Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Love - MNU Blogs

Luther Okeyo

By

February 10, 2015

The Willmer Family

February 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Willmer Family @ Arrowhead

The Willmer family after our 21-17 thriller win over #2 Missouri Valley at the defeat all cancer game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah. Gwenyth is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day. Except he has way more energy than I ever did when I was his age. Where do they store this energy? He isn’t a shy kid and I dare to sit down and talk to him for a few minutes and not fall in love with him. He is just too cool.

Next, you have Titus. I can’t really figure him out. In the video I don’t think Titus said three words, but after I done shooting the video, boy did he have things to say. I played UNO with him, Coach Willmer, and Lindsay. He is NOT a nice UNO play. I can’t tell you how many times he hit me with a draw 4, or skipped my turn. Once Titus has you down in UNO, he will never let you back up. Titus along with his family love MNU and football, but you can tell he just loves them both a little more.

15736558166_314ac610f5_z

Here is Titus playing with my Wide Receiver coach Matt George after our win against Benedictine.

Finally you have the two older sisters of Emma, and Addie Joy. Emma is like a second mom, and she takes care of the younger kids like good older sister should. She loves to read and I could tell she is really into school. Also she loves that Kansas is lower-key than California. Addie Joy is also big into school. She is a very soft spoken, and person. Trust me I can attest to that, through the many hours I spent editing the video trying to get her voice to be louder. These girls were so nice and really went out of their way to make sure like I was apart of the family. They are great role models for their younger siblings as they all grow and mature together.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Emma and Addie Joy enjoying the game at Arrowhead.

Last semester I had the opportunity to interview Coach Willmer and his family for the MNU newspaper… The Trailblazer. It was an amazing experience and I was able to see a side of coach that most people wouldn’t be able to see. For example: you never want to play UNO with Coach Willmer trust me you just don’t. Anyway before I even began the interview, coach stopped me and we proceeded to have dinner. After dinner I played hide and seek with his kids and UNO with whole family. It was an awesome time, I had so much fun that I almost forgot about the whole reason I went to go see coach and his family in the first place. I ended up making a video of the interview I had with Coach Willmer and his family. The video should be up by the end of the week, I’d love to just show the video but my hands are tied. Don’t worry though, I have some outtakes and things that didn’t make the final cut.

For example: like when Coach Willmer and his wife were almost on a pilot for an HGTV show.

Also I caught I little touching moment between a father and his son.

Finally, I had coach and his family talk about the difference between MNU and Azusa Pacific. Azusa was the school where he was previously coaching at. He was the defensive coordinator.

The Willmers are a pretty cool family. You have Coach Willmer  and his wife Lindsay, Emma (12) who is on the left, Addie Joy (10) on the right, Titus (6) who is wearing the Rangers shirt, and the twins Gwenyth & Nehemiah (4). I can honestly say I have never met another family like them.

First of all you have Gwenyth, she is a little fireball of energy and don’t worry you’ll see what I mean in the video. She wouldn’t have let me leave her house until I played hide and seek with her and she is pretty good so I was at a disadvantage from the start. She loves to say amen a lot and she is so adorable.

I can’t forget her twin Nehemiah, this guy looks like a future pioneer in the making. He reminds me a lot of myself back in the day.

Katie Linsey

By

January 22, 2015

Community

January 22, 2015 | By | One Comment

Last summer, I was on summer staff at Youthfront Camp West, which is a camp in Edgerton for elementary and middle school aged students. Being on summer staff means being part of a community made up of the other summer staffers, but also the full time staff and weekly volunteers. Being a part of that community and also the community at MNU has taught me a lot. Specifically, it’s taught me the value of community and how to live life more intentionally and fully. There are many important things that I learned about community last semester that has helped me be a more contributing member of the community at MNU.

Community is caring.

A community laughs together, cries together, and cares about each other. I don’t personally know every student at MNU, but I care about everyone as if I did. I can honestly say I feel comfortable striking up a conversation with every person that I pass on campus or sit by in class… and that doesn’t happen everywhere. I even care about all of my professors and the faculty at MNU. Living in a community with a body of believers has given me a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. It’s really beautiful.

Community is not easy.

Don’t get me wrong… community is fun and great, but it’s not always an easy thing to be a part of. Community reminds me of family. You don’t get to choose your family, much like you don’t get to choose everyone who is a part of the same community as you, but you learn to love them simply because you do life with them. There are times when I get annoyed or frustrated with people. There are certain people that I don’t imagine myself being best friends with (which I’ve realized is completely fine, because who could handle over a thousand best friends anyway?). Although there are times when it’s hard, it is always worth it. I sincerely love every single person in the MNU community and I would go to great lengths to help anyone in any way I can. That’s what family does for each other… and at the end of the day, all I can do is thank God for the community He’s led me to be a part of.

Community is an opportunity for growth.

