In the plethora of students who make up the ORU student body, one of many stands out. Louisiana native, now Houston resident and ORU sophomore, Hannah Jones shared her heartwarming experience on how God has met her here and moved in her life miraculously on campus through people she has met, missions she has completed and the activities she became involved in.
It is known worldwide that Oral Roberts University is a place that exercises the Christian faith. And to many students, some of the behaviors and actions done and expected of students can be a culture shock, creating a hard time adjusting to campus life.
“During high school, my relationship with God was a little rocky,” Hannah expressed.
Hannah entered her first semester without any expectations, keeping her heart and mind open. Getting involved with student life was the very thing Hannah knew would launch her career as a college student.
For Hannah, getting involved looked like joining outreach teams, going on missions trips and joining clubs. She dove in head first and joined her first missions trip to South Africa.
While pursuing her missions trip to South Africa, up against the difficulties of reaching payments, she noted that her mission leaders were supportive and helpful. Finally being on the field in South Africa was truly edifying for Hannah.
“I had no expectations for South Africa. I didn’t know what the culture of South Africa was like, I obviously didn’t do that much research, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.” Hannah said. “I really didn’t even think I was going to stay on the trip. I just signed up because my friend was the leader. I stayed, and I’m so glad I did. The people of South Africa were so full of love and so welcoming.”
Not only was Hannah’s mission trip a learning experience for her but also an amazing opportunity for her to build lifelong friendships with her team members. Hannah’s mission trip was just the beginning of a great year. The trip served as a gateway for an amazing college experience.
In regard to her growing relationship with Christ, Hannah shared that in the last year God has really been working on her heart.
“[I had a] series of events where I had to draw near [to God]. And again, this year, this semester I really just jumped in [and] committed to a lot, maybe too much. And again, I really had to lean into God and establish that secret place,” Hannah expressed.
During her growth in her relationship with Christ, she became involved in the chaplain program. Hannah highlighted the leadership over her, expressing that a lot of the leadership skills she has acquired have come from the leaders above her.
“Leaders never arrive; they are always learning and always growing,” Hannah shared when discussing her learning experience.
Hannah touched on the importance she sees in building community with people, especially with the girls on her floor. She admitted building that bond and sense of community with upperclassmen is harder but not impossible.
“Take it all in. Get everything you can in the opportunities we have here at ORU. Do what you can to get involved,” Hannah suggested.
Getting involved with the many opportunities available on campus has helped cultivate Hannah into the amazing, confident woman she is today.
Using the time being here at ORU to be a time where people can think outside the box, step outside the box, and enter into a box of uncomfortable in order to better and strengthen as a person in a world that needs as much light as it can get shows true strength.