Continuing in our series of past students reflecting on how the programme has impacted them, this week we are hearing from Kelly Favand.
Kelly Favand – Autumn 2013
Then: Student at Geneva College
The Semester in Scotland programme left a mark on my mind and heart that I do not believe will ever fade. I believe this is because of what the programme offers students in the form of time and relationships. Being so closely tied with the church family in Airdrie we students were able to build relationships that had lasting value.
The opportunities offered during the SIS programme were unlike any others I had during my time in college. The small class size allowed for engaging discussion times with teachers, that were almost entirely unparalleled in my other semesters. I also had some one on one lessons which gave an opportunity to be mentored, not just taught. The most important aspect to me though was the way we were given time. The structure of the day, beginning with intentional devotional and worship time was something that I did not experience in other college classes, but found to be refreshing in SIS. Because we were not moving between buildings to get to classes or trying to stick to rigid time schedules, we had time to focus on our readings and to carry on discussions about the most important topics, without running into another class’s time (at least most of the time). Because of the ways SIS used time and small class size I realized over the following years that I was being nonstop discipled for nearly five months. The spiritual liveliness that grew in me during that time developed in me the importance of being deep in Christ and the desire to help others grow deep into him as well.
The week that we went on the Reformation Tour was wonderful, though it took me through an emotional journey as the stories of faith and endurance came to life when we visited the places where faithful believers had worshiped or been martyred. Reading and hearing their stories hardly compared with walking their footsteps, except that knowing the stories ahead of time prepared us to understand what we were seeing, so that I was able to understand the sacrifices the Covenanters made, and why they were so important.
The field trips were another excellent benefit. When visiting a new place I never know where to go, but the weekly trips with church members prevented that, as they generously took us to their favorite sites, where we were able to learn about the history of Scotland, as well as their personal lives as we conversed during the journeys.
Over all, my semester in Scotland is the semester that I still talk about the most often, and I am thankful that Geneva College and the Airdrie RP church were able to partner to provide such an excellent opportunity to grow.