Belle Szalkowski Devotional

 

Belle Szalkowski Devotional

Student Devotional

     Have you ever felt completely and utterly out of your depth? Like you are grasping for air and you can’t seem to get your head above water? Finally you wade into shore and you can breathe free and clear again. You look back at the water and realize that no matter how hard it was, you survived. You feel invigorated, you made it! You’ve accomplished something huge by just surviving and smiling! This has been my relationship with God through my life. One of my favorite verses that I keep coming back to is:

Psalm 13:6 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for He has been good to me.”

     I have spent many years of my life simply trying to keep my head above water. College is overwhelming. I’ve had multiple exhausting injuries, and serving in ministry can be draining. It is through God’s grace that I’ve made it as far as I am in life. The reason I keep going back to this verse is because no matter what point of my life I am in it applies. If I am drowning in schoolwork I can still praise God for blessing me with an education. If I am overwhelmed with my ministry work I can praise God for giving me a chance to share His glory.

     I say all this because I have learned that praising God even in the midst of struggle is the best lesson I’ve learned. Even when I was homeless I thought of this verse and that God, no matter my circumstances has been good to me and is worthy of my praise.

     I challenge you to meditate over this. If you truly believe God is good, then doesn’t He deserve our praise even when things aren’t going our way? Even if you feel that you are drowning, God has been good to you and is worthy to be praised.

 

 

GCD Alumni Student Experience

 

GCD Alumni Student Experience

The Expereience Student Ministry Internship

During my time in the Experience internship with GCD, most of my classes took place in class rather than online. I remember having a hard time becoming acclimated to the online courses because they were structured differently. After the internship, I moved back home to Roanoke Rapids, NC and continued my education completely online. Immediately, I ran into an issue – I was unable to find all my required courses in online form. Because of the issue, I had to call GCD to find out if any of my electives could substitute for a required class. Luckily, a couple of my previous classes substituted for prerequisites.

Year 1! So on the top left of the picture, you will see some of my friends I grew up with. These guys were my life, and still are. But after a series of God moments and a lot of tears, the Lord directed and CONVINCED me to do theExperience internship with GCD. I didn’t want to do it, but I’m glad I did. After a series of events, God broke my will, and I quickly fell in love with the people and ministry at GCD and Manna. The people in the second photo are the interns I now call my lifelong friends. They mean so much to me. God took us to Costa Rica (bottom left picture) and showed us what he was doing over seas and brought us together as a team. Then after a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and coffee, we made it through our first year of the internship and we were radically changed people. When I look back on this year, I clearly see that this year was a time of building foundations! God took everything I had built my life upon beforehand and completely shattered it. Then He built a new foundation in me and taught me that you can only grow as tall as you are deep. These words end up being the basis of all to come in the future, because little did I know of the terrors that lay ahead of me in the next year of my life! More on that in the next post! To be continued…! @captainseaturtle #internship #theexperience #changed #neverthesame #ministry #friends #coffee

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Year 2! So this was the year I dread and love them most. After wrestling once again with God, He convinced me to do the second year internship, which means more responsibility, school, people, and gallons of coffee. The years set up was pretty much the same as before, but the challenges were different. You know the story when Jacob and God wrestled? Do you remember how God touched Jacobs leg and it came out of socket? Well during this time, I was wrestling with God, and He touched me in a sensitive spot. He touched my identity which left me completely and utterly a wreck! I had no idea who I was anymore and I could hardly make it through the days. But I learnt so many things that year, and it became by far the most important year of my life thus far. So here are a few tid bits I learnt. The first lesson is that no matter how lost you are, you are always a child of God first, and the rest second. The second lesson is that where you have been and who people say you are does not define you, God defines you. The third lesson is that you can either let brokenness control you, or let brokenness humble you so God can lift you up through His power and Grace instead of opposing you. Matthew 23:12. The last lesson is that even if you are as lost as an Easter egg, and your identity is unsure, the Lord our God who knitted you and fashioned all your parts together knows who you are exactly. And that, my friends, is a solid rock you can rest on. You don’t always have to know the answers. But you do have to rest in Gods truths. And in that place God will reveal who you are. #theexperience #internship #year2 #important #jesussaves #redeems #heknowsyou #helovesyou #restinhim #pureunabridgedmajesty

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 Online Bible College

I cannot say that doing four to five classes online every semester has been good for my health, especially early on. The process is very stressful and time consuming. However, after two semesters, I got the hang of online study and was able to reduce my study time by a couple hours. Because of the similar course patterns in almost ever class, I began to find a rhythm, and work became easier as I became a better student. My grades have been better through online classes, and that is important to me. I believe the online courses have forced me to study and pay attention more to detail as opposed to being in class with people. I realized that I do not retain information being spoken to me as well as information read and written about.

