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Community - 5/11 - MNU Blogs

Katie Linsey


January 15, 2015

Blessed Semester Ever

January 15, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

My church has been doing a series called “Blessed Year Ever” to kick off the New Year. During this series, my pastor has talked about how, as Christ followers, we can ensure that 2015 will be a year of blessing, and possibly the blessed year ever.

This series, along with the mindset of “starting over” that the New Year always brings, has gotten me thinking a lot about how I want 2015 to look for me personally. I learned a lot my first semester of college and went through lots of new experiences, both good and not so good, that have taught me a lot. These lessons have changed the way I think, act, and the way I want to live my life in general.

If I had to describe my first semester in college in a few words, I would describe it as “amazing and overwhelming.” It was amazing for obvious reasons: new friends, community, and an opportunity to grow as a Christ follower. It was overwhelming because of the lack of balance I experienced. I had a hard time balancing my time, people I wanted to get to know, schoolwork, and many other things. Having to find that balance (and realizing that I will never fully find it) honestly changed me for the better.

I want to dedicate this semester to growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus and building stronger connections within the community at MNU.

I want to seek God wholeheartedly. I want to become bolder in my faith, listening to the Lord and being intentional in everything I do. I want to delight in the presence of God. I want passion and zeal and fire. I want to be so recklessly confident in what God is doing in and through my life that I listen to Him without second thoughts. I want to feel Him all the time, inviting Him into every aspect of my life.

I want to better understand what it means to be a part of a community of believers. I want to dig deeper in my friendships that developed last semester. I want to talk about the hard stuff. I want to encourage and push people to become stronger in their relationship with Jesus. I want to make new friends. I want to make the most of every moment I have in this community because it’s beautiful and I won’t have it forever. I want to make memories that I will never forget. I want to laugh and cry, going through the joys and sorrows of life with some of my favorite people on this earth.

MNU is a special place. I am confident that God has me here for reasons that are unknown to me now. Growing deeper in my relationship with Him and also with the community is something that I’m very excited about. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Praise God that a place such as MNU exists.

Cheers to second semester, Pioneers!


Mariah McCommon


January 6, 2015

January 5th, 2015

January 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey guys. This post will be a very serious one and forgive me it’s long. As my fellow bloggers have posted already, the MNU community lost a beautiful young lady who was a bright star shining on our campus.

Personally, I didn’t know her but I have seen through her friends that she was an absolute joy to be around and from her pictures she was always smiling. Although I did not know her, I do know how this goes and my deepest empathies go out to the community.

Today is the day in which we are saying our “see you laters” to the beautiful Quincy and it also happens to be the day after a student from my high school was shot and killed by the passenger while driving his car. The suspect has not been found, but the intense search will not cease until he is found.

During my four years of high school, a total of six students died and since graduation, two more from the school. Freshman year, a girl on color guard and a spritely friend to many was killed in a car accident. Sophomore year, not long after her graduation, the Homecoming Queen, honor student, and Sunday School teacher was hit intentionally by a car and was raped during her final breaths. The summer before my junior year, a girl in my class thought to be at a dead end with her life and ended it. She was so sweet to me in a class we had together and she was much loved by her friends and family. My final year of high school was hoped to be the year without any tragedies… second semester, my best friend and I befriended a sophomore in our gym class. We all sat at lunch together and were always laughing. She was incredibly vibrant and her smile could light up any room she was in. That’s the way she lived; happy and care-free. She was unfortunately involved in a car accident and was instantly killed. Approaching the end of senior year, an intelligent senior was killed in yet another car accident along with her father as they were returning home from enrolling in college. On May 18th, 2014, another student felt like his life was over as well so he ended it. He had just graduated that morning along with the rest of us.

The community is still experiencing these kind of tragedies. A young sophomore this school year lost her battle with cancer. And yesterday, someone I graduated with was shot. It has been difficult to wrap my head around all of this and there are truly no words or answers to express what has been going on. Although my words have been depressing so far, ultimately I want to provide hope to whoever may be reading this.

