The spring semester is in full swing and the end of the year is approaching. As the trees are budding, the reality that this school year is nearly over is becoming ever-the-more clear. Final exams are approaching and the Spikeball nets are coming out. It’s a joyful time of the year to cherish the last few weeks with great friends all the while knowing that the time together is finite. Considering that my freshman year at Northwestern College is coming to a close, I felt as if it would be a fun time to relay to you what God has been up to this year!
As I entered into college, I only scratched the surface on just how special the community is at Northwestern. Having visited campus and staying with my what-is-now RA three times during my senior year of high school, I was stoked to experience NWC to the full. Reflecting upon this year, it is safe to say that God has put guys around me who have sharpened me tremendously. By planting the seeds for connections during my visits to Northwestern, the fruit of those interactions have been extremely evident in what this freshman year has looked like. Leaving friends and family from my hometown certainly wasn’t easy, but it is safe to say that I have been blessed with an intentional, goofy, and uplifting family of brothers and sisters here at Northwestern. So much so that I have grown tremendously this year. From late night talks in Coly to snagging coffee at the LC’s Common Grounds, this year has been composed of priceless conversations. As I experienced my mountain tops and valleys, I had a band of solid people to do it all with. I wouldn’t trade these relationships for anything!
Spontaneous Road Trips
There is just nothing like randomly packing up a vehicle and hitting the road with some friends. This year has consisted of a three-day road trip to Minneapolis, two out-of-the-blue trips to Omaha for concerts, and a fair amount of visits to Sioux Center for a nice little Wal-Mart run. It is within these profoundly simple times of adventure where some of my greatest memories of this year stem from. Throughout this year, I have learned just how awesome it is to say “yes” to the random things and to soak them up. A routine is nice don’t get me wrong (this is my shameless plug just in case my mom is reading this), but college is a time where you have freedom to navigate through that routine. It’s quite the time!
Spring Service Partnership
To place a cherry on top of this freshman year at Northwestern, I had the privilege to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, for a Spring Service Partnership back in March. I went with thirteen other Northwestern students and was blessed by our campus chaplain’s leadership along the way! God used that week-long service trip during spring break to swing many doors open for deep conversations, hard questions to be discussed, and true tests of selflessness. Our team became a tight-knit family as the week progressed. Residing in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, Urban Impact and Castle Rock Church took us in as if we were family. They blessed us with the honor of serving in their community underneath the shadow of the Super Dome. Hit by natural disasters, family addictions, and high numbers of unemployment, the neighborhood appears to be a breeding ground of hopelessness. However, our SSP team was able to catch a glimpse of God’s heart for the neighborhood through Urban Impact’s vision. As the ministry strives to make disciples of Christ who bring transformation to their families, their friends, their neighborhood and their city, the hearts within our team were transformed. It was a trip that catapulted my love for Gospel transformation, community development, and missions that desire to put ministries/churches in a space to perform both of those aspects with consistent support.