May 17, 2017
Throughout the semester, my Saturday mornings were welcomed by the smell of arugula and sunshine. At Liberty University, we get to pick a place to volunteer each semester for our Christian Service, also known as CSER. I have been volunteering at a community farm called Lynchburg Grows, learning more about the importance of incorporating servanthood into daily living. At the farm, I was surrounded by such hard-working individuals and as I spent time working in the greenhouses I learned more about the importance of taking care of God’s creation.
With a mission to provide access to healthy food for Lynchburg residents while providing jobs to individuals with disabilities, this farm is truly at work for the greater good. Playing a part in an organization that combats hunger within the community was so humbling and made the day’s work so fulfilling. Every week my fiancé and I went to the garden and there was always something new to learn, whether it was planting seeds, picking vegetables, or washing spring mix lettuce. These tasks were tiring, but when I reminded myself that the work I was doing provided food for people who are in the local community it spurred a passion to continue.
I am so glad that we get to do volunteer work because it helps me get into the right mindset of serving others like Jesus did. Christian service is included in the curriculum at Liberty University so students can engage in community organizations and learn hands-on what it means to be a Champion for Christ! When you come to Liberty University, you too will have the opportunity to serve others in the Lynchburg Community. These experiences will teach you such valuable skills, and more importantly, you will be part of making an impact on the lives of other people to further God’s Kingdom.
This sign is always so welcoming when beginning the morning’s work!
There are several greenhouses on the property; this is a picture of the first one, which we work in most frequently.
So much lettuce!
There is also a goat at the farm and we like to feed him any scraps we might be getting rid of!
Here is a picture of Justin as we were cleaning out some of the beds in this greenhouse one week.
May 17, 2017
The end of the spring semester is always busy with assignments and studying for finals. Students have to move out of their dorms, and for some who are graduating, move on to full-time careers! In the midst of the transitions and to-do lists, it is good to enjoy events that the Student Activities team works so hard to put together.
To help ease the stress of assignments, a few friends and I enjoyed an acoustic concert hosted by Student Activities in the LaHaye Event Space on campus. Student artists like Judd Harris, as well as Julia Rothenberger and Wesley Montgomery, were welcomed to the stage. Judd Harris is part of the Liberty Worship Collective and leads worship regularly in Convocation. Wesley Montgomery and his band have only been together for a few months, but many recognized their music from Spotify and iTunes. The artists were no strangers to the crowd; with such outstanding talent, they have had previous opportunities to perform in front of an audience.
All three artists shared personal songs they wrote within the past few years, which made the concert all the more authentic. If you have a passion for music and the arts, you can also have the chance to learn and grow your talent while you attend Liberty University.
Along with concerts, there are also events such as Open Mic nights and Coffeehouse throughout the semester where students can perform their musical talent in front of peers! For more information on these events, you can always visit the Student Activities website. ----
Hyperlink: http://www.liberty.edu/campusrec/studentactivities/. The opportunities to get involved on campus are endless, whether you want to share your music, or you simply just want to listen, you will definitely enjoy these events!
Of course, nights like these are not complete without Cookout milkshakes and fries, which is always a popular place for students who have late night cravings! While the end of the semester is bittersweet, events like these help you stay in the moment, remembering to be thankful for the people beside you and the opportunities before you!
Judd Harris and a couple of his buddies after the show!
May 2, 2017
I headed into my weekend with some of my favorite people, crepes, and cookies, because that’s one way to celebrate after a long week of work and classes!
Since I will be graduating in a few weeks, I am trying to savor every last moment of my undergraduate career here at Liberty University. There is always something to do either on campus or in the surrounding city of Lynchburg!
If you didn't already know, there are over 900 International students at Liberty University. With such a cultural influence, there is an opportunity to experience several cultural events throughout the semester. The Foreign Language lab held an event called “La Chandeleur” to celebrate France’s National Crepe Day. There was a “Create your own Crepe” bar set up at the Argo Teahouse Lounge in the Montview Student Union where students could learn the steps behind crepe making.
As you can see in the pictures above there were toppings such as jam, honey, chocolate, and fruit. Some students even enjoyed their crepe filled with ham and cheese. I decided to fill my crepe with Nutella and strawberries and I topped it off with whipped cream to add that extra hint of sweetness. It was fun to learn how to make a Crepe and celebrate this delicacy from France!
