“One of the most amazing truths of the Bible is that God has chosen to work in partnership with human beings to fulfill [His] mission. God could have done it alone, but throughout history, God has depended upon a few good people who are willing to follow Him.”
~ Rev. Dr. Janet A. Noble-Richardson
In reviewing scholarship applicants this past July, Remembering Janet’s advisors found many good people who are willing to devote their lives to ministry . . . and to sharing the message that Christ’s sacrificial death atones for sin. The qualities we saw in these applicants match the description of a Christ-follower, as identified years earlier by Pastor Janet. During a sermon on January 28, 1996, she noted that working in partnership with God isn’t easy. Janet said,
It means making the decision to follow Him [Jesus] every day when the alarm clock goes off a half hour early to give us time for daily devotions. It means making the decision to follow Him every time someone treats us unfairly and we are tempted to strike out in anger. It means making the decision to follow Him every time doing what we know is right is inconvenient or embarrassing or tiring or just plain hard to do.
Our Pastor Janet Noble-Richardson Memorial Scholarship recipients understand that kind of work ethic. They know what it means to be employed by Christ; to directly serve His people here on earth. With that in mind, it’s time you meet our most recent scholars. Each received $2,000 in our latest award period, August 2017.
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“I would take serving in Detroit over tanning in Florida for spring break, any day.” This quote from Mandi Ressler is one of the ways we see where Mandi’s priorities are. Since the eighth grade, she has served on mission trips throughout the Midwest, the east coast of Maryland, and even farther away from home in the country of Haiti.
She’s currently a sophomore at Concordia University Ann Arbor majoring in Family Life Education and focusing on Church Work and Youth Ministry. All the while, she’s developing her communication skills, studying the Bible, and learning more about Christ so she can “bring families together by showing them the love of Christ and welcoming them to church.”
Mandi is described by others as quiet, gentle, kind, and passionate, and one who leads through example. She sees herself as a representative of Christ wherever she goes, whether it’s in her hometown or another part of the world. Through her actions and words, Mandi eagerly shares the message that “Jesus loves you.”
“Integrity” defines Nora Scahel, a senior at Concordia University Ann Arbor. Her friends confide in her because she listens, emphasizes, and truly cares about helping them find good solutions for their concerns. Nora’s compassion, however, extends beyond her peer group. Having volunteered in an assisted living facility for older adults, Nora spent time sitting and talking with residents, “providing them with a source of comfort and companionship.”
Majoring in Family Life Ministry and minoring in Church Work and Adult Care, Nora says she wants to “develop ways to bring different generational age groups together.” She’ll soon graduate and begin interning as Director of Family Life Ministry in a church. But that won’t be the end of her education.
Nora loves learning about her Christian faith. She plans to enter seminary, become a deaconess, and work for Christ in a variety of ways. Whether serving at home here in the United States or elsewhere, Nora will likely use her writing talent. Not only is she one of our most recent Remembering Janet scholars, she’s also a 2017 recipient of the Zondervan Student Award in Theology.
Receiving her second award from Remembering Janet, Quinn Colvin is a senior at Spring Arbor University, where she majors in Youth Ministry. She recently completed a summer internship at Building Twentyone, an organization serving at-risk youth. She says that ministry “holds a place in my heart for the transforming work they do there,” and she is inspired by the numerous volunteers who give so much of themselves to help others. After graduation, her goal is to serve inner city youth who are in desperate need of love, care, compassion and the good news of the Gospel.
In the past few years Quinn has also had her heart touched by those caught in the net of human trafficking throughout the world and would like to do what she can to fight this evil. In January, she will be studying in Cambodia for three weeks where she will, no doubt, witness some of the cruelty and its aftereffects firsthand while she continues to discern God’s calling.
Many have heard Riley Weaver testify about the pain she faced in dealing with the deaths of several family members. During high school, Riley’s youth pastor mentored her and steered her closer to Christ. She learned to lean on God during her most difficult days. She says, “Through each trial, God has shown me the love and joy that flows when one becomes His child.”
Riley shared her inspiring testimony to thousands of attendees at her home church. She feels called to minister the Gospel of Christ particularly to youth because she’s “able to relate to them on a personal level and help them see God in a situation where many would not see Him present.”
As a sophomore at Spring Arbor University, she’s majoring in Camping Ministry and developing skills that will further enable her to “to point students to Christ and take part in the journey God has designed for them.” She says, “Deep in my heart, I really believe our youth have the power to change lives.”
“Camp is a place to find your weird,” someone once told Shyanne Savage. And she discovered that camp is also a place to find the love of God, like she herself did. Shyanne wants to dedicate her life to helping others have similar experiences. She plans to provide a place where people can be safe and where their spirits can be inspired or healed.
Shyanne is a junior at Spring Arbor University and is majoring in Communications. She says she is currently “in the process of allowing God to dream for me,” as she discerns the direction her life will take. She’s discovered that that is sometimes in a rather circuitous route. She and her fiancé are thinking that God is currently directing them toward the establishment of a bakery which would employ formerly trafficked women. He would work on the business side and she, after earning her M.A. in counseling, would work with the broken and hurting and help them find hope again.
This is Shyanne’s second Remembering Janet award. Shyanne says, “I want my [whole] life to be a ministry; I crave to use my life as a testimony to God’s greatness.”
Remembering Janet thanks all our generous supporters for investing in each of these exceptional ministry students. As you look at how these five women love Christ and work for Him and with Him, we hope you'll see Janet in each one.