Hi everyone!! How are everyone’s weeks going?

My week’s been really great, although a little hectic as final projects roll around. But mostly, I feel like this week has been a week full of learning.
Yesterday, I went to something called “Meet the Neighbors,” an event that Biola’s Global Student Programs and Development, or GSPD, puts on every year. Side note: there are over 400 international students on campus, and GSPD organizes community groups, groups that international students can be a part of to help them transition, process, and be in community with other international students.
“Meet the Neighbors” is centered around an international food tasting event! Each community group is given a specific country, ingredients, and a few hours to prepare a popular dish from that country. After spending hours in the kitchen, everyone comes back together and the entire Biola community is invited to sample foods from different countries and vote for the best one! Although it does produce a bit of friendly competition between the groups, it’s mostly just a time to come together, celebrate different cultures, and commune over really tasty food! (The Thai curry won, btw, which I voted for). The night ended in a big dance party as we ate leftovers.
Fast-forward to today. For one of my classes, I were assigned to take a trip to the Museum of Tolerance and write a reflection paper relating our experience to the concepts that we are learning in class. So today, I drove to LA with a few of my classmates to visit the Museum of Tolerance.If you aren’t familiar, the Museum of Tolerance is a museum dedicated to honoring the victims of the Holocaust. The museum also facilitates discussions that challenge its visitors to confront prejudice and discrimination in our world today. Here’s a few photos from today.

We got the amazing privilege to hear a testimony from a Holocaust survivor, a man who was only 8 years old and living in Poland when the war broke out. It was such an honor to hear this man’s story during the midst of such a truly dark time. It was also sobering to go through the rest of the exhibits, remembering those who did not share the same story of survival. I left with a heavy heart, and, even as I sit here writing to you today, I remain heavyhearted.

As I mentioned before, this week seems to be a week of learning. Yesterday, I attended an event created to celebrate culture and to learn and fellowship with people who share different backgrounds than myself. As I look back on yesterday, with a fresh remembrance of what happens when you do not celebrate the beauty in diversity, I value it all the more greatly.

I write to you not pretending that I have all the answers, nor that my thoughts and emotions regarding the past couple of days are all organized neatly and in a place where I can articulately express them. But I do know that college is about learning: learning about yourself and about others, about the past and about the present. And ultimately, college is about learning in community, with others and with God. And I’m SO grateful that I get to do exactly this in a community like Biola, where the teachers and administrators push you to truly learn, no matter how real and raw and messy that may be. I’m grateful for a community to celebrate and cry with as we all learn alongside one another, pushing each other towards Christ, the one with, truly, all the answers.

Thanks so much for checking in and coming alongside me as I learn in community this semester. You all are big piece of my life that pushes me to want to learn and grow all the more. I hope you know that.

Until next week, I hope you all have a truly wonderful week, full of the knowledge that Jesus is right there alongside you, too, as you learn and grow.

“How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world.” -Anne Frank