Kevin Brunk ('88) - SINGAPORE
It is probably safe to say that the first day a freshman walks onto the campus of MVNU, the first and foremost question on his/her mind and heart iswhat does God want me to do with my life? I had left high school and the security of home, and my life stood before me; I knew that my choices and decisions at MVNU would forever set the course of my life.
In a couple of weeks, I will be leaving on a late-night flight from Singapore to Papua New Guinea (PNG), my third trip to this beautiful land. As I anticipate departure, I am reminded of three significant events at MVNU that, after almost 20 years, will have a significant bearing on my one-week journey to PNG:
• Hearing Dr. Jim (’76) and Kathy (Beam ’74) Radcliffe share their passion and dream for ministry in PNG in a chapel service. Kathy invited all those who also sensed a call to missions to come forward and pray. I struggled in thinking about how God would ever make it possible for me to be missionary, but I was under so much conviction that I had to go forward. Now, not only has the Lord opened the way for me to serve Him crossing cultural boundaries, but I sometimes have the opportunity to work with Jim and Kathy and the missionary and national leadership teams in PNG.
• During college, I received word that my grandmother passed away. As I walked into Dr. Paul Whitaker's geography class, he sensed my pain. I broke down and he stopped everything and grieved with me. I decided then that there was a lot more to education than just providing information. Critical to education is building relationships. One of the most exciting parts of going to PNG and other countries in the region is the opportunity to build relationships with incredible people.
• Planning and participating in the first January-term overseas ministries class with Dr. Daryl Faulk my senior year. In 1988, a small group of us traveled to Belize; I will never forget those few weeks. This was my first time outside of the U.S. Early at MVNU, I had sensed my call, but now in my last few weeks at MVNU, the Lord clearly confirmed that call. It was on that trip that I really got to know Dr. Jim Skon (’80) and now, 20 years later, it is exciting to work with Jim again, creating travel opportunities for other MVNU students to hear God’s voice as well.
Serving on the Asia-Pacific regional leadership team, I am realizing more than ever that as we walk with pre-believers and with our brothers and sisters in Christ, our task is not to have all of the answers but to create opportunities for people to grow (learn) so that they can engage (serve), much like MVNU’s motto. MVNU truly is a place where the foundation was laid. I encountered God, intersected with our world, had time and space to find ways to respond and had opportunity to engage. As for myself, it was here where I truly found God’s will for my life.