La Vida Center for Outdoor Education & Leadership
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Personal Testimonies

The following are excerpts taken from students' journals and papers in various Discovery classes.

I have been encouraged by the willingness to participate and the ease with which our group has begun to form a “community.” Despite my desire to go to the La Vida trip in May, I am happy to be in Discovery and to look forward to seeing how people will grow and perform over the semester. My fears that Discovery would not be as exciting as La Vida have been counteracted by the prospect of being able to get to know this group of people and also to participate in activities and challenges. What a diverse group we have! African, Brazilian, International, athletic, loud, quiet- a nice mix of personalities and surprisingly good ratio of male/female students.

I have been diligently trying to make myself like cargo. I know in the past I have been the captain of the ship and have done a good job at it, but now I see that I should step aside and let other people take over. Clothing myself with humility (1 Peter 5:5) can be done in such a way as to make myself cargo so as to build others up. I have been a leader in the past and have grown in my ability, but for Discovery, it would benefit me zero and benefit others zero for me to act as captain. I already know that’s what God’s called me to and I believe that in Discovery, I should just humble myself to servanthood so others can grow in their abilities.


First day of Discovery was not what I expected. It seemed like it would just be a class to get through, but actually I enjoyed it a lot. I met a lot of fun people, and I’m looking forward to where the class goes this quad. My impressions seem to be supporting the idea of a growing community, which is refreshing to have. As for the future, I hope it is just as unpredictable as it was today, in good ways I hope. I would like to be changed by this experience somehow and it looks like I will. All in all, it’s so far so good.


When it comes to my hopes, fears, and expectations for Discovery, they are more oriented with getting over my fear of heights. Ever since I was a kid, the thought of bridges, cliff jumping and climbing trees absolutely terrified me. So when I heard that we had to climb trees in Discovery, you can imagine my anxiety. So in joining this class, I hope to put this phobia behind me and hopefully never give it a second thought the next time someone dares me to climb a tree. I believe this fear has affected my character in a lot of ways and so by defending this “monster” I expect to start building on my character.


This class was, in my mind, an excuse for Gordon to try to make me hang out with weird Christian people who I did not want to be around. I couldn’t even tell you how wrong I was and how much I have learned about some of the most amazing people at this school. The way that I saw our team completely come together as a group of strangers, becoming one of the closest, friendliest groups of people I have met on Gordon campus was amazing. This class has been unequivocally my favorite class I have taken while I was at Gordon.
 

I realized everything we did had a purpose; not just for the class but for the way it has affected us individually for the rest of our lives. Since that weekend, I have really been seeking for what I need in my life to have that strength. My relationship with God has been so much stronger, and I have been making changes in my life that I never thought I would. I am not just saying this for the grade; I am saying this because I want to voice the importance the events of this class and the testimonies of the individuals have had on my life. I have lived my life all for myself for twenty-one years, and what I learned over one quad has put me on a slow path towards where I believe I should be.


Just like you can physically see a long way, spiritually you can see more clearly at these moments. It puts things in perspective. God is so great and awesome, and I am so small.