Julia Claire Lescalleet took some time over Christmas break to reflect on her first semester in the Compass program. Here’s what she had to say about her experience so far:
Going into Compass I was a bit nervous. While I had met some of the students over the summer while working with them at Cho-Yeh, I did not know them on a personal level. All of that changed during week two of Compass during our wilderness excursion. The wilderness excursion was an amazing way to really get to know each other on a much deeper level. We all laughed and cried, canoed many miles, and grew closer as a group. By the end of that week, the people in Compass were no longer housemates of mine, but friends I knew I could trust and lean on.
With the first two weeks of the program completed, it was time to start our classes. Each class that we took held a component of learning that was designed to benefit us intellectually, spiritually, and practically. Each class was new and challenging. I was forced to wrestle with aspects of Christianity I have often dismissed as not important or trivial. An example of this was our class on mercy ministries. Our class didn’t just teach us the importance of getting involved in ministries and how to help others, but we also had an opportunity to practice mercy ministry when we took a trip to Corpus Christi and volunteered our time at Mission 911. Not only were we able to volunteer our time, but we also talked to the director of the mission and discussed what we had learned, and listened to his stories of working with people and their needs.
Aside from our classes and skills’ training, an important part of Compass has been living with sixteen other people. Through doing absolutely everything together, the friendships that have formed are the kind that last years. Even though the program is only four months in, I can already say that I have friendships that will last me a lifetime.
As the first semester of Compass came to a close, I realized looking back how much I had learned in such a short amount of time. Each class that I took was rich with information, every trip and practical skill was helpful and important, and the people that I have grown in my faith with have been nothing short of wonderful. I cannot wait for what next semester will bring and the new adventures that will take place in spring 2019.