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RDDs Micah Wildason and Zak Kirkman.

Challenging circumstances create opportunities for growth

Social distancing has created an unusual environment on Calvary’s campus, but Student Development’s Resident Discipleship Directors (RDDs) and Resident Discipleship Leaders (RDLs) are finding creative ways to keep connected with the student body.

RDD Charissa Harwerth said, “Some of the RDLs are still having devos over zoom or other video chatting software. These have been really impactful for the students who are at home to still connect with each other and with their RDL.”

Other RDLs are staying in touch and encouraging students through texting, phone calls, or getting coffee, praying, and going on walks. Harwerth said, “I try to keep up with the girls that I was working with, and I keep up with intentional conversations and asking probing questions.”

The need for creativity is shaping the student body remaining on campus. Harwerth said, “For the few of us here I think that it will push some people closer to each other and into deeper relationships and others to finding new ways to cope with anxiety. For the most part, I think that once this is over the student body will bounce back well for next year… Because we are all living through this together, we all have a sense of understanding for others and how difficult this is.”

Maintaining relationships within the social distancing guidelines takes a lot of intentionality, but also provides rich rewards. RDL Brooke Glaszczak said, “I try to look for people who are in need of something (whether that be a reminder of truth or some encouragement), and I try to help meet that need however I can. Students have walked through some difficult things, yet they have also seen firsthand God’s faithfulness and providence at work. God has calmed anxious hearts. He has provided spiritual refreshment.”

RDL Jenny Her noticed that, “it has taught a lot of students to lean on one another to get through this. I have been so encouraged to see how much the students are still pouring into one another despite the pandemic!”

RDL Logan Hiskey pointed out that, “A lot of the ways in which we do that have changed, but our goal of serving the student body for Christ hasn’t changed.” The changing circumstances themselves have created opportunities for growth. Jenny Her said, “[It] can honestly be pretty frustrating because I want to do so much! But at the root of it all, I think God is just teaching me to sit back a little and just trust in Him.”

As the semester ends and students prepare to return home, Glaszczak noted. “While many of us are still waiting and wondering how God is specifically going to use the messiness of the current circumstances, we are sure of God’s faithfulness to work all things for our good and His glory. We trust that He is still in control and reigning on the throne.”

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