Where the Consecrated Class is now! (Part 6)
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 this update, you will read what some of our Consecrated alumni are up to these days, exciting changes in their lives and their memories from Asbury!
This summer I spent most of my time working at Lowe’s hardware store and just trying to discern where the Lord was directing me. In July I moved out of my parents’ house and went to a duplex with a couple of friends, which was a big transition. The past summer really went by quickly, but overall it was time well spent.
I am now employed at West Jessamine Middle School as an Instructional Assistant, working with special education children. I am also the head seventh grade boys’ basketball coach. God is truly stretching me right now; the kids I work with are so unique.
In the mornings, I work with two children who have Down syndrome and autism. I truly love that I get the opportunity to just be around these kids who are so different than me, yet at the same time, realizing that they are special creations of God. In the short time of being at the school, I have been greatly enriched by just being around these kids. Each day I go to work is an adventure.
In the afternoons, I work with children who have severe behavior problems. This part of my day is the most difficult, because God has given me a good deal of insight into the brokenness of people and the brokenness in me. From 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., I travel around the school and monitor seven different students in their classrooms. Each child has extreme problems with self- control and obedience, and is enrolled in Positive Approach to Student Success (PASS), a recently-developed program. I only assist the PASS teacher; however, my firsthand interaction with these kids has revealed to me the many scars and neglect these children have endured. I am so thankful that Jesus has placed me here with them. Although I feel extremely inadequate at times, He is allowing me to see what every person truly needs and that is LOVE.
Coaching is great. I enjoy being around my players and enjoy leading them on and off the court. As of right now, I plan on going back to Asbury to earn a degree in teaching from the graduate program. I hope to begin this summer.
The most interesting thing about my job is that I really did not take any classes at Asbury (other than Dr. Pickerill’s Adaptive Physical Education) that prepared me to work with special education students. I majored in history, having enjoyed these classes immensely. Asbury in general prepared me with the mindset to engage and competently interact with others. While I may not have taken any classes that are directly correlated with my job, I still know that Asbury College readied me with everything they offered.
The revival my freshman year was incredible. I have never been a part of a greater move of God’s spirit before. I had some unbelievable times on and off the court with my teammates on the Asbury Basketball team as well. Sophomore year’s retreat was awesome, as Jeanette and Roger Davis did an amazing job orchestrating that. I loved everything about Asbury; God used that place to transform my life. The people at Asbury will always be my most fond memory.
This summer I completed my internship at a church in Grand Isle, La. I worked with the North American Mission Board under the title of “Summer Missionary,” and I was
responsible for coordinating visiting church groups, planning and leading a day-camp for the children, engaging in door to door evangelism and developing meaningful relationships with the people on the island.
Working in Grand Isle was extremely rewarding, yet also challenging. Grand Isle is Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island and lies in the Gulf of Mexico. It is in the heart of “Acadiana,” the region of Southern Louisiana known for its strong Cajun population. I had the opportunity to live in another culture, try new cuisine and do things I never thought I would do, such as ride on a shrimp boat or get up close to an alligator!
However, the most significant experience was seeing how God has worked in the hearts of the people. This was my second trip to Grand Isle; my first trip was in the summer of 2005. During my first visit, the people seemed much more resistant to the Gospel, many refused to even visit church. During this visit, I noticed a dramatic change in the people. Many of them seemed interested in hearing the Gospel of hope, and the church has grown.
Since completing my internship in August, I have taken some time off and am now working as a substitute teacher. I enjoy connecting with the students and helping them learn, even if I all I do is review multiplication tables. Seeing them grasp a concept is very rewarding. I love the energy and creativity they bring! I am considering attending seminary, possibly pursuing a degree in Missiology. I have also been assisting at an inner city mission in Lexington, Ky.
My time at Asbury has been valuable in preparing me for life after college. The most significant way Asbury helped me is to gain confidence and confirm the direction I am going in life. Asbury helped me in refine and develop skills such as intercultural communications, facilitating Bible studies and making presentations (all of which I have utilized since graduating). Asbury also gave me the opportunity to explore my interests on a deeper level, and I have discovered that I love learning about Old Testament Biblical studies and cultural anthropology.
My favorite Asbury memory did not take place in Wilmore; in fact not even in the United States. My favorite memory was in Spain for the “Formation of Spain” class. I not only had the chance to engage and interact in the Spanish culture, but I also got to know my classmates better and make new friends. The thing I miss the most about Asbury is Chapel. Having the entire student body come together and worship God is invaluable; I will never forget those special moments in Hughes Auditorium!
After graduation, I flew back home to Slovakia and spent the summer with my family and friends, whom I had not seen much over the past four years. I attended my sister’s art exhibition. I went canoeing, camping and go-kart racing with my two older brothers. It’s so much fun when the three of us get together.
In August, I said farewells to my family and friends one more time and flew to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which is in the North Pacific, to be a missionary. After a three-day journey from Slovakia to Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan, Guam, Truk Island, Pohnpei Island and Kosrae Island, I finally arrived at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The boat took me from the airport to the neighboring island, Ebeye Island, which was my final destination.
I came here to be a teacher at Ebeye GEM Christian School, which was founded three years ago by Reverend Patrick Hone and his wife Grace. Providing the lowest tuition possible, they are reaching the children from the island and raising the future leaders for their communities. They also organize nine outreaches a week to evangelize in their island and are sending out two boats with people to reach natives of the surrounding islands with the Gospel. The poverty of Ebeye Island shocked me at first. Children play with smashed Coke cans in the dirty streets, people live in shacks without running water and the island shores are dump areas of trash and rusted metals. Ebeye Island is only a mile long and a quarter mile wide, yet, it has the population of 16,000 people. Nearly half of the population is children. Thousands of them play on the streets all day long instead of going to school.