This life is temporary, I think we all know that. But the sting of pain still remains as we experience loss and various kinds of heartache. It’s alright to feel pain and feel sad, but it’s important to not allow it to consume you. After all, Jesus cried too (John 11:35). Quincy and these other students would want us to be happy. I’m sure of it. The lives they led and faith they portrayed is something we can all learn from and work towards. I believe seasonal depression is a thing and that is something I’m currently trying to overcome. It doesn’t help that everything seems to happen in the dead of winter. The tragedies we experience in life seem huge while it’s happening and maybe long after they happen, but the good news is that God is still and always will be bigger than the catastrophe. Peace rests in my mind knowing that they all are smiling down upon us at the right hand of God Himself. How cool is that? They are with Him right now and we’ll see them again. In all of eternity, we are just passing through this life and it will soon be a simple blink of an eye. God promises us through His word that those who love Him will receive everlasting, life. In Revelation chapter 21 God says,

“God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.” (NLT)

Later in Revelation, God provides us with an epilogue that states,

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me,
and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.” (NLT)

I hope and pray that God comforts those who have been affected by these sudden misfortunes. He welcomes those who are weary and burdened. As for me, my strength comes from The Lord and will guide me through with the help of the two extremely strong communities that I’m so blessed to be a part of. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and continue to express all the love you possibly can to the people around you.


Katie Linsey


December 4, 2014

Inside Look: Musical Talent at MNU

December 4, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey guys! So, this semester at MNU I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really awesome, unique, talented people. It’s been really fun getting to know people and finding out about their passions and talents. Through learning about people, I’ve discovered that quite a few of my friends are musically talented and love using that talent as a way to connect with people. Here’s a video of some of my friends talking about their passion for music and giving us a little glimpse of their talent. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing all the amazing talent at MNU… so make sure you watch till the end! :)

Hope you have a great week, friends! See you next week!


Luther Okeyo


November 30, 2014

Thank You So Much!!

November 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

I know it’s a little late, but it’s been a weird week. I’m still getting over the fact that my football playing days are over. Well let me start over, we lost our playoff game last week to Southern Oregon University last week. It’s been an amazing season, and a wonderful career here at MNU. I have so many great memories that I can take with me for the rest of my life. I just want to thank some of the many people who were able to make all this possible for me.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn't certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. Through thick and thin, they were right there to help me out. I wouldn’t certainly be here without them. I love them all to death.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

Coach John Diaz, for introducing MNU into my life, and helping me through the tough summer workouts, and making sure that I was always ready for whatever football threw at me.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

The former head football coach Jonathan Quinn for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play football here at MNU.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

My freshman mentor, Kara Quinn. During my early years at MNU, Kara was there for me, when no one else could. She is getting married to this lucky guy, Chris Lindenmeyer. Fun fact: Chris was my RA my freshman year.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I've known him. He is more than just coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I'm honored to have gotten to know him.

Last, but certainly not least, Coach Willmer. This man, has taught me so much in few months I’ve known him. He is more than just a coach, he teaches you about life, about staying strong in your faith. I’m honored to have gotten to know him.

I mean I could spend all day thanking countless people for all they have to help me get where I am today. I’m just grateful I got to do something that only 1% of all americans get to do. I was able to play college football. Now I get to follow my mom’s footsteps and become a college graduate. I just want to thank everyone who had a part in shaping me to become the man I am today. I want to thank MNU for providing a platform, most of all thank you God for guiding through this huge part of my life.

Now I just have to get used to just being a regular student now.


Aaron Merrell


November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Break and Visiting Friends

November 29, 2014 | By | One Comment

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!  I had a great time with family and friends, and of course I had to do some major shopping Thursday evening and Friday morning (and yes, I did sleep from 7am-2pm on Friday).

Then today, my friends Rico, Annie and I went to Abilene, KS to see our friend Ana.  We also met up with Ana’s friend who we’ve all come to love, Jordan.  We toured the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Childhood Home in Abilene, and also went to such glamorous Abilene hot spots as Taco Grande, Pizza Hut and Sonic.  We also had the opportunity to visit the local park/playground.

Of course when one is as close as we were to a Braum’s restaurant you have no choice but to go.  I tried a holiday flavor and it left me bitter, once again, that we don’t have one here in Kansas City.