 

Year 3! So, after I graduated the internship the Lord opened the door for me to move back home and take over as the youth coordinator. So I did, and I continued to work on my bachelors degree online. But I'll tell you what, online school is hard!! I've spent more hours reading and writing in one year than I did in two years in campus! Sometime I just want to jump off a cliff, but I refrain 😬. But in the end, all the hard work is worth it! I have fallen in love with the youth in the Church and they make my life awesome! I pretty much have the coolest job in the world. I get payed to have fun and teach kids, plus the occasional road trip! But the year has also had its challenges as it should. God really challenged me to step out my comfort zone and to do more adventurous things. So as a result I have gotten into hiking, long boarding and I even took a group of 30 from the youth group skiing practically on my own! That was tough! And as you can see, I have a lot of pictures of only a few of my adventures from that year. But through it all, I learned the most about Gods timing. I watched a lot of my friends gain things I have been desiring for a long time. And it's been a challenge to not get jealous, but I know that jealousy doesn't get you anywhere. My patience and trust in God has grown tremendously, and the biggest lesson I've learned is that a good thing at the wrong time becomes a bad thing. Therefore you must wait for the right thing in Gods timing, whether that be love, marriage, career, kids, purpose, promotion, (insert desire here). Isaiah 40:31 "but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Just wait on him, and He will carry you. #waitonhim #helovesyou #jesusissustainingme #year3 #worklife #pureunabridgedmajesty

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Bible College Student

Because of my experience with online courses, I do not believe online classes are for everyone. Some people learn much better through lectures, and others learn better with reading and writing assignments. If you are like me and learn by reading and writing, then online classes are for you. But, if you learn by listening to a teacher, then online courses may not be the best decision for you. However, you have to do what must be done in order to obtain your education. If you work hard no matter what your learning style is, then online classes are worth the extra work.

 

Year 4! So this year is my last year of college, and in many ways it has been the most challenging. It is not that school or even the work is the challenge, but it's the loss of friends… Sort of… Many of my closest friends have ventured off into their first year of college and I have been left here at home, lonely at times. But as my friends have left to start their own adventures, I have gained a whole new generation of kids in our youth group and I have learnt the value of adding value to others. And the biggest challenge is to help transport the culture that made the previous group soo amazing into these new youthees. But it's a good challenge. Yet, as I am coming to an end in this part of my journey, I am nervous and yet excited about the next steps. I don't have a clue what those steps are, but if I have learned anything in the past 4 years is that what ever God leads you to, it will always be great and worth it. I also feel a strong need for Gods wisdom because I need it. So I've dedicated this year to gaining wisdom with my whole heart. As a matter of fact, the scripture tells us to seek wisdom "Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth." And I know that the wisdom of God is going to direct my steps in the coming future. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 God has got me! No worries 😁 #wisdom #timing #friends #growing #proverbs #trustinthelord #helovesyou #pureunabridgedmajesty

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Final post! So this has been a fun ride, but all good things come an end! I just want to give a couple final thoughts to end the night. So I'm playing my favorite guitar, her name is Nessa Rose. (Don't judge). I call her Nessa Rose because Nessa means pure and Roses are beautiful. So the name means Pure and Beautiful. 😁 I like that picture and I strive to find the pure and beautiful things in this world. They come in many shapes and are in each person. But the most pure and beautiful things are the workings God does inside of you. The question is can you draw them out? The hearts of man are like deep waters, and it takes work, patience, love, and the Holy Spirit to draw them out. So my final advice to you is to seek out the pure and beautiful things that God is doing inside of you and others, and capitalize on those deep workings. Be aware of what God is doing in you and others and always ask yourself how you can participate with God in what He is doing. Selah. Alright! Enough from me! God bless you all and continue to seek God in all you do! #gcdtakeover #fun #selah #Jesussaves #Jesuschangesus #gcd #pureunabridgedmajesty

