Tag : kelly-reed

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Following God’s Call: The Stoltzfus Family

God has worked through Daniel and his wife Angela (’95) in a special way. They have spent the last 20 years working for non-profit and ministry organizations. They both served oversees at Youth of the Mission before they came to IWU, where they met and started their journey together. “Ever since then, we’ve had a heart to serve the poor and the marginalized,” Daniel said.

Over the years, the Stoltzfus’ have served in organizations including The New York City Relief, The Bowery Mission and Arizona Youth Partnership. Daniel is now the Chief Executive Officer at Interfaith Community Services (ICS).

“Everything Angela and I have done has been motivated by Isaiah 58. It is our life passage that we try to live out as it talks about loosening the chains of injustice, setting the oppressed free, helping the poor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked,” Daniel said.

View More: http://amberlearussellphotography.pass.us/stoltzfusWhat they love about this passage is that the Lord later goes into a series of promises: your healing will quickly appear, the glory of the Lord will go before you and His righteousness will be your real guard. “I like to tell people that is like God saying He’s got our back,” he said.

Their current mission organization, ICS, offers emergency financial assistance to those coming off the street. They also help seniors who are lonely and isolated, and provide mental health education.

Over the years, Daniel has seen a lot of heartache and suffering. He explained that there was one moment – before going to college or starting a life in missions – that directed his path.

When Daniel was working with New York City Relief, he was in the midst of a lot of crime and drug activity. He had grown up in a small town as a pastor’s kid, so working with the Relief Bus was overwhelming to him. They had turned the bus into a soup kitchen, and Daniel was serving as best he could. “I walked into the men’s restroom in the public park and there was a woman laying on the floor with a heroine needle sticking out of her arm. I don’t know what it was in that moment, but I just felt incredible compassion that I can only believe came from the Lord. It was basically a challenge to say, ‘This is what I want your life to be about – to be about serving my kids that are in this situation,’” Daniel said.

All of the work he has done since that moment has been grounded on that experience. He understands that life is not about him, it’s about God. Because of this, the Stoltzfus family has moved around a lot, following where they believe the Lord is directing them.

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Stoltzfus daughters working at Bowery Mission. Rebekah on left.

Rebekah Stoltzfus, Daniel and Angela’s daughter, is a freshman at IWU this year. She expressed that her parent’s mission has shaped who she is as a daughter of Christ. She’s grateful that they showed her how to follow God no matter what. “I was very uncomfortable a lot. We moved around a ton and it was hard at the time, but thinking back on it, it shaped me… God doesn’t want us to be comfortable. He wants us to be uncomfortable so that we work for His glory not for our own comfort.”

The Stoltzfus family has seen a lot of hurt, but God has rewarded them for their faithfulness. He has shown them transformation and healing. Recently, at ICS, a grandmother and her grandchildren showed up at their front door. These people had come from the street – hungry and tired. Daniel was able to get them into a family shelter and provide comfort. He saw this grandmother again just a few weeks ago.

“She was just beaming with hope and joy,” he said. “To me, that’s why we are here and why we do this work. It’s that opportunity to give joy… To help people find that kind of hope. We do it motivated out of our love for Jesus and our belief that this is a big part of the work He has called us to do. That’s what it’s all about.”

 

Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation. She loves to tell people’s stories through written word, artwork, speech and strategy. Visit Kelly’s personal website and blog at www.kellyreed.weebly.com.

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Business as Mission: Jacob Wheeler in Nepal

Jacob Wheeler (12’) has been working with a Business as Mission organization in Nepal called PacMoore for the past 3.5 years. After the earthquakes and traumatic damage done in Nepal, his work there is more valuable than ever. “The company has commissioned me to create ideas and business opportunities for people through PacMoore, and to give [the Nepali] people access to hear the Gospel,” he said.

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Jacob Wheeler – 2012 IWU grad

Wheeler was born in Nepal to a Tibet Buddhist family and was adopted in the states when he was four years old. He went straight to Nepal after graduation in 2012 as an International Business Developer, and actually stayed with his biological family for a couple months.

He experienced a really large paradigm shift moving from the U.S. to Nepal. “It’s just so different,” he said. Although he has to walk or bike everywhere, and he is forced to use every drop of water efficiently, Wheeler is energized by the work the Lord is doing in the country.

