Where the Consecrated Class is now! (Part 3)

Complied by Joey Nunez, a senior from Harrisonburg, Va.

WILMORE, KY—On May 9, 2009, the Consecrated Class of 2009 graduated. The 305-member class departed Asbury’s campus to pursue various summer plans before continuing further education or starting a career in the work force. In the next few updates, we will hear what our Consecrated alumni are up to these days, exciting changes in their lives and their memories from Asbury! 

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Tiana Duncan (right) with Teresa Duncan '09 (left) and Loise Wanjai
Tiana Duncan

This past summer I went on a mission trip to Albania for a week. My goal was to reach 16-year-old girls who are taken out of school and not able to return, so they will never get jobs. So I went there to potentially help teach these girls something so that I could return and sell what they were able to make. On November 10, 2009, I went back to stay for a month.

When I returned from Albania, I returned to living in Parkersburg, W. Va., where I am working full-time at Panera Bread, and just waiting for what the Lord has next for me. Working at Panera has been good for me. My whole life, I have been shielded from the world, and working there has been an opening to the world, because what they do is not what I do. So I have a mission field in that very restaurant. We are not to be doing what the world does, but we are to be in the world. That is where true ministry lies, and for me, this work experience has been a huge eye opener and a big lesson to learn with what really means.

The Lord used my time at Asbury to prepare me mentally and physically. I now have supportive friends and prayer warriors for life, and I have a foundation that I would have never had otherwise. My most favorite memories at Asbury were ones at the WGM’s Goat Roast with friends, enjoying goat and the Kenyan atmosphere.

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Austin Brooks
Austin Brooks

One month after graduation, I was able to get a job in Tupelo, Miss., working as a video technician and producer for The American Family Association (AFA). The aspects I like most about my job are that I get to use ALL of my skills in media, from editing and directing to photography and graphic design. I help produce live talk shows as well as edit short spots and promos for the AFA channel. AFA is a Christian organization, so it has been nice working with fellow believers and I have made some great friendships there.

I got married just a couple of months ago on October 24, 2009! My wife, Emily Stevens ’09 Brooks, is an elementary school teacher here in Tupelo.

Asbury gave me the experience needed to do what I am doing now. My classes prepared me for every aspect of my job, along with the real-life skills of organization and self-discipline. Asbury also prepared me spiritually. With AFA being a Christian organization, we receive persecution from unbelievers and people who do not agree with the type of programs we produce.

I have so many memories from Asbury. I will always remember the endless nights in Corbitt Hall, editing (or just goofing off).  I will always remember my professors and all the crazy stories they told. I will always remember my weekends in the dorm with the guys, always procrastinating. Chapel is a favorite too, something that I will always be grateful to have had. But above all else, my favorite memories are with my Emily. She is the one memory that I get to have with me for the rest of my life. And no, Asbury did not make me cheesy by saying that. I was born that way.

Melissa Brabon

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Melissa Brabon

This past summer was a time in which God really prepared me for this coming year. I was able to visit with friends and family and do some incredible traveling. I spent time with several fellow Asbury alumni, including a tour of New York City, for the first time, with my favorite RLC, Meredith Kahle ’08. I was also able to reconnect with my small group leader and mentor from my first three years at Asbury, Stephanie Ruff ’99 Hogan. I then had the opportunity to travel to Medellin, Colombia where my aunt, Jeannine Brabon ’71, received the World Methodist Peace Prize for 2009. It was such an incredible time as the entire Brabon family was able to be together in Colombia for the first time. To witness the work that God is doing there as well as to see the place where my father and his family were raised was a huge blessing and something I will not forget.

Shortly after returning from Colombia, I raced to Chicago for a Visa interview, and three days later, I was on a plane to Seoul, South Korea! I am spending this next year teaching English in a private English Institute. It has been a rough transition in many ways, including a battle with the H1N1 flu, but I have seen the hand of God guiding me and protecting me through every situation. I have really grown to love my students and enjoy teaching. I enjoy learning
about Korean history and culture and have developed an interest in K-Pop music! I have recently become a member of the Seoul Union Church, a church that is targeted to the city’s foreign communities, and have become the leader of a weekly Bible Study that meets in the area where I work.

My time spent at Asbury College really helped prepare me for this year of my life in Korea. My upper-level New Testament classes with Dr. Kevin Anderson, as well as my semester spent at Jerusalem University, made my time in the Word so much deeper, and those experiences are continuously helping me in leading Bible Study and counseling new Christians. My Linguistics class with Dr. Shelby Thacker has helped me teach my English classes. And my time as an RA was invaluable, as the position helped me refine my professional skills and interpersonal skills for working in an office and interacting with employers.

One of my favorite memories from Asbury was during a Spring Break trip to Spain where I gave a tour of a palace in Seville. I also love all of my memories from living in such a spiritual and fun community. It is true what they say about missing Chapel once you graduate! I greatly treasure the friendships I made while at Asbury. I will also forever be indebted to my Writings of John class, that I took my freshman year, for sparking my insatiable thirst for Biblical knowledge. My greatest prayer for this next year is that God will continue to draw me closer to Him and grant me his wisdom, especially as I make plans to attend seminary next fall to begin work on a Masters of Divinity.

Katie Lee

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Katie Lee '09 and Brandon Vanvactor (photo by Joshua Howard)

This past summer, I moved back home where I spent a lot of time with my family, my fiancé and friends. I also worked at a bridal rental shop while I was applying for teaching positions, going out for job interviews and planning my wedding.

I am currently a social studies teacher at Bullitt Central High School in Shepherdsville, Ky., where I teach freshman civics/geography and senior political science. Every day is exciting and challenging as I am transitioning from being a student to being a teacher. I love being able to work with my students and assist them with all of the obstacles that they are facing, whether that is working with the freshman adjust to high school or giving advice to the seniors about the college application process. Something new is always happening!

My time at Asbury was the best preparation that I could have imagined for my life. Spiritually, I learned how to be anxious about nothing and to trust in God's perfect timing. During those four years, I took my faith more seriously and saw how God can use people in unique ways. Living in a dorm was a great place to develop meaningful relationships and learn how to handle difficult situations. My education and history classes taught me how to think critically and to assertively express my opinions.

There are so many wonderful memories that I have from Asbury: the revival during my freshman year, student teaching at East Jessamine High School, going on late night Waffle House runs and being a part of the volleyball team and winning our first KIAC conference championship. Asbury impacted my life in every aspect and I will always cherish my time spent there!

Stay tuned for more updates and stories from other members of the Class of 2009. If you are a member of the Consecrated Class and would like to send us your update, contact Joey Nunez at joseph.nunez@asbury.edu.


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