This trip and a few others have shown me the importance of visiting friends at home as often as you can.  This can give life to their stories about their houses, their families, and what they did back home during High School.  Even if it means having to survive a small, old town for a day, you can have an amazing, eye-opening time!

Here’s a bonus picture of Ana, Annie and I on horse swings made of recycled tires in Abilene today:


Hope you all have an awesome week, and I’ll see you next weekend!


Katie Linsey


November 27, 2014

9 People I’m Thankful For At MNU

November 27, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Since today is Thanksgiving, I figured it would be appropriate to give shout-outs to the people I’m most thankful for at MNU. I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know everyone on campus, but these people have made my experience at MNU extraordinary. Here’s my top 9… love you all!

1. Christa Johnson

Christa Johnson

This girl is not only my roommate, but also my best friend at MNU. When we decided to be roommates in May, I honestly didn’t expect to become so close with her so fast, but it happened. She knows me better than anyone else at MNU and I can completely be myself around her. I wouldn’t trade the late nights and early mornings for anything.


2. The Gangstas

The Gangstas

The girls on my hall are great and I’ve become extremely close with a group of them. We like to call ourselves the “gangstas.” Don’t really ask me how we came up with that, because I don’t have an answer. The “gangstas” group consists of Christa Johnson, Hannah Bostic, J.D. Andrews, Ashton Mason, Natalie Cumberland and myself. It’s been a joy doing everyday life with them at MNU. They are an answered prayer in so many ways that they don’t even know. We laugh hard and dig deep and it’s the best group I’ve ever been a part of.


3. Ana Weissenbach 

Ana Weissenbach

This girl is my RA, but more than that, she is a dear friend of mine. I have a strong feeling that Ana would act with the same selflessness and genuine care about everyone she meets even if she wasn’t being paid to do so. That’s the thing about her… she just genuinely loves people and shows the love of Christ in everything she does. It’s seriously inspiring. I look up to her on so many levels and I’m so blessed to be able to share the joys and struggles of life with her this year.


4. Dani Morgan

Dani Morgan

This girl is the reason I am at MNU. Sounds a little exaggerated, I know, but it’s really not. When I came to SCOUT at MNU my junior year, I was extremely blessed to have been able to room with her and Alex (the inseparable duo). We hit it off and decided to keep in touch. Then, when I ended up at SCOUT again my senior year, I was welcomed into her dorm like it was my own home. Even while I was still in high school, she managed to show me a glimpse of the community at MNU just by the way she loved me and cared about me. Now that I’m at MNU and get to see her everyday, I’m the happiest person.


5. Pete Brumbaugh 

Pete Brumbaugh

Pete Brumbaugh, otherwise known as Phonathon Pete, was my boss for the past 6 weeks. He deserves the biggest shout-out for being one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. He genuinely cares about all of his employees, and I can confidently say he genuinely cares about me. He wants to hear about my life and realizes that there’s life outside of the workplace. He has been one of my greatest encouragers during my first semester at MNU and I’m excited for the future of the Phonathon with him as my boss!


6. My Blog Bosses (Kelly, Kim, and Amy)

MNU Blogs

This team of people that live in Dobson deserve so much recognition for all they do. When I initially interviewed with Kim and Amy, I knew immediately that I wanted to be on the blogging team. Kelly, Kim, and Amy are all amazing people and getting to know them has been so fun. I’m super thankful for this job everyday. I enjoy it so much and I owe them all a giant THANKS for making this experience one to remember. The blogs wouldn’t exist without these people!


7. Britney Lewis

Britney Lewis

This girl is an amazing friend on so many levels. I met her at a Youthfront get-together over the summer and through the MNU Facebook page, and I’m so glad we’ve become friends this year. She is so in tune with The Lord and that is so inspiring to me. It’s been fun travelling to LaCygne with her and growing with her. She’s super fun and is definitely a light in my world!