Asbury College has prepared me for the mission field a great deal. As a media communications major, I have grown a passion for documentary production as well as live television directing. At Asbury, I learned everything from shooting and editing video to designing its jewel case, printing posters and recording radio promos. These skills are what Ebeye Island’s ministry has been looking for. They want to let people know about God’s work on their island. One well done video tells more than words can ever describe.
Everything that I have learned at Asbury I am putting well in use, and I am so excited and thankful for this great opportunity to be involved with the media, even on this remote island. I love how God knows exactly where He is leading us, even if it does not make any sense at the moment. When I was deciding whether to go to the Pacific, I thought that I was giving up my passion for the media in order to be a missionary. It was a step of faith for me to move on the remote island in the middle of the biggest ocean of the world. I have found it to be true, over and over again, that if we step out in faith and simply do what God ask us to do, our destiny and the provision of God for that season is going to be there. I am so happy that we have God to follow. It takes so much pressure off of my shoulders.
One of my most memorable moments while at Asbury was the time when a bunch of us media communications students got together in Corbitt Hall to work on our projects. We pulled all nighters to finish editing our videos. The atmosphere was great as we helped one another to brainstorm ideas. I am and always will be grateful for the atmosphere of learning that Asbury College provided me.
This summer was truly amazing! The Sunday following graduation I had my first ever job interview at Wilmore Presbyterian Church. I was hired as their Music Minister a few days later. Talk about a blessing from God! A couple weeks after graduation, I also had the opportunity to travel to Glouchester, England with the Asbury Chorale. We were the choir in residence at the Glouchestcer Cathedral for an entire week, and every night we got to sing in their Evensong service, a daily church service. We even had the opportunity to sing at the deployment of the Glouchester and also at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. I had such a fun time traveling around England. Other than exciting traveling, my summer was spent in preparation for graduate school.
I moved to downtown Lexington in July and began working as the Minister of Music at the Wilmore Presbyterian Church. I think my favorite part of my job is being able to share my gift of music with fellow believers every day. Besides working, I am currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Kentucky (UK), and I have my own private piano studio with six students. At UK, I am pursuing a Master of Music in Sacred Music. The program here is giving me a great opportunity to deepen my understanding and appreciation of music as a gift from God. Classes, along with my piano lessons/studies, are giving me a good background and a deeper education in music, while challenging me along the way. I love being in a place where I can learn more about music and how music deeply impacts my daily life. The transition to UK has not really been hard for me at all. It is so good to be in a place where so many people share my love for music!
Asbury gave me the opportunity to grow in faith with my Lord, as challenging as that is from day to day. Asbury also did a great job of preparing me for the future. I learned so much about being driven and working hard throughout my four years of study at Asbury. I also think that Asbury has the best professors of any college in the world. If you want to get anywhere in life, you need determination and I think Asbury really taught me so much about that. Asbury also gave me some of the most wonderful friends I have ever had! If I am having a rough day, I know that I can call up one of my best friends and know that they will listen to whatever I have to say!
This summer I had a wonderful opportunity completing an internship at Alltech in Nicholasville, Ky. Graduation was Saturday, May 8, and I started working on Tuesday, May 12. The internship was a great opportunity for many reasons. I was able to gain practical experience in the field of public relations, learn a great deal about Alltech and its operations and enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities that came my way throughout my time with the company.
One of the highlights of my summer was being able to stand about 50 feet away from Muhammad Ali and actually meet and talk with his wife at an event sponsored by Alltech announcing a scholarship fund with the Muhammad Ali Center, based in Louisville, Ky.
From August to December of 2009, I had the opportunity to serve as a Volunteer In Action (VIA) with World Gospel Mission (WGM) in La Esperanza, Honduras. I had a wide range of responsibilities and opportunities: helping to teach English classes at an elementary school, working with the Holiness Church helping with youth and discipleship groups, and helping with the initial phases of construction for an alcohol rehabilitation center. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Honduras primarily because of the people I am able to interact with on a daily basis. The missionaries I worked with were great and very supportive in so many ways, the kids in the elementary school were awesome and each day working with them was truly a blessing, and the youth in the church are a great group who genuinely want to know the Lord and His will for their lives.
In mid-January I began working at Alltech again. My current job is with the Latin American marketing group and it is as exciting as it is challenging. It is an exciting opportunity because I am able to utilize both my majors: Communications, Public Relations emphasis, and Spanish. Each day, I am learning more about my role and what I will be doing, while completing about 85 percent of my daily tasks in Spanish. The thing that I most enjoy about my job is the people I work with. Each person is very supportive in helping me to better understand my job. They also edit the multiple English to Spanish translations I am asked to complete. The relationship is reciprocal as I am now the editor of everything my Latin American co-workers complete in English.
My time at Asbury not only helped me to become a more missions-minded Christian and feel more empowered to go to Honduras, but Asbury also provided me with countless opportunities to strengthen my faith, learning from peers and faculty alike. Over my four years at Asbury, I gained a better perspective for living out my faith in practical ways, something I was able to do each day in Honduras and now strive for in my place of work. My education at Asbury also enabled me to be more conscious of differences in cultural communications and being able to speak the Spanish language are integral components to my current job.
My favorite memories from Asbury stem from having a wonderful dorm experience and working in Res. Life. Besides the great memories from all of the fun had on Trustees Second East, I was able to live and interact with great groups of guys and create friendships that will go beyond the four years I was in school.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.