my job to come up with some cool designs for the project.
The idea we come up with (after our first idea was shot down by our teacher) was #throwBAGthursday. ThrowBAG Thursday was a challenge for the day of April 9th, instead of you using your backpack, my group and I are challenged people to carry plastic bags instead. We extended this challenge to raise awareness for homeless kids in Johnson County. We had check points at the library and campus center for chances to enter in a drawing for gift cards and other prizes, but you had to your bag to enter the drawing. Our event specifically highlighted the Kid’s TLC SOS (Street Outreach Services) program, which is a mobile community based unit providing social intervention services to youth ages 12-21 who are couch surfing, getting kicked out of the house, thinking about leaving home, experiencing homelessness as a part of a family, or living on the streets. I loved our idea and I had a blast designing stuff for it.
I mean come on, you guys tell me what you think.
I also played of the whole throwback thursday thing, also I brought back someone that well… everyone should know (but some of you younger kids have no idea who this guy is).
Yes thats right I brought back Steve Urkel from Family Matters.
I mean if this guy doesn’t catch you attention, and make you read the flyer, then idk what else would do.
Our event was a massive success, all over campus you could see people, walking around with plastic bags and raising awareness for the SOS program.
We even had a lot of MNU staff and faculty participating. Here is the marketing office getting ready to join into our event.
Kensi and Armand are getting the last preparations together before we kicked off our event.
Throughout the whole day we we had over 400 MNU students and staff take part and it was amazing.
Students like Mario, were essential to making our program a success. Mario told everyone about our event and I can’t even imagine how many people took part in our event because he told them about it.
Here are a couple of our models. Trent Hedlund the MNU starting QB, and Lafaele Passelio the starting LT. These guys were excited to be our models and I made sure they were shown all over twitter, Facebook, instagram, and snapchat.
Our event ended with a speaker from Kids TLC talking to some of people who entered our drawing about what they can do to help the homeless in Johnson County and giving them some facts about homelessness.
I was so honored to raise awareness and do what I could to help Kid’s TLC and their SOS program. Our event so was so successful, and you already know we received a good grade on the whole. What was the grade you ask? Idk yet, I’ll find out when the final grades come out.
Every part of our campus is prepping for the end of the academic year. Finals are coming up, and many departments are gearing up for the final haul.
I’m getting ready for finals, but also getting ready for Glow with the Flow on Sunday, and for ASG work week after that, and I’m very excited for both of those.
Glow with the Flow is ASG’s annual glow party at the end of the year. It involves inflatables, glow sticks, dancing, and food. The event is the hand off event for Social Life on ASG, so as the new director, this is the first event I’ll be taking over and planning, and I can’t wait. It’s Sunday at 9pm on Land if you’re a current student, so get yourself down there.
Work week is when the new ASG exec council preps for the new year and specifically the fall semester. We will work on calendar scheduling, and getting everything ready for next year. We also get to do some team building and other fun stuff.
Then, after work week, I’ll be moving into Colony West, one of the apartment style residence halls, and prepping to travel this summer with MNU SERVEteams, after performances in Chicago with the choir.
Even though school is drawing to a close, there’s still a lot to be done!
As we begin to wrap up the school year, I don’t know about anyone else, but my stress meter has exploded. I just finished a 1500 word paper, which, that sounds really bad, but I actually quite enjoyed it! It just took too much time.
Lately my mind has been everywhere in attempts to process everything that’s going on all at once. I feel like I’m trying to relive the past school year in hopes to make sure they’re real. If that makes sense. Being a sensitive person, the end to this school year has really got me on an emotional roller coaster. Speaking of roller coasters, I’m SUPER pumped to go to World of Fun on Friday!!! That is my motivation to get me through this week. Then parts of me wants this week to drag out so it’ll last longer.
I’m excited for the school part of school to be over, but I will without a doubt bawl my eyes out without the day we leave. That means only one Sunday left at Drexel too. If only college was a big fun camp to hang out with people. I’m just kidding, I love school, it’s so great. Learning things is fun (my mom reads my blogs).
One really important aspect of my life right now RA training. We recently were kidnapped twice, once for iHop and the second for 7 Eleven slushies. It was all worth it. I’m already thinking of ideas for next years RA’s: better watch out! We also had our induction ceremony which honestly wasn’t even a ceremony. Our RE’s were in animal costumes and we played kickball. It was possibly the greatest thing ever. We start getting serious about training after school is out. As much as I don’t want school to end, I’m excited to start training. I have high hopes for next year and can’t wait to see what God has in store for me and the girls on my hall, along with the other RA’s. It’s going to be a blast!
With these next couple of weeks before school is out, I have to keep reminding myself that the four months of summer will go by in the blink of an eye, just like this past year did. All the flowers and leaves that are blooming on campus get me all giddy inside and ready for summer. Our campus is truly beautiful.
Not sure what to blog about this week, so I figured I’d just talk about what’s going on.
It’s coming down to the wire here at MNU, with just a month left of school, and it seems like I have something stressful going on in every part of my life.
Thursday night, we had our second Awakening. This time, we had it outside on the circle lawn, and it was SO good. The setting was perfect, and we got closer again to accomplishing what we’ve set out to do: to see our campus set on fire for God.
Today, I visited a different church than my home church and had a great time. It’s called Mission Church and it’s in Lenexa, KS.
Tonight we have Nazzy Night Live. It’s being put on by ASG and it’s basically the MNU version of SNL. There will be sketches, videos and even a jazz band. I led a group that came up with a few of the sketch and video ideas, and we think we did a pretty good job, but tonight’s audience will be the judge of that.
I’m looking forward to serving as the ASG Director of Social Life for the next school year. Tonight after Nazzy Night Live we’re having a meeting about a leadership event we’re attending called Nazarene Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). The event is being held at our Nazarene sister school, Olivet Nazarene University. We’re all very excited to go and learn about how to be an effective leader and work as a team.
Presley Wilson is the current ASG Director of Social Life, and I’ve started training and shadowing under her. We are in the process of getting things ready for our end of the year event, Glow With the Flow, so you can definitely expect to hear about that in a future blog.
My church’s annual egg hunt, Eggstreme Eggstravaganza, is coming up this Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited to see a bunch of little kids running around a field picking up plastic and candy. Kidding. It actually will be a really fun event, and a great community outreach opportunity however.
That’s what’s coming up in my life, thank you so much for reading.