“I keep going back to Nepal because I still feel that call to create opportunities, jobs and disciples,” he said. It has become his life now that he has been there for 3.5 years. He comes home about twice a year to see family, but the more he stays abroad, the more he calls Nepal home. “I still call home Marion, Indiana because that’s where I can find comfort… But more and more I love being abroad and being with people from around the world,” Wheeler said. “I really needed to get out there and experience more of life.”

Living in Marion was great preparation for Wheeler, so when he first went to Nepal in 2012, he was grounded in the truth of the Lord. He was thankful for his knowledge of Christ because of the dramatic culture difference: “It was really hard adjusting culturally. Only some people spoke English, and lentils weren’t what I was used to eating every day. I felt really alone, so I really had to push to God… I turned to Him and asked Him, ‘God, show up to me and show me who you are and how you work differently here in Nepal than back home.’”

The day after he said this bold prayer, he went to a Nepali church and saw a woman who was demon possessed. All of the elders of the church were praying over her and casting out a demon, trying to hold her down. “I had never seen anything like that before,” Wheeler said. “God really said to me, ‘Jacob this is really how the devil works.’”

In Nepal, there are idols on every corner, and humans and animals are sacrificed. The work of Satan is so prevalent, and Wheeler quickly realized he needed to overcome the shock and heartbreak so he could help them in the Lord’s name.

“God showed a whole new side of himself to me and I’ve been better for it… I will be a helper to the Kingdom,” Wheeler said.

In addition to being spiritually grounded, Wheeler is thankful that he is confident in his knowledge to teach others. Through his classes as a Business Administration major and Economics minor, he learned exactly what he needed to for this calling. Wheeler has seen the knowledge he gained at Indiana Wesleyan University play into everyone he is supporting through PacMoore. “While in school, I was so poured into. Everything at school is about YOU: how much can YOU learn, how much can YOU take away. Then the next position you go into after school, people really want all that you’ve got and all that you’ve learned… God pours into us so we can pour into others,” he said. Wheeler is grateful that he has experience and knowledge because he can now bless and teach to those who need it.

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Wheeler has been home for a few weeks to visit family, and is flying back to Nepal this week. He will be arriving to a difficult situation with trade issues and supplies. As Nepal relies heavily on India for their imports, they are not receiving what they need now that all the streets are blocked due to the earthquakes.

To make matters worse, while there were businesses already using generators before the earthquakes, now, after the damage and shortages especially in fuel – so they have no power at all. Businesses are struggling to work efficiently, so PacMoore is there to assist these people in developing their employeers and business partners to offer opportunities for the people.

Wheeler is excited to return because he knows God will provide. He is looking forward to the global work they are doing, hoping for expansion. He encourages students to avoid fear after graduation. Learning is so valuable and people appreciate that once you leave college and connect with others. “Follow what God has put on your heart,” Wheeler said.

 

Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation. She loves to tell people’s stories through written word, artwork, speech and strategy. Visit Kelly’s personal website and blog at www.kellyreed.weebly.com.

 

 

Vote for Jacob

 

Jacob Wheeler has been nominated for The Counsel for Christian Colleges and Universities Young Alumni Award Contest, so please follow these instructions if you would like to support him.

Visit this Facebook page and “like” the page – this is required. Click on “Vote Contest” or visit this direct link to vote. To vote for Jacob directly, click here.

Additional instructions:

  • You will have to like the CCCU Facebook Page to be able to vote; otherwise, anyone is welcome to vote. Each person will be allowed to cast one vote per day; they can cast multiple votes for the same person, or vote for multiple entries they want to see advance to the final round.
  • The first round of voting will take place now.
  • *Only a nominee from a member institution will be eligible for the final award, but alumni from North American affiliates, theological affiliates and international affiliates are eligible to be finalists to be featured in our publications. (Full list of the CCCU’s members and affiliates)
  • The 10 finalists will all be featured in a future issue of Advance, the biannual magazine from the CCCU<http://www.cccu.org/news/advance/Spring_2015>, and on the CCCU website.
  • The winner will be recognized at a ceremony during the CCCU’s 40th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C. ‪on Jan. 27, 2016.

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The Refinery: Innovative Business Comes to Marion

Our own town of Marion, Indiana has brought a new and innovative business to the community to support independent professionals.

Indiana Wesleyan University partnered with Launch Fishers to open The Refinery Business Center on Thursday, September 24. The Refinery is a dynamic, affordable work environment for entrepreneurs, non-profits, remote workers, small businesses, contractors, start-ups, students and more.

