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Calvary Students Participate in Conversation Groups

Calvary Students Participate in Conversation Groups

Calvary’s International Student Services Department holds conversation groups on a weekly basis that exist to benefit the English language learners on campus.

These groups are a time where students can come for instruction in grammar, reading support, and most importantly, conversation over a wide range of topics.

When desiring to fully aquire a language, it is important to practice communicating. The hope for those that participate in conversation groups is that they will become more confident in their conversational skills. This is a time to put the grammar knowledge that they have to use without fear of mistake. 

During our meetings we love to focus on different questions that engage each other in conversation, as well as learn a few phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are such a fun part of the English language. Every day life is riddled with, what appear to be, these common sayings. Although some may think them to be commen, often times phrasal verbs are used in a very nonliteral way. And that is where things get tricky and interesting.


Some of the favorite phrasal verbs include “hold up” and “back up”.

Television shows will often use phrases like “what’s holding you up?” Students have found that it is exciting to know what they mean by that. No longer are they just hearing a random saying on TV, but they are now more aware of what the actor/actress is trying to say.

The phrasal verb “back up” is a favorite for its many different ways to use it. Backing people up in conversation or ideas, moving away from something, or even having a backup item are different ways that individuals have found this phrasal verb to be useful.

Learning a language is a hard thing to do, but we hope to encourage, uplift, and help create a deeper understanding of English for those that take part in our conversation groups.  

The Rhyme or Reason

The Rhyme or Reason

Calvary University is home to many fantastic people. Professor of Music, Dr. Haekyung An is one great example.

Dr. An has been serving as a full time faculty member at Calvary University for the last 9 years. Originally from South Korea, Dr. An had come to the United States to study and grow as the Lord opened her eyes and heart to a new culture.

Arriving in the United States as a student, Dr. An had much to learn and struggle through. She had no background in English and for the first month of her time in the U.S. she found herself understanding others through their body language and hand motions. Initially, Dr. An brought a dictionary with her from place to place until it became more of a struggle to look up every word than it was beneficial.

“It’s good to learn things by the book, but living with the people and speaking with them, that’s when you get comfortable.”

Dr. An had discovered a connection between culture and language. No longer was her desire to know every definition, but instead to interact and understand what was going on through the knowledge of the culture that surrounded her.

When asked about her discomfort in the early years of her life of study in the States, Dr. An’s answer revolved around knowing the culture. The more she learned, the more excited she was to be there.

“Even little things made me… comfortable in the environment.” As she grew in her knowledge of the culture and language she became comforted in the setting she was in.

Looking back on her experience of adjusting to a new life in the United States, Dr. An desires for young international students to understand the purpose of their time in the U.S.

Things are not always easy, and when you have grown up in a culture completely different from the one that you are stepping into, you must be solidified in your reasoning for leaving the comforts of home. Just as a box of chocolates hold flavors you love and flavors that disgust you, so will your time in a foreign country be like. Some moments will snatch your attention and cause you to be overwhelmed with joy, and others will drive you insane. When these times come, Dr. An encourages you to take to heart that God knows every step.

“Before even coming. You think [that] you have a plan, but that’s His plan. Go back to Him if [you] have struggles.”

Dr. An was brought closer to the Lord in her times of uncertainty. Not every experience was her favorite, but the Lord worked it together for His good. She wanted to see the beauty of a tree all at once, but God led her continuously back to the root of why she was there before he would show her the flowers in bloom.

If you do not know the reasoning for your arrival in the United States, Dr. An urges you to go to the Lord and ask Him to show you. Leaving your home is a huge transition and should be done through lots of prayer.

A final note of encouragement from Dr. An is this, “If the roads are hard and you fall, get up. [God] will never lead you astray. Don’t give up!”

Intercultural Club, Campfire Version!

Intercultural Club, Campfire Version!

Nothing spells fun like a group of friends enjoying the crisp fall air around a campfire.

Sunday evening our Intercultural Club got together at Dean Josh’s house to enjoy a time of fellowship.

 Nozomi Miwata prepared for us a delightful Japanese dinner. The meal involved teriyaki chicken, rice, Japanese stew, and a salad with the traditional tofu and seaweed. Not a stomach left disappointed with this food!

Following the meal we sang a few worship songs around the campfire. There is something so wonderful about a simple guitar and fire pit.


Once we sang together Kosei Miwata gave his testimony to the group. His love for God is inspiring, and his story encouraging. Something Kosei said that really struck a chord within the group was that our failure is not the same thing as our sin. God does not discipline us for the failures, in the eyes of the world at least, that may come when trying something for him. He loves us and encourages on, despite the failures. Kosei’s example was just as a parent punishes for the bad behavior, not the failure in trying, of the child. We are to try to live our life for Christ regardless of the setbacks that may come! It was an encouragement to hear Kosei share about the love God has for us. 