8. Mario Flores

Mario Flores

This guy is my brother (theologically speaking, of course). I met him two summers ago at Youthfront and I realize now what a divine appointment that was. We kept in touch a bit throughout the school year and following summer, and now I go to school with him. It’s so weird to me, but I am so thankful that I get to experience the community at MNU with him. I can trust him with anything and know with confidence that his advice is given with my best interest in mind. He is super wise and loves The Lord in a beautiful way. I’m forever grateful to be your little sis!


9. Deanna Williams 

Deanna Williams

Deanna is a person I look up to on many levels. She is a fantastic role model for all the girls on campus because of the way she loves God and loves people. She is so selfless, pouring into young people for the sake of Christ. She has given me great advice and been there to listen when I need someone to digress to. I absolutely love seeing her around campus and on Wednesday nights.


So… there you have it! The people that make my experience at MNU the best I could ever imagine. I’m excited to continue meeting awesome people at the awesome place. :) Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy the rest of your break!


Aaron Merrell


November 22, 2014

An MNU/KC/Santa Ricky Christmas

November 22, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Hey all!

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and to me, that means it’s basically Christmas!

To prepare for this Christmas in Kansas City, I’ve already purchased my Santa Hat, and my friends and I have christened my friend Rico McKay and “Santa Ricky.” (He even has his own parody twitter account, @RealSantaRicky)


So, for this blog, I’m going to analyze the Kansas City Christmas Experience, with photos of Santa Ricky and his merry pals peppered in.


Every Kansas City Christmas experience must include several trips to see the plaza lights, including the night of Thanksgiving, when the lights that adorn the Country Club Plaza are finally turned on.  They stay on through New Year’s, and they truly mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Kansas City.


Next, we move on to Christmas Light tours.  I particularly like to take my friends to the homes around Ward Parkway and 63d Street in Kansas City, MO and Mission Hills, KS.  These professionally decorated homes are already unique and awesome to look at, and the lights make them even more spectacular.


After a drive around those neighborhoods, my other favorite Christmas spot in Kansas City is the Ice Terrace at Crown Center.  Ice skating here is fun, (even though I have to re-learn how to skate every single time) and an extremely good time, and I definitely recommend it as well.


These are just a few spots of so many more around the city, and I hope you’re able to come to MNU so you can experience them and people like Santa Ricky yourself!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving breaks, see you in a week!



Aaron Merrell


November 15, 2014

Playlists and People

November 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

What’s up everybody? Hope everyone had a great week!

So tonight I went to a Hunter Hayes concert, and it was SO good. The Railers and Dan+Shay opened for him, and they were both fantastic, even though I had never heard of The Railers before. I know these three don’t fit some people’s definition of country music (it obv has to have something about cars and an unintelligible accent duh) but they were about as country as it typically gets for me.

See, I don’t really get to deep into any genre of music, I just like a little of everything. Imagine some Love on Top followed by some Turning Tables and maybe a little Bad Blood and that’s my typical playlist.

I think my taste in music and my time living overseas has been what helps me understand people. Just like music artist and their genres have different influences, people have all sorts of different backgrounds.

We can’t begin to try to understand someone until we know where they come from, what they’ve been through, and where they’re going (and maybe even what kind of music they listen to).

So, the moral of the story is rock it to whatever you wanna listen to, no one is forcing you to listen to something else. But, at least give something else and someone else a chance.

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Have an awesome week!


P.S. This week’s episode of Scandal was so good.

Luther Okeyo


November 11, 2014

This is it…. Senior Week…

November 11, 2014 | By | One Comment

Wow this it… This game against Avila is my last guaranteed home game in an MNU uniform. It’s very bitter sweet for me. One hand we will outright win the conference this week with a win against Avila but on the other it’s my last home game ever as an MNU pioneer. It’s one the last times I will ever put on the pioneer uniform. I’ve had some great memories here, it’s hard to believe that it’s all coming to an end.

On March 23, 2011, I made the committment to come to MNU, little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

On March 23, 2011, I made the commitment to come to MNU, Little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and on the right, the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

The journey to where I am has been long, amazing, frustrating, and many other verbs I can’t really think of right now. Either way this journey changed my life in a way I ever really thought possible. We all have an idea of what college is about, but MNU gives it’s students a very unique college experience.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would've known that would've lead to where I am right now.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would’ve known that would’ve lead to where I am right now.