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Student Spotlight: Rachel Shinnick

 

Student Spotlight: Rachel Shinnick

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INTRODUCTION:

Meet our student spotlight for this week. Her name is Rachel Shinnick, she is a freshman attending GCD to obtain her Certificate in Christian Leadership while being an intern at Manna Church. Here are photos that she posted when she did the Instagram takeover. Instagram: gcdivinity.

 

Student Ministries Intern

 

 

Bible College Professor

 

 

Internship Trip to Honduras

 

 

Student Ministries Gen Ignite

 

Modeling the new @genignite sweatshirts. And then because our photographer had to get in on it too. #weinternsarecrazy #andIloveusforit

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Mentoring

 

 

Student Life

 

 

Fight For Peace Talent Showcase

 

Fight For Peace Talent Showcase

     Fight-for-peace-manna-church-student-ministries

     As the new year comes around people will be talking about their resolutions. Other people will talk about the new year bringing peace. Manna Church set out to achieve peace when they hosted the 2nd Annual Fight For Peace Talent Showcase.

Manna Church in conjunction with theExperience interns hosted an event on December 4th to combat the rising teen violence. This event had 13 students from different high schools come out to audition for a chance to win a prize. The acts ranged from singing, spoken word, to highland dancing. Several of the students had written their own songs for the performance.


The winners were: Sofia Perez, who sang and performed an original song, won third place and a prize of $100, second place and $200 went to Emagen, a dancing duo who did a comedy dance skit inspired by the Les Twins duo, and in first place was Ian with a spoken word won $300.

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(Sofia Perez third place winner)

Fight-for-peace-manna-church-student-ministries-3 (Emagen second place winners)

Fight-for-peace-manna-church-student-ministries-3(Ian first place winner) 

     This event was created to bring awareness to the teen violence happening in the Fayetteville and Cape Fear Region.


GCD students, who are part of the Experience internship which partners with Manna Church, helped facilitate and execute the event. There were also two students who represented the Fayetteville Cumberland Youth Council. These students, Ashley and Makala, spoke against bullying in the schools. Ashley also helped form an anti bullying committee within the council.

The Talent Showcase was a chance for students and families to get together for one night to learn about teen violence and to have a night of fun. This event was perfect for the coming year as the Fayetteville region continues its battle with teen violence and its cry for peace.

 

TheExperience Internship and TheExperience Weekend

 

TheExperience Internship and TheExperience Weekend

The Experience Internship

Overview

This is an internship designed to equip students to change the world through faith, character, and leadership skills. This internship combines academics and practical leadership experience. Every intern will choose a track getting specialized training and experience within a specific field.

Academics

TheExperience Internship offers a Certificate of Christian Leadership upon graduation. If desired, the intern may come back for a second year and obtain an Associate’s Degree of Christian Leadership. The Certificate is a year-long program and provides 11 Courses (30 credit hours), the Associate’s is a two year-long program and provides 22 Courses (60 credit hours).

Both years provide the following:

– Annual International Mission Trips

– National Leaders Conferences

– Weekly Mentoring Meetings with Pastor Michael Fletcher

– Domestic Trips and Outreaches

– Spiritual Growth & Biblical Teaching

– Character Development

– Individualized Teaching

– Specialized Training

– Practical Leadership Experience

Student Life

The Experience Internship

The intern will build life-giving relationships with fellow interns and participating in the following activities:

–  International Missions Trip

–  Team Workouts

–  Group Outings

–  Family Nights

–  Road Trips

–  Monthly Student Events

–  Lifelong Friendships

Track Options

Worship and Fine Arts: This track is focused on those who feel that are called to be worship leaders, graphic designers, videographers, dancers, sound engineers, etc. The interns will be developing their talent in the ministry field. Audition and interview required.

Outreach & Missions: This track is focused on those who feel called to reach the global community through long-term and short-term missions, evangelism, and community outreaches. Interview required.

