Campus News

Week of “spiritual emphasis” challenges students

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Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW) ended on Friday, leaving students to contemplate their faith and encouraging them to move forward. The speaker for the week, Adrian Despres, began preaching on Monday, and preached two times a day for four days. Despres first taught in the Monday morning chapel. Many students appreciated his sermons. “He was very inspirational,” sophomore Grace Kenagy said, “He gave me new ideas and insight into some of the struggles I have, and gave me a new perspective of God.” The process of booking a chapel speaker is sometimes a long one, as Vice President for Student Development Shawn Holtgren points out. “I start planning it a year in advance,” he said. “We’re praying through the entire year.” Finding a speaker for the week can include booking an agent, coordinating flights, and arranging houses. The process also occasionally includes a few surprises, Holtgren pointed out. This year’s chapel speaker was decided last minute. Due to a double booking, the originally planned speaker was unable to come to Bethel, and Despres was brought in. “I said, ‘Okay, Lord.’” Holtgren said. Despres left the students with a challenge to pattern themselves after Christ in their daily lives and routines. “The Lord most definitely spoke to me through Adrian Despres,” Kenagy said. “I had a lot of things I was struggling with and what Adrian said helped me realize I need to let it go and trust God.” This year, Despres was sent 60 cards, each card holding the encouraging note or prayer of a different Bethel faculty, staff, or student. This is a tradition that Bethel partakes in every year. “I think they appreciate it so much,” Holtgren said.
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