Throughout my football career here at MNU I’ve basically seen it all. I’ve been through the highs and lows. Like my freshman and sophomore year when we were rolling, winning the huge games, playing for HAAC championships, and most special of all playing at Pioneer stadium (not trying to start anything but come on, we need that thing built!) I’ve seen football at MNU change so much, and I’ve even been apart by one of the biggest things a football program can go through, a coaching change. With a new coaching staff comes a new philosophy, a new way to do things, and a new approach to the game of football.

It’s amazing to see what coach Willmer has done to the program, in just his first year. We shocked the world. Nobody outside of the MNU faithful even gave a chance to do anything this year, we were supposed to be rebuilding, and we let everyone know that we are ready to go. I can’t wait to see where coach leads this program in the years to come.

Shoutout to the senior class, we stuck it out through it all, the 5-5 season last year, waking up at 5 am to work out in January and February, spring ball, fall camp, I mean I could keep going on and on. There is never going to be a senior class like ours.

Here we are, the senior class for the 2014 MNU Pioneers football team:


#1 Linebacker – Justin Vargas

#2 TE - Zach "Carrot Top" Brandsted

#2 Tightend – Zach “Carrot Top” Brandsted

#7 Cornerback - DeRahn "Primetime" Williams

#7 Cornerback – DeRahn “Primetime” Williams

#8 Wide Receiver - Chris "Money Man" Fields

#8 Wide Receiver – Chris “Money Man” Fields

#14  Wide Receiver - Taylor "TD" Davis

#14 Wide Receiver – Taylor “TD” Davis

#24 Running Back - Charles Quainoo

#24 Running Back – Charles Quainoo

#32 Long Snapper - Will Hertel

#32 Long Snapper – Will Hertel

#44 Defensive Lineman - Mason "Mad Dogg" Mathews

#44 Defensive Lineman – Mason “Mad Dogg” Mathews

#45 - "Pretty Boy" Nick Richardson

#45 Linebacker – “Pretty Boy” Nick Richardson

#47 - JT "They Call Him Nasty" Braddock (Don't ask... I don't know why they call him that)

#47 Defensive Lineman – JT “They Call Him Nasty” Braddock (Don’t ask… I don’t know why they call him that)

#52 Defensive Lineman - Demarco Kemp

#52 Defensive Lineman – Demarco Kemp

#53 Offensive Lineman - Armand Banks

#53 Offensive Lineman – Armand Banks

#73 Offensive Lineman - Jose "Burrito" Carillo-Ayala (He's the guy on the left)

#73 Offensive Lineman – Jose “Burrito” Carillo-Ayala (He’s the guy on the left)

#74 Offensive Lineman - Andrew "Chevy" Sexton-Chavoya

#74 Offensive Lineman – Andrew “Chevy” Sexton-Chavoya

#87 Wide Receiver - Yours Truly Luther "Crunchy" Okeyo

#87 Wide Receiver – Yours Truly Luther “Crunchy” Okeyo






Samantha Moore


November 4, 2014

Be Blessed!

November 4, 2014 | By | No Comments


Ashlea’s Senior day! My roommate who plays soccer played in her last home soccer game of the season Saturday! ash senior day

It was also French’s senior day! French is obviously from France and I got to walk with him for his senior day since his parents live in France. He has been one of my best friends for four years now and is aways making me laugh and making me smile. He is one of the funniest guys I know and is one of my best friends!

french senior day

When Sonic gives away .50 cent corn dogs on Halloween you obviously have to get one. This is Marissa! She was my roommate my Freshman and Sophomore year and we have been great friends since then. She is always here for me and we are always doing something fun! She is a fellow Psych major!

corn dogs

This is Lauren and my beautiful engaged sister. We had a birthday party on Saturday for my friend Taylor! These two girls make me laugh.

erica lauren Okay I had to post a picture of my BEST FRIEND Remi aka my Corgi. She was a bumble bee for halloween so this is a picture of her in her costume on Halloween night! Isn’t she just the cutest.

halloweenComment and I would love to chat with you guys!!