After enjoying my crepe, I headed on over to the grand opening of “Mookies,” a food truck which serves handcrafted cookies and milk and ice cream sandwiches. It isn't hard to find good food in Lynchburg, Virginia; within the town, there are so many unique restaurants and food trucks. At this particular food truck, the cookies served are made from scratch daily and the flavors are chocolate chip, triple chocolate, and snickerdoodle. It was so fun to be at Mookies for the grand opening, and the warm cookies were definitely worth it!
Lynchburg is definitely a city to be in; a place filled with beautiful views, good food, and some of my best friends! While at Mookies I saw this beautiful rainbow and it reminded me that God’s promises are always good. I am so thankful for these past few years that I have had at Liberty University, there are so many unique opportunities to learn and grow here.
March 22, 2017
Throughout the semester, students at Liberty have the opportunity to hear from world-renowned speakers, authors, and worship artists. At this past Convocation, Christy Nockels, Rebecca Lyons and Ann Voskamp, the women part of the Broken & Free tour, shared their stories and led students together in prayer and worship.
Later on that evening, the Broken and Free Tour continued as an event for the ladies of Liberty. While it was Christy Nockels first time at Liberty, her music is not foreign to students because the Worship Collective has sung many of her songs in Convocation. The Liberty University Concert Hall was the perfect setting for Christy Nockels to sing worship songs from her newest album Let it be Jesus. Christy Nockels is passionate about music; she started her career with her husband Nathanial and also served at Passion City Church with Chris Tomlin and Christian Stanfill. Her experience in the music industry has given her a platform to share her talent and reach many people. After Christy opened the night, Rebekah Lyons and Ann Voskamp joined her on stage to introduce themselves.
Rebekah shared scriptural truth with the women and read excerpts from her newly released book “You Are Free.” She currently serves as the cofounder of Q Ideas, a non-profit that teaches Christians how to influence culture. Rebekah serves alongside her husband Gabe Lyons, who also spoke at Liberty University Convocation last semester! Students enjoyed listening to Liberty alumni Rebekah passionately shared what God taught her in the past few years of life.
Following Rebekah, Ann Voskamp spoke a powerful message to women about living a broken beautiful life by finding strength in God while navigating through the trials that will be faced in this world. She encouraged women to love one another as she led them in speaking truth over each other. Ann is the best-selling author of the novels: The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts. She was not a stranger to the students at Liberty; many remembered the powerful words she shared in convocation last year and were excited to welcome her back.
All three women are passionate about equipping women to live freely through Christ, by relying on Him in the trials that leave us feeling broken. They all shared the love that they have for their families and the passion they have to live life fully through God’s grace. It was a privilege that Liberty University had the opportunity to be a part of the Broken & Free Tour and welcome three inspiring women to boldly speak truth to the Liberty University student body.
March 22, 2017
Global Focus Week (GFW) is a semi-annual event at Liberty University that aims to increase global understanding among the student body. There are so many different Christian organizations around the world that come to Liberty University during GFW to educate students on what God is doing around the world and offer opportunities for students to get involved in their ministry. The LU Serve International department at Liberty organizes several events throughout the week for students to hear from guest speakers and experience different cultures. Some of the events that I attended this week are “The March of the Nations” Convocation, Experience Israel, South East Asia culture exposure, and the Hunger Banquet.
The March of the Nations Convocation is a great start to all the other events that take place throughout Global Focus Week. During Convocation, students walk around with flags representing their country of origin while Campus Collective lead the student body in songs of worship. Students love watching classmates represent their country because they are reminded of the work that God is doing around the world.
If students want to learn more about cultures around the world, they can attend the events hosted by LU Serve International. At Experience Israel, students heard stories about the Holy Land and took part in Israeli folk dancing. A representative from the Israeli Feks martial arts organization gathered the students together and taught self-defense moves. A fellow Liberty student shares her testimony while classmates enjoy Israeli cookies and tea. Later in the week, at the Southeast Asia culture exposure event, there were samples of Ma-Po Tofu, which is fried tofu and ground pork with seasonings, and sencha green tea all prepared by Liberty’s campus dining services, Sodexo. The students who attended these events were happy to walk away knowing more about the culture than they did before.
At the end of the week, LU Serve International prepared a hunger banquet with guest speaker, Kate Thorton, the director of hunger and sustainability at the Hunger Solutions Institute. She spoke about the reality of global hunger and encouraged students to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world. There was so much to learn at the Hunger Banquet and all of the other events that occurred throughout the week. Global Focus Week is full of fun, experiential, and informative events, and whether or not students are interested in working globally, everyone can enjoy these events with a greater understanding of the work that God is doing in different parts of the world.
Tea with fresh mint was served with the cookies!
Many students enjoyed the Southeast Asia Exposure event!