STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 11/22/2010

The Gordon DNA: Rachel '11 and Joshua '11 Bell

Training for Mission in the 21st Century

When twins Rachel and Joshua Bell began looking for colleges in the U.S. from their hometown of Harare, Zimbabwe, they had no intention of sticking together. After scouring the websites of many Christian colleges, they separately settled on Gordon, where they were both accepted as A. J. Gordon Scholars.

“I liked how at Gordon academic excellence was equally as important as Christian character,” says Josh, who’s majoring in biblical and theological studies. Last year he completed the Jerusalem and Athens Forum (JAF) honors program. “JAF instilled in me a desire to learn; but more than that, a desire to learn properly through comparing texts and thinking critically,” he says. “Augustine as a thinker has come to influence me more than any other writer. After reading Confessions and City of God, I have gone on to study his work more closely in Oxford.”

Rachel, a Pike Scholar majoring in international development, finds Gordon rigorous in ways that stretch her thinking. “I’m being exposed to a wider world and a variety of different opinions and beliefs within Christianity,” she says. “I’ve been forced to confront the good and bad of humanity’s history and future—my history and future. I’m not only learning, but unlearning too.” Each year at Gordon she’s participated in Harvard University’s Model United Nations.

While the Bells appreciate the opportunities, adjusting to the abundance of life in America hasn’t always been easy. “When we left Zimbabwe, food was very precious,” says Josh. “Here in America people are oftentimes materialistic and wasteful.” Still, the lessons learned in America have inspired both Josh and Rachel to return to Zimbabwe and bring about restoration—Rachel in government and Josh as a teacher
of theology.

NEXT: Photo Essay: A. J. Gordon's Seven Themes Today