I have grown so much this summer and this past semester because of the communities I’ve been a part of. These experiences have taught me how to love people more boldly and intentionally. One thing I love about MNU is that we are encouraged to live our lives to bring glory to God, worshipping Him at all times. Being surrounded by people who are yearning to know God on a deeper level daily is inspiring. I will never forget the moments of corporate worship at Kingdom Come and the fun events that ASG hosts. All of those things we do together as a community are opportunities for growth in many ways.

Community is essential.

I firmly believe that everyone should experience the power of community at some point in their lives, whether it’s with co-workers, classmates, or even a group of friends that does life together. It can teach us valuable things about loving people and open our eyes to how to do that genuinely and intentionally.

There is no other community I would rather be a part of than MNU. It’s been absolutely incredible and I can’t wait for the years to come. I truly love it so much!

-KT

Katie Linsey

By

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!

-KT

Mariah McCommon

By

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.

Verse

Samantha Moore

By

January 3, 2015

God’s Timing

January 3, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

I’ve always wondered what God is thinking when something tragic happens that cannot be explained. Does he know that it will affect numerous people and will affect them for the rest of their lives? Maybe there is another reason. When tragic things happen, maybe he is teaching a lesson or maybe there is a specific purpose beyond what Earthly eyes can see.

Death. How can someone explain death? Yes the definition of death is the action or fact of dying or being killed, but I think death is beyond its definition. I think death has the ability to rock someone’s perspective of how they are living their life, it allows people to change their lifestyle because that death has affected them more than they could have imagined. In my life I have lost a grandma who I was close with but it didn’t effect me as much as I think it should have, I do not think I really understood fully. I also have lost several dogs, and everybody who knows me that rocked my world and left me very sad. Even then, I did not really feel the full effect of death because dogs are animals and they cannot speak back to you.

I recently heard this song on the radio about a month ago. At this point in life I had not felt the repercussions of death in my life. I remember listening to it several times in a row.

“I hope you’re dancing in the sky
And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir
I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived”

Recently, a friend of mine and of the MNU community lost her life in a car accident that left everyone who knew her and even people who didn’t questionings God reasoning behind why he took this beautiful soul away from us. Two days straight I have been questioning why she is gone and why God took her from us so early in her life. Is it really fair? But, is it really fair that I am questioning God? God does spontaneous things all the time that we are not able to understand and cannot see his reasoning behind it.

Quincy has a beautiful and joyous soul towards life. She loved making people smile and it was known throughout the whole MNU community and anybody who came into contact with her. She was a vital part of our community. She was a talented musician and singer. I actually met Quincy in 2009 when I was in high school. Going through old Facebook messages show how encouraging she was to me and how much she showed me who I was in Christ. Her love for Christ was radiant and shown in every thing she did. There was no question her love for music was a talent God gave her to spread his love. She also had a love for helping people and that is why she was pursing nursing as a career. She wanted to help anybody and everybody she could.

Quincy Foster

 

“‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left
And here on earth everything’s different
There’s an emptiness”

“Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy helped me through this hard time that I have been going through in questioning why God took her so soon from us. She was made for a better purpose than this Earth could provide her. She has a purpose beyond this world. Is it fair that God took her when he did? Is it fair that we question His actions?

The marks humans leave are often scars. The mark Quincy leaves on my heart is a scar, a scar to remember her sweet smile and her kind words in my every day life. Her mark is a scar on everyone’s heart that she came in contact with. The thing about scars is that they are meant to be felt. If you glide your finger over a scar on your hand you feel it. The scars on our hearts are also meant to be felt, felt deeply. These scars allow us to live. People who will be remembered because of what they did in our lives make these scars. These scars never heal.

Quincy left a scar on all of us, a scar that cannot be forgotten and a scar that will never fade. Quincy thank you for all your kind words and advice you have given me over the several years I have known you. You always had a smile to greet me when I saw you and you seemed to always know what to say to make people smile. Quincy you left a scar.

“I hope you’re dancing in the sky
And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir
I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived, since you’ve arrived”

Luther Okeyo

By

December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays…

December 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

 

Hey guys, I hope you guys had a great christmas and you guys are enjoying your holidays. I’m not going to lie, I DEFINITELY AM. It is amazing to be back home. There is only one problem… My mom isn’t here. She went back to Kenya to see the family, this is one of the few times where I’m not able to spend Christmas without my mom. Don’t you worry though I was still able to talk her as much I possibly can. Also as many of you would agree, the best part of the holidays is being able to be with family. Even though I wasn’t able to be with them physically, just being able to talk to them on the phone was enough. Sharing stories with them, knowing that they’re ok was the best gift I could’ve gotten. I miss them so much, but I’ll be able to see them soon. Another great part of Christmas is of course… the presents, DUH!!! My mom definitely stepped up her game this year.

Got a MacBook Pro for Christmas. Adding this bad boy to my growing Apple collection. Thank you so much Mom!!

Got a MacBook Pro for Christmas. Adding this bad boy to my growing Apple collection. Thank you so much Mom!!

