Hi, my name is Ryan Dowling and I am one of the two bloggers for "Service, Missions, and Leadership". I am an English/Langauge Arts major with a Secondary Education minor. Yep, I am one of those future tolerators and educators of awesome teenagers. I am a Junior with Senior privileges-it's one of those Judson things. My accent is a compliment of Tuscaloosa, AL; the place I call home when I get the opportunity to visit. And, I love being used by God. You will get to read all about the great ways God surprises me on a daily basis. Stick around. It's going to be interesting.
The walkathon wasn't the end of our weekend. We had a lot more learning, fellowshipping, and loving to do. Our next session dealt with recognizing the needs of others around us. It taught the girls and myself that people are worth our time. During our session each girl had an opportunity to say what they were going to do to reach people at school who were hurting. Some said they were going to sit with other people at lunch, they were going to say hey to people they normally wouldn't talk to, and some where going to do something huge, like, forgive people or ask for forgiveness for something they did wrong to others.
Phillipians 2: 5-8
The 2nd session led into our worship concert. It was AMAZING! The 60+ youth praised God without reserve by the end of the night. They really opened up and 3 people accepted Christ before the end of the night.
The last session was the best to me. It was all about being Jesus' hands and feet. It summed up everything we learned about: to love, to accept, and to serve. Most of all, it taught the girls to not be luke warm. They understood that they needed to help others and in turn it would help them grow closer to God.
Revelation 3: 14-17
This was a great beginning to the month of LOVE. I know it's a corny phrase, but it's true all the same. For 2 days we got to talk, worship, and learn about Jesus-His love, His life, and His lessons. I met some AWESOME girls that weekend and learned many valuable life lessons.
If you ever get a chance to serve at a D-Now, DO IT! It truly is life changing. I promise you will LOVE it.
On Wednesday the Education department went to the Selma Library to check out books for our lesson plans we will be teaching later on in the semester. Well, not only did I check out great books, I learned something new and useful for the GED program.
As a department, we were introduced to Mrs. Becky, the director of the Library and our tour guide. She told us about all the great programs they offered at the library including the GED classes that they hold. I knew at that moment I needed to talk to her when I got a chance. She finished her introductory speech about the library shortly after and we started touring the library.
Our first stop was the children's section. It is so colorful and intriguing for children (even adults, I didn't want to leave). They have a salt water aquarium, a hamster, and reading centers for the children to explore while they search the library for something fun to read. While we were on the tour, Dr. Sheek commented that I might need to talk to her about the GED program to get advice. When we, finally, got through with seeing all of the fun centers for children, youth, and young adults, I pulled Mrs. Becky to the side and asked her about the GED classes.
I told her about the classes we started last August and that we needed help. That's all it took for her to point me in the right direction. More like, grab my arm and pull me towards the stairs leading to the classroom. She took me out of our field trip assignment, after asking Dr. Sheek's permission, and led me to the GED class that operates daily. This is where I met Mrs. Christian.
Mrs. Christian not only teaches the class, but she has been a veteran for thirty years! Talk about a blessing from God. We sat together in her office discussing materials, lesson plans, and tutoring strategies for thirty minutes! I gained so much knowledge from her. She is even coming to observe us Tuesday to give us pointers. How awesome is that?!? She knows our financial situation, too. So, to help, she gave us insight for Pell grants to help with the program.
To think, I was expecting a boring tour of a library. Instead, I received a morning of advice that will help me for years. God never tells us His plan, but He sure does reveal Himself when you're on the right track. The whole morning was more confirmation to keep our GED program going. It was a great up lifter and I never would have gotten it if it wasn't for individuals who care and people that Judson (given by God) has provided.
Nope, this isn't a spill-the-beans blog about the big/lil sis banquet. This is a blog about the new responsibilities I have as a big sister.
Every year sophomores have the privilege of receiving a freshman to mentor; to lead through traditions and life, even. I want the latter. I think having a person to disciple is one of the fulfillments of Christian duties. God placed Lindy and me together for a reason and we have already learned so much from each other. So, where do I start?
First, I have to realize that, sure, as students we need to carry on traditions, however, if God isn't the root of all of them, then why do them? Judson is a place for us to grow in Him without any hindrance and to provide the best education possible. Traditions are all about sisterhood. We do them as a school, not as individuals trying to fit into a certain clique. Judson teaches that a family is stronger than an individual. We need each other. Just like the Bible teaches that the Church is in need of all its members. I am a big sister to carry this legacy on to her.
Second, I need to help her with school. As an upperclassmen (even by a year), I know more than she does about classes and scheduling. Just like my big sister knows more than me. I needed someone to help me in my schooling efforts as a freshmen and I had a big sister to do so. She answered questions about teachers and what the work load would be like. Now, it's my turn to answer my little's questions. Hopefully, they will be answers she needs.
Third, as Christians we need to always strive to learn more about Christ. I love that Judson gives us so many options towards spiritual growth. We have small groups, chapel, the CORE, and so much more. I don't want her to become stagnant. I think that knowing where your fellow brothers and sisters are in Christ is one of the most important things an individual can do. What's great is that Lindy is a very spiritually mature person. We keep each other accountable. And I believe we will grow in Christ even more because of our new sisterhood.
Among traditions at Judson, the Big/Lil Sister banquet is my favorite so far. It's the start of them all, actually. It's the night where we are no longer students seeing each other in class from day to day. We become sisters, a family that can only be found at Judson.
I am so confused. Jaunuary isn't supposed to be this short. However, it has been productive, so, I am okay with the fleeting of time.
For updates on many things, the GED program is going great. We have five new participants! We had to adjust a few things, especially with teaching methods, but all is well. Good news is that KDE might be adopting us so that the program will be ongoing for years. We have big plans for this ministry. Eventually, we want to turn it into a career program, not only helping people get their GEDs, but helping them go to college or find another job.
My field experience in school is quite entertaning, as well. Every Friday, Mrs. Tucker lets the students participate in "freaky Friday". She allows the students to write their own poetry and recite it, from memory, in front of the whole class. Not only does this build confidence and the ability to accept positive critique from other students, it shows me the diversity in a classroom. I heard a marvelous singer, an influential speaker, and a comedian perfom for us and it was truly eye-opening for me. I was a bit scared going into this semester. I didn't know what to do in the classroom or how to deal with all of the paperwork outside of the classroom. Fortunately, being in a class that is educational and fun has eased my uneasiness about pursuing education. I go into the classroom every Friday and have genuine fun. I know that teaching can't be fun and games all the time, then again, why can't it?
The first CORE meeting of the semester was last night. Girl, was it informative! We spent the whole hour, from 7pm to 8pm, on missions. As a Christian based school, we have the opportunity to learn about missions, more so here, I believe than anywhere else. The great part is we have so many girls who want to serve. Our night was devoted to NAMB, IMB, and StudentDotGo. For those of you who haven't had a calling for missions, no worries, we have other events. Like a Luau! Yay! It's been an anual event for two years now. We are holding it at the "cabin" on the edge of campus. Hopefully, we will have karoke, a bonfire, games, and so much more. Woot, Woot!
Yep, we have been busy this January. I am not complaining. Well, I may be complaining about the lack of sleep. It's all a blessing from God. I should remind myself of such more often. :). If you would, please pray about these subjects. If you have any prayer requests, let me know.