The Refinery will be a great addition to the thriving entrepreneurial culture in central Indiana. It will offer co-working desks, conference rooms, private offices, Wi-Fi, a café area, patio seating and other professional office amenities for members and guests. The business is called The Refinery because is a place where people can develop and refine their ideas.

Alexis Dierker

Alexis Dierker

Alexis Dierker, a 2015 alum, is the Director of Community Relations. She cannot wait to support and encourage the creative and empowering environment of The Refinery and the brilliant minds there. “It’s important to me because, as a very recent graduate, I have heard a lot of people who like the idea of staying around Marion but they feel like they don’t have any opportunities, so they go other places,” she said.

Dierker has a passion for the business because she herself is an entrepreneur. She graduated with a photography degree and has been developing her own brand. “I identify a lot with what The Refinery is doing. I see the vision,” she said. “There were probably so many people who were more qualified for this position than me, but my boss could tell we wanted to pursue the same needs in the community.”

IMG_8540The Refinery has already given people so many opportunities to meet new faces and connect with those around the area. “One reason I felt driven to stay around Marion was because I wanted to get to know more of the community that I didn’t have the opportunity to meet before… Through this, I have gotten to know so many incredible people,” Dierker said.

Dierker is not the only young professional excited to be making connections through The Refinery. Lauran Burchell, a senior at IWU, is currently working as one of two interns. She serves as the Marketing and Member Services Coordinator. Burchell is studying Business Administration and Management, and she is excited to be a part of the growth of The Refinery and to use the skills she has learned in her experiences to encourage innovative development right in her hometown.

“I have already networked and met so many people that I never thought I would meet while in college,” Burchell said. “Many professionals from Indianapolis have already discussed my future with me and connected with me.”

The Refinery ribbon cutting on September, 24, 2015.

The Refinery ribbon cutting on September, 24, 2015.

Like Dierker, Burchell knows that this experience is shaping a way for her future. She chose to work at The Refinery instead of Launch Fishers because she desired to be a part of something new. “Not very many people can say they were actually part of a start up. I’m getting so much experience, and even though I’m not an entrepreneur starting my own business, I was part of one and I learned from it,” she said.

The Refinery welcomes visitors and is located at 2301 S. Western Ave. You can learn more about The Refinery at www.therefinerycenter.com.

 

Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation.

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Indiana Dreamer to Nashville Performer

His story goes from small-town Indiana to Nashville, from rock to country, and from dreamer to performer. Quinton Gibson is an Indiana Wesleyan University ’91 alum who turned his dream into a reality.Quinton Gibson

When Gibson was in third grade, his grandmother gave him a KISS album for his eighth birthday. Little did she know that this would be the spark to his beloved career. He became a solid fan of rock music, and co-created a Christian Rock band in high school named Seraiah. Now, he is the lead guitarist for the Grammy-winning country artist, Darius Rucker. “On the inside, I’m still that kid from the ‘80s that spent his days dreaming about walking on stage and performing in front of thousands of fans every night!” he said in a blog.

He graduated high school and continued his band throughout his years at IWU. “Cool thing is that when we first moved there, it was still Marion College and the whole rock thing was not really accepted. I came in with earrings and long hair. At that time, it was weird for Marion College to have that. We were wearing ripped up shirts and god-awful clothing,” he said.

Although he and his band stood out from the crowd at school, the music professors such as Dr. Kindley, Professor Bell, and Professor Guy were encouraging. “I was really close with them,” Gibson said. He and his band members would rehearse right above Professor Guy’s office. “We were a rock band rehearsing while Professor Guy was trying to teach,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times he came up and asked us to stop. But at the same time, I remember him telling us, ‘I don’t really get what you guys are doing, but I appreciate what you’re doing,’ and that meant a lot to me.”

The history professor, Dr. Martin, also largely influenced Gibson during his time at IWU. “Dr. Martin had people coming from all over the world to Indiana Wesleyan just so they could study under him… He helped me shape my world views,” Gibson said. He had voluntarily taken so many history classes from Dr. Martin as electives that he was only two classes short of completing the History major his senior year. He decided to take those classes and graduate with a double major in Music and History.

Quinton Gibson 2Studying Classical Guitar at IWU was not an easy task. The required classes were challenging and he often times wondered what he was doing. He wanted to be in a rock band, so why was he sitting in the library listening to classical records? Gibson now appreciates the discipline that it made him develop: “I really developed a strong work ethic and I took that with me to Nashville, which I had to have because Nashville is a very seriously competitive city.”