The Intercultural Club event was a refreshing time for those visiting and for the students just getting a break from the normal campus rhythm.

A huge thank you is due to Dean Josh and his family for opening their home for us, as well as to Kosei and Nozomi for preparing food and a testimony for everyone!


Games and Gyros

Games and Gyros

Saturday evening many gathered together in the Langmade room for the first Intercultural Club event of the school year.

A delicious Greek meal involving gyros and Greek salad was made by Mr. Hange for all in attendance. Once the food was consumed, Tim Hange stood up and said a few words to the group.


 When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:3334

Pulling from Leviticus 19, we were charged to be kind and compassionate to every person we come in contact with.  This passage of scriptures talks about how one ought to love the foreigner that comes to live with them. God says this to his people back in the Old Testament, but still calls us to this today. We even see that in the New Testament Jesus commands his children with the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love others.

Going through life we are going to encounter those that are foreigners to our environments. No matter who you are, you must love and care for these people. The love and compassionate that we possess as the children of God should make itself known to those who surround us.


Following this look into God’s word, we all rearranged ourselves to play some games. Dix It and Code Names were a few of the games chosen. Dix It involves people to create their own themes based off the many abstract pictures provided. Code Names was exciting and challenging as a few got to practice a bit of their english while guessing what words were being hinted at by their teammates.

Children and adults alike joined in and found themselves having a great time!

We had such a blessed evening and look forward to the next Intercultural Club event.

Calvary Welcomes New Students

Calvary Welcomes New Students

This last week Calvary welcomed all incoming students for the 2019 school year.

There were many activities planned for the students to get to know one another and break that awkward feeling of being new. From an intense “Where’s Waldo” search to donuts and worship, students really found themselves moving into their new home with greater ease.

Here at the International Student Services we are excited to welcome two new international students. Megumi Grace Matsui and Moses Waswa are now officially Calvary Warriors!

Grace is a student from Japan and is studying Business Administration. One activity that she would say was her favorite from this last week was the Talent Show put on by some of our returning Calvary students. Many individuals got up on stage, but Grace thought that the skits were the best. She says that they were “so good and so fun”!

Grace looks forward to living in the Christian community here on campus. She is excited to make friends here who will help encourage her on her walk with Christ.


Moses is a student from Uganda and he is here studying Biblical Counseling. The week had a lot of activities packed into it, but Moses’ favorite one was the candle game. The goal of this game was to move from one end of the field to the other without letting your candle get blown out by the opposing team. Moses was an expert at dodging others and blowing out candles!

Moses is looking forward to “the new adventure… towards [his] goal of transforming and reaching out to the community”. With all of the activities planned Moses really liked how easy it was to begin to connect with everyone.

Both Grace and Moses are great additions to Calvary’s student body. We are really looking forward to how God will use them in their classrooms and in the lives of those they come in contact with this upcoming year.

Join Calvary in the Philippines next Summer!

Join Calvary in the Philippines next Summer!

Serving orphans and “street kids” growing up in poverty

Calvary University’s Intercultural Studies, Education, and TESOL studies programs are teaming up to provide a conversational English program at Cuatro Christian Academy in the Philippines in the summer of 2020!

Cuatro is part of Kids International Ministry (KIM), a dynamic, Gospel-centered ministry that has specialized in serving orphans and “street kids” growing up in the poverty stricken areas around Manila.  Orphans, street-kids, and the children of Philippine believers study together in this unique environment nurtured by a committed Christian community.

Calvary faculty and staff recently visited KIM, stayed in their guest housing, and had the joy of interacting with Cuatro students at KIM’s orphan home.   We are EXCITED to take KIM up on this opportunity to serve.

We will be working primarily with students in the upper grades.  These students are taught in a dual-language environment, but need to have their conversation and pronunciation skills sharpened.  Your involvement could be a step in helping these students have opportunities outside of high school that can lift them out of poverty.  You will also have plenty of opportunity to interact with the children at the orphanage itself, as our group will provide devotionals and activities for these children as part of our service.

Our TESOL studies program at Calvary will be working with Cuatro to design the curriculum.   If you are willing to be trained in how to effectively lead a conversation group, and to raise the necessary support, we would love to have you apply!  Space will be limited to 12 total, with priority given to Education, TESOL studies and Intercultural Studies students.  

Calvary University’s Intercultural Studies, Education, and TESOL studies programs are teaming up to provide a conversational English program at Cuatro Christian Academy in the Philippines in the summer of 2020!

Click for Info about all the trips Calvary is offering this summer.

Dates: July 9-26, 2020
Location: Philippines
Cost: $2,500 (covers airfare, housing and meals)
Contact Tim Hange (below) to apply!

Contact Tim Hange

9 + 10 =

Warriors Ground Eagles

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Warriors with Conference Win over #10 Faith

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