Leadership: This track equips the interns in the finer areas of leadership and offer unique opportunities to develop advanced leadership skills. Interns are evaluated in specific areas of practical leadership based on their personal calling and life goals.

Want to be an Intern?

Come to our next event TheExperience Weekend November 13th and 14th. Here you will meet the staff and current interns while getting all the information you need to know about the internship. We will talk about academics, leadership opportunities, track options, internship schedule, student life, scholarships and various financial aid options. Representatives of TheExperience, Manna Church, and Grace College of Divinity will be present to answer any questions. For more information about theExperience Weekend, call or email Anne Fletcher to annefletcher@mannachurch.org or 910-849-9464.

Student Spotlight: Janeissa Ortiz

 

Bible-college-student

Student Spotlight: Janeissa Ortiz

Janeissa Ortiz is in the first year of the Experience internship with GCD and Manna Church. She grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to North Carolina with her family about three years ago. Upon graduating from high school she received a nursing assistant certificate. Janeissa also enjoys to dance; she is in a hip hop dance crew and teaches hip hop at a local dance studio. She plans to continue in the Experience internship next year to receive her Associate’s of Christian Leadership with GCD. After the Christian Internship with GCD and Manna Church Janeissa hopes to pursue a career as a missionary nurse.

 

Photos from Janeissa’s Instagram Takeover

 

IGTakeover: @lingo__cvc #StudentTakeover #IGTakeover Take it away!

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Catalyst in Atlanta with the intern family #interns2015 #gcdstudents #mannachurchleaders #catalyst2015

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"Our mandate as leaders is to awaken the wonder in others" -Andy Stanley

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Intern girls at Catalyst having some fun learning more about our leadership…. #catalyst2015 #interns2015 #interngirls

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Interns 2015!!!!! #mannachurchleaders #interns2015 #gcdstudents

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Catalyst day #2 #catalyst2015 #interns2015 #mannachurch #gracecollegeofdivinity

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#quoteoftheday #mannachurch #gracecollegeofdivinity #interns2015

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Pastor Trip Lee at Catalyst #interns2015 #gracecollegeofdivinity #mannachurch #catalyst2015 #photooftheday

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United Event

 

Student Ministries

United Event

student-ministry-united-event

Hey guys just wanted to talk to you about a great event Manna Church had this past Sunday called the United Event. You may ask, what is a United Event? Well, a United Event is when students from all the Rush clubs and Conversations from Manna come together with their families for a night of games, worship, a message and just a lot of fun. But what is a Rush club or a conversation? These are different small groups that meet either at the different high schools, middle schools, and colleges during the week or during the evening on a Sunday at a Manna Church location. This event took place at Manna Church, our next door neighbors. We had the privilege of getting involved with it by having our own table to talk to students about our degrees and certificates by giving them general information about GCD. Other groups that were involved were College internship-theExperience, Angel’s Kitchen, and the Fayetteville Dream Center.At this event we had the honor to have the Mayor of Fayetteville, the Mayor of Hope Mills, the Superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools, and Nicole Carr from our local news. Many important people from our state attended and spoke great words of wisdom to our students. One of our very own interns, Belle Szalkowski, gave a great testimony of how God has worked in her life and how she got to where she is now. She spoke amazing words of wisdom to our younger students and parents, it was great to see her up there.

           Let’s talk a little bit about how GCD relates to Manna Church and how the Christian internship relates to us.

Grace College of Divinity is a Bible college in North Carolina that shares the same property as Manna Church on Cliffdale Road. Many GCD students are involved with Manna Church. GCD as a whole is very involved with Manna Church, and vice versa, many of the outreaches for example that we plan are assisted by Manna Church staff. Also, many of the faculty and staff here also work at Manna Church, which means we are like a big family. On the other hand, Manna Church has a program called theExperience Internship which is a Christian internship where young adults get the opportunity to have a year only focused on God. The “interns” at the end of their first year receive a certificate called the Certificate in Christian Leadership and after their second year they receive an Associates in Christian Leadership.With all this being said, I hope many of you attend our next United Event going towards the Holidays. God Bless you all.