Where are you from?
Origin is important to our identities and is about more than geographic locations. | Illustration by Kristin Paulson/THE CHIMES
Remember back to when you first arrived on campus after making the trek here to beautiful La Mirada. Remember when finally got to meet your Student Orientation Services group with all new faces. One of the first questions the SOS leader asked of everyone in the group included “Where are you from?” The answers ranged from La Mirada to Seoul, with you somewhere in between. Many of us have a hometown we grew up in for most of our lives, where we became familiar with where the best burgers were at or what backstreets to take. We grew up as locals.
Today, all of the nationalities represented on campus come together to hear speakers from all over the globe share stories of what they have seen and experienced around the world. Missions Conference provides us with the opportunity to hear unique perspectives from cultures that differ vastly from our own. It is up to us to have the eyes and ears to listen to what they have to say because there is more to the question “where are you from” than geographic location — it is also about your life experiences.
Some come from broken homes. Some are from a missionary life. The life experiences of people make them who they are and influence what they believe. It is our privilege as students to be able to learn from them, but it is also our duty to avoid confining the event to a memory. Keep in mind that you left your home for a reason. You stepped out of your house to live as a college kid away from your K-12 life. The time that shaped you into the person you are becoming will help you spiritually grow in Christ.
As a lifetime resident of La Mirada, I have grown up at Biola. Fifteen years ago I learned how to ride my bike and how to play tennis right where the newest parking structure stands behind Alpha. Over the past few years, I have taught tennis on campus to children from the local community. This year, I will graduate and return to the home I have lived in for all 21 years of my life. As I have seen the growth that has occurred in the last three years and the memories I made with friends I have recently met, as well as friends I recently met and friends I have known for over a decade, I know that I can truly say that I am from Biola.
I am proud to live in this amazing city and to have had the privilege of attending this amazing university. It is my hope that each and every student, no matter their background, can experience the glory of God not only through the speakers at Missions Conference and the professors, but also from each other.