Quite the collection huh? All this means that I need to make some last minute adjustments to my gift for her. I’d tell you guys what it is, but I know that mom reads the blog post religiously so I can’t spoil the surprise. Gotcha mom! Not today, you gotta be patient and wait until you come back.

Also I want to give a huge shoutout to the wolf-pack and their families for letting me share Christmas day with them. It was such a cool experience and a huge privilege as well. For them to take me into their homes and make sure that I didn’t spend Christmas alone was awesome of them and they didn’t have to do it. That’s one of the many reasons that these guys will be my friends for life.

10897941_874022022629083_5287264411149277026_n

The main core of the wolf-pack. To my left you have Kamaran “Pee Wee” Francis, Cory “Captain America” Ellis, and to my right you have Ryan “Birdman” Ellis. One day I’ll get the whole pack together and relieve the glory days.

 

Luther Okeyo

By

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.

 

Luther Okeyo

By

October 30, 2014

Just Became an Uncle!!!!!!!

October 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Yesterday I found out that my cousin Jacque gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was shocked when I heard, I found out right before practice.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and her sister Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle's wedding a couple of years ago.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and my other cousin Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle’s wedding a couple of years ago.

Anyway enough about my cousin, its all about the baby right now. First of all the baby’s name is Leo Njinu. He was 3.2 kgs or 7.1 lbs. He is so adorable and cute, I’m mad that I haven’t even seen him yet.

Look at him he is so cute. I can't believe that I'm his uncle and i can't wait to meet him.

Look at him he is so cute. I can’t believe that I’m his uncle and I can’t wait to meet him.

Well this is a new frontier for me. It is just amazing to think that I’m an uncle now. It’s just a shame that I haven’t been able to meet him yet. Leo, welcome to the family and I’m excited to watch you grow. I can’t wait to meet you and see the man you become.

 

Luther Okeyo

By

October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom (well sort of)

October 27, 2014 | By | 6 Comments

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday and I’ll be honest with you I’m a huge mommas boy. You see I’m an only child and for as long as I can remember it just been my mom and I taking on every challenge that life threw at us.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

She has accomplished a lot of things just during my lifetime, let alone here. She is my rock, my inspiration when I’m down, and she always knows just what to say (as all mothers should). We both born in Kenya, a country in East Africa. Back in the day my mom was quite the athlete and she was a beast on the track, she ran the 400 & 800 meters in high school. She then went to college and became a nurse. (She had me along the way but most of that information is classified.) My mom was trailblazer in outr family, she was the first person to go to college, the first to graduate from college and just to top it all of she got her Ph.D just over a year ago.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn't be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don't worry I'll be right behind here.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn’t be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don’t worry I’ll be right behind here. (What am I pointing at)

Sure I could tell you about all of her accomplishments but you wanna know why she is so important to me? Back when we used to in Iowa (Oh oh Midwest Shout Out!), my mom worked three jobs, found a way to put me through school, while she was also going to school to receive her masters degree, and she still was there for me when I needed like when I was in accident in the 4th grade and my bike was destroyed (I know it sounds bad, but actually it’s a funny story, but that’s for another time.) If she was able to do all that, I have no excuse. I’m going to do everything in my power to be there for her. Happy Birthday Mom, I can’t wait to see you again.

Katie Linsey

By

October 23, 2014

What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me)

October 23, 2014 | By | One Comment

I’ve learned a lot in my classes here at MNU. However, I think I’ve learned even more outside of the classroom. Between countless chapel services, small groups, and the communal living at MNU, God has taught me more than I ever thought possible. One thing God has taught me these past few weeks is what it means to love someone.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, love is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.”

While I partly agree with that definition, I think it’s much more than that. While having breakfast with my wise friend JD Andrews this week, she explained to me how she views love as a choice. At first, I wasn’t sure if I completely agreed with her, but the more she talked about her decision to love people, it came together in my mind.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.”

So, what if we don’t feel a “strong or constant affection” for someone? Well, Jesus still wants us to love them the way He loves us. That’s why we have to choose to love some people.

I’m extremely grateful that Jesus calls us to love people with more than just our feelings. It’s pretty scary how quickly and drastically emotions can change in a split second. One day you may want to hang out with your best friend all the time, and then the next day you find that everything she does annoys you. One day you may be attracted to someone, and then the next day maybe you aren’t for whatever reason. Love has to be more than feelings and attractions because those things aren’t always reliable. We are not called to act on our feelings toward someone; we’re called to act in obedience to the commandment to “love one another.”

I don’t know all there is to know about this whole “love” thing (and I never will), but I do know one thing…

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”        1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Wow. That sounds like a lot more than a feeling or an attraction.

As I continue life here at MNU, I pray daily that Jesus will help me choose to love people like He does. When we love people with a love like that, we can start to better understand the unconditional love that Jesus has for us.

So, there you have it… one of the many lessons that Jesus has been teaching me during my time at MNU. I can’t wait to share more with you in the weeks to come! Now go love some people!

-KT

Fellowship with these friends has been such a joy. We have learned so much and grown so much together.