Teaching Discovery this past quad was a great blessing for me. I was a little reluctant to teach right away after a full summer at Base Camp, but it was exactly what I needed. I was blown away at how God put our group together and how the group supported and encouraged one another. A topic we focused on was finding rest in God even through a busy time in your life. Discovery provided a time for the students, as well as myself, to find this rest in being outside in His creation, laughing and having fun together. Thanks to my class for being a source of joy to each other and to me!
Read on for reflections from 2014 Quad 1 Discovery students and to see pictures from our class:
Photo Credit: Amber Dvornski
Josseline, First-Year Student at Gordon College
“Making the transition from high school to college has been quite a challenge. Some days are amazing, others okay, and in others, stress just takes over your day. It has been tough being away from family, building new relationships, and adjusting to a different schedule. In the midst of all this new craziness when I checked my schedule I remembered that I had to take a class called Discovery. Internally I was complaining that I had to take a class that took time away from my day, and I was not even going to receive credit for it. In my head, I thought it was just another gym class in which you needed to be athletic to do well. After all that fuss that took place inside my head, I have to be honest and say that Discovery has been one of the things that has made my college experience a positive one. Now I can see that Discovery went beyond my expectations and serves a deeper purpose than just a mere course requirement. Discovery has helped me to grow personally in my level of confidence, create new relationships, and widen my perspective of God’s manifestations. Three lessons that I will take with me and apply to my life even after Discovery is over are the importance of communication, the fact that joy and laughter make challenges less intimidating, and that fear is simply a state of mind.
Confidence is something with which I have struggled with in the past, especially confidence in my self. Lack of confidence can take away the joy of many experiences or opportunities. When I met God, He raised my confidence, but now being in a new environment, I felt that my confidence was slowly fading. At first I was afraid that this negative aspect of my life was going to get in the way of my Discovery experience. However God is good, and He always uses circumstances and people to help us grow. I am sure that God has used Discovery to remind me that I am capable of many things through Him. Even better, with the positive encouragement of the group and the fun group activities, He has been making my self-confidence stronger.”
Anonymous, First-Year Student at Gordon College
“I plan to take away the importance of relaxation and alone time with God. I need to find periods of time when I can relax and forget about all of the stress that comes with college. Whenever I was out at the course in the woods, I would instantly forget about everything else going on in my life. I could just concentrate on what we were discussing or what the current challenge was. It was an all-consuming experience. I really enjoyed this aspect. It was simply a community of laughter, joy and light. I need to remember how I felt at these times, so that I might deliberately set aside some time in my schedule for repose. I cannot forget my relationship with God in the face of academic or social distractions. I hope to schedule regular times when I can be alone with God and relieve myself of any stress! Overall, Discovery was an excellent time of community, exploration, and learning!”
Kelsey, First-Year Student at Gordon College
“We must train ourselves to be godly. This is the first, and likely most important lesson that I learned in Discovery (or relearned for the millionth time). I believe, that it is a core desire of God’s heart to be with and engage in the lives of His children. Yet, in the busyness of life, especially in starting a new life at school, most of which is spent doing homework, this is easy to forget. When we forget God desires to engage with us, then we cease to “train ourselves to be godly.” When we stop training in something, we sometimes get a little rusty. Just as I set aside time to train physically, by running every week, and train mentally by studying, I have been reminded of the importance of setting aside time to just listen to God, to train myself to listen each week. Yes, this was a beautiful lesson, one that I have been able to implement into my life through intentional time with our glorious God.
I have also taken away that it is important to enter all that you do with a positive attitude. If we shut things out because we think they are pointless, or a waste of time, or whatever the reason may be, then we lose the opportunity to experience something that could be truly life changing. So now I am walking away from Discovery with the intent to apply this to my life in not allowing expectations to hold me back from something I could truly love in any area.”