a place to thrive

Sioux Center, IA. Who knew, right? Whether you attended Dordt College, currently attend, or are looking into it as an option, did you ever think that the greatest place where you could grow would be here? I'll be straight up with you; I didn't. It kind of reminds me of the Bible story where Abraham and his nephew, Lot, are looking at the two places they can go. Lot takes the really "cool" land and he goes to the college right next to the beach where he can chillax and sunbathe while studying. And Abraham went to Dordt College. I know, I know, that isn't how the story goes. Please, locals, I mean no disrespect, but cornfields contending with beaches? I'll leave that there. As I look at the actual story, where most people would see a bleak landscape, God saw an opportunity to shape and equip a faithful servant to be the father of many nations. If we read a little more, we also see that things weren't quite as peachy on Lot's end. His wife turned into a pillar of salt for goodness sake! (Must've dated before Tri-state.) As I look retrospectively over the past 3.375 semesters (Yes, I calculated it), I find myself feeling like Abraham. I'm from Boise, Idaho and mountains hold the city captive. Moving from a place filled with outdoor activities besides cow-tipping, Northwest Iowa seemed rather bland. Little did I know that it would be place where God would grow me more than I could have ever imagined.

The opportunity to play football at the College level has had a tremendous effect on my development as a responsible adult and as a man chasing after the heart of Christ. Coaches have made the experience so much more valuable by constantly preaching the importance of a purpose beyond ourselves . Brothers, who are striving for the same goals, create a support system like no other. The chance to glorify the name of Christ through the gifts and talents He has provided is such a blessing. 6 AM workouts are, in a slightly deranged way, exciting. It may seem terrible at the time, but the mental toughness produced is akin to very few others. It also is wonderful knowing that we are being prepared for the daily grind that comes with being an independent adult; having to go to work and being excited about it as it is another opportunity to lift the name of Christ. 

Engineering. It's a monster. But I love it. It's kept me focused. It's kept me busy. Despite the circumstances, it has become a passion. I've learned so much about the amazing creation that surrounds all of us. As I go through my classes here at Dordt, my faith continues to grow. It's so fascinating how God has ordered the universe and we are able to discover how this creation behaves. Besides engineering courses, the core classes have been great for stretching me out of my comfort zone. It was awesome to be challenged theologically in Biblical Foundations class. Another example is a class that I am currently taking: Responding to Literature. I used to hate poems. Despise. Loathe. Yes. Now that I've been going through this class, I actually enjoy reading poems and discussing them (Thanks Dr. Elgersma). The academics here are challenging, but I appreciate the fact that they are growing me intellectually.

I could go on and on about all the ways that I've grown here at Dordt, but my fingers would probably fall off. It may seem a little desolate out here in the middle of cornfields and small bouts with pig stench, but God's got a blessing out here. He's doing a work for His kingdom and it's so evident. I'm just really happy and so blessed to be able to be out here learning and growing. 

Peace yo,

Josiah