My time at NNU undoubtedly formed me into the person I am today. Perhaps one of the most influential experiences was the opportunity I had to study abroad in Mukono, Uganda during the fall semester of my junior year. The experience there opened my eyes, gave me new passions and led me to an entirely new direction in life.
Yet, it was during the semester I returned that life as I knew it nearly came to a halt. I did not handle reverse culture shock well (to say the least), and I found myself struggling to process the issues and events I had witnessed in Uganda while attempting to manage more than a full class load. (I thank my roommates for graciously enduring me that semester. I know it wasn’t easy, and I love you.)
But in that dark place of doubt and loneliness, I was not as isolated as I felt. All the professors in NNU’s School of Theology and Christian Ministries played a crucial role in my return to self and even to faith. I cannot even begin to express the gratitude and love I have for each professor who took time to talk through the tough issues, to listen to my developing thoughts and to confront my challenges.
I can truly say I would not be who I am today if they hadn’t taken the time to notice something was wrong, to welcome me into their office and to provide a safe classroom environment to work out questions and ideas. All the staff, especially the religion professors that I came to know best, allowed me the space I needed while holding me close in the truth that God is love and is very present and active in our lives today.
I can never say thank you enough, but thank you.