Going beyond music and classes, IWU served as a solid foundation for Gibson’s personal life. “Going to college really helped shape a lot of my world views from politics to religion to everything else in life. I learned a ton regarding music of course, and I think the whole experience of friendships and relationships I had with people and professors were big influences on me,” he said.

He continued friendships with two of his childhood best friends, and they are still friends to this day. Mike Belt was the bassist in Seraiah and Kyle Dietz was the drummer. Belt is now a pastor at a church in Dallas, Texas called Northcrest Community Church, and Dietz is an aspiring artist who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Dietz has appeared as an extra drummer in the ABC TV show Nashville.

Gibson lives in Nashville now as well, but spends most of his time touring. Darius Rucker just launched a new the Southern Style Tour in May. They will visit back to his home state to play in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Klipsch Music Center on June 27.

Quinton Gibson 3.jpgHe has toured the country with Rucker for six years, performing on nationally televised shows such as the Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and many more.

His favorite part about his career is the performance. “I still get really pumped up and excited about doing the show every night. For me, this is like a combination of all my dreams I had when I was a kid growing up,” Gibson said. He always fantasized about being up on stage in front of thousands of people, and now that dream has become his profession. He is proud to say that the journey never gets old.

“There is nothing like the feeling of being in an arena and the lights going off and you’re getting ready to walk on stage. You’ve got 15,000 people screaming and it’s still an amazing feeling. I still feel like a kid when I get out there.” He found it difficult to describe the feeling: “If I could package it in a little pill and give it to everyone, I totally would. It’s an adrenaline rush that I can’t even describe.”

His future plans are to keep doing music until he cannot do it anymore. He has three kids and has loved watching them grow up. Gibson is a great father and has succeeded at balancing music and everything else. He has a few other dreams to pursue, recognizing that “there is more to life than music.” Outside of music, he is a personal trainer and loves working out. He would like to open up his own gym and help people get on track and live healthy lives. “If I could do music and have a gym that would be awesome,” he said.

Quinton Gibson 4Gibson considers himself very lucky and does not take his opportunities for granted. He enjoys working with the Rucker: “Darius is a great guy to work for,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this. It’s not too often that you are able to work for someone who has had not only one successful career [Hootie in the Blowfish] but now a second very successful country music career. I’ve seen it grow from something small into something massively huge and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

 

Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation.

 

3 Ways to Make the Most of LinkedIn

Networking is more than just a trend; it is a step toward success. If you do it right, branding yourself and connecting with professionals can spark your career and turn the Internet into your personal phone book.

What does it mean to “do it right?” You should make the most of LinkedIn – the largest professional networking service available on the web. The site allows you to connect with employers/employees, co-workers, alumni, and friends. You can share updates on your career advancements, learn from your network, and engage in giving or receiving advice for professional advancement. Following are three ways to make the most of LinkedIn:

1. Join Groups

LinkedIn in has over 300 million users, and some people have thousands of connections alone. Groups allow you to narrow that number down to a specialized member base and create discussions with people of the same interests. According to Miles Jennings, there are five main reasons to use LinkedIn Groups:

  •  Learn from your network
  • Discover your passion
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a focused audience
  • Deliver high quality, curated content

Join our IWU Alumni Group of over 5,000 members to engage in discussions with some of our brightest alum. This is a great opportunity to learn what colleagues are doing and share a learning experience together. Examples of some articles posted within the group are:

  • Creating Your Own Content Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Tattoo: Lasting Effects of Social Media Posts

2. Connect it to your Twitter Account

This feature allows those who consider themselves avid tweeters to link their two accounts together. Within the settings, you will be given the option to make your Twitter account visible on your LinkedIn profile and to share tweets that contain #in in your LinkedIn status. This application is beneficial because it allows you to post statuses simultaneously to Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow your LinkedIn connections on Twitter or create a LinkedIn-specific Twitter list. Read this article to learn more on how to utilize the tweets application to build social influence.

3. Use LinkedIn Tools/Resources

Shortly stated, LinkedIn offers more than we realize. There are resources available that many people overlook or do not know exist. LinkedIn offers a way to add apps to your profile such as Google Presentation. It also features an “Answers” tool that enables you to ask questions regarding your field of interest. The advanced search allows you to better search for both people and jobs by keyword, name, company, industry or even interests. Lastly, you can always see who has been viewing your profile.

LinkedIn is the best way to discover new opportunities and accelerate your career. Engage with our alumni by joining our group to improve your own personal brand and catch up with old friends.

Check out a related article about Todd Rhoad who contributes much to  LinkedIn Discussions.

Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation.