NEWS & EVENTS

Dordt College News

2014 Alumni Scholarships

June 24, 2014

Thanks to your generosity, the Alumni Association awarded 33 regional scholarships to incoming freshmen this year and was honored to be able to select three junior students to receive scholarships.

Juniors apply, their essays are reviewed, and the Alumni Council eventually reaches its top three nominations after they have the privilege of interviewing the finalists. Council members are always impressed by these students and refreshed by their dreams for their world. We want to share their stories with you.

NARAYAN NÚÑEZ BLANDÓN

I was born and raised in Nicaragua, currently the poorest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Although the political environment has improved a lot since the end of our civil war in 1990, corruption and people’s pessimism still hurt the country. I have seen how God uses individuals from around the world as tools to transform people’s lives in tremendous ways; I have no doubt that God could also use me as one of his tools.

Although I was raised Christian and went to a Christian school, it wasn’t until I came to Dordt that I started to develop a Christian worldview and understand the meta-narrative of God’s creation. Many of my doubts and questions have been answered, and the quality of people at Dordt has allowed me to become a better Christian, and a better human being.

One way in which Dordt has impacted me the most is in how it equip its students with Christian principles in all fields of study. As a business administration major, I would have never thought of considering religious beliefs as part of the equation for financial or economic outcomes. Dordt College has taught me how a worldview matters in every decision; whether it is for my personal or national benefit.

In my economics classes I have learned how certain worldviews slow down development in developing nations causing citizens to fear the inexplicable and blame their failures on the wrong agents: spirits and demons, the government, etc. Missionaries in Eastern African countries have published anecdotes on how villages have improved economically and spiritually by introducing a better way of thinking, a Christian worldview. Atheist Journalist Matthew Parris even writes about how Christians have successfully transformed people’s belief systems and hearts in such a way that a country benefits from it. Dordt has been right all this time; worldviews do matter in any field, definitely.

Through these years at Dordt, I have also grown in the Lord. I can surely say that I am not the same person I was three years ago. I used to struggle to understand the existence of evil: I could not explain why many people hold malicious thoughts, or why there is so much injustice in the world. My heart broke seeing that people die due to hunger, wars, diseases, or corrupt governments. Dordt helped me understand that these things occur due to sin.
I learned of God’s plan to eradicate the damage of sin on his creation, which started when Jesus died on the cross and his resurrection, and that will be concluded when Jesus comes again. I did not know any of this (the gravity of sin, nor of God’s redeeming plan) before coming to Dordt.I

believe that I have the responsibility to tell Nicaraguans about this. I strongly believe that God has sent me here to prepare myself and grow stronger in him, so that I can go back to Nicaragua to start a change in the citizen’s worldview. But, unlike many missionaries that do it through churches or not-for-profit organizations, I will start this change in the private economic sector of Nicaragua.

I have thought on creating a micro-financing institution and business school with accessible prices in which young entrepreneurs can be trained with sufficient and proper business and Christian principles, and also obtain accessible loans to start their business. I believe that in this way I am going to be serving the Lord by helping in the development of my country and in God’s redeeming process.

RACHEL MEINEN
The conversationswith friends I have made, fellow staff members in Residence Life, and Dordt staff and faculty have been incredibly life-giving. I am constantly challenged, renewed, and encouraged by these people. It shows how powerful a strong group of believers can be. Here, I have also been called to live beyond the “American Dream” of making a decent living, having a nice home, having a couple of kids, and attending church on Sundays. Life is so much more than that; God has so much more in store for me if I’m willing to give up those “comforts” for what he really wants for my life. None of those things are necessarily bad; they just cause me to become content. I have learned that contentment is very dangerous for faith. While at Dordt, a passion for missions has definitely developed, which I believe will follow me for the rest of my life.

Dordt has really helped me process what it means to be a Christian teacher in a public school. Sure, I won’t be able to talk about Christianity in a way that I would like to, but I would be foolish to think the Lord only works through words. Dordt has helped me realize it is my actions and motivations that make the difference.

ELIZABETH RILEY
I have learned—and am certainly still learning—how to listen to and learn from the faith others hold and then take that and consider how it relates to my understanding of faith and God. While I do not know exactly what my future holds, I value the fact that Dordt has prepared me to think carefully and critically about my faith. I am willing to learn and be changed or to hold to my beliefs with greater conviction than before. My future may not offer as safe and loving a context for asking these questions, so I'm thankful that Dordt has helped me to start the process of making my faith my own and equipped me to do so outside of the Dordt community.

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