semester SHARP STORIES                                          sHARP SERIES STORIES


Poppy Lan - Fall 2012

“Especially during this semester I feel the value of people, no matter where they come from, races, countries, positions, [I learned] respect for all the individuals because God wants to take care of them. My life is supported a lot here. [SHARP] makes me not lonely and builds my faith here. I study from the good example of disciples around me, [and I am] happy and rejoice. I was very encouraged by sharpees. We build precious relationship together and I will cherish this relationship as long as I live.”


Caitlin Dacus - Fall 2012

“God has taught me that the essence of the life of a Jesus-follower is discipleship--discipleship of believers and not-yet believers together. Community change, social change, spiritual transformation all come through the work of the Spirit in and through our lives as we walk together, life on life, soul on soul.”


Diana Cook - Spring 2013

Before and while in SHARP, Diana Cook worked with Joe’s Addiction Coffee Shop. Joe’s is a place that welcomes those in the margins and provides resources like food and clothing. After going through SHARP, Diana said, “I plan to continue to use what I learned in the SHARP community development track to transition the food distribution at Joe’s Addiction into a Valley Brook Community Co-op.  Joe [SHARP mentor] will walk with me through this process and continue to partner with us.”

“It is hard to pick one [favorite] thing [about SHARP]. I got so much out of each area of the program. But if I have to pick one thing it would be Joe as a mentor. I loved seeing what he was doing at the Refuge. He was inspirational as well as practical in his sharing of what Jesus is doing and what the Bible says about how we should approach community development.”


Ryan Brooks - Spring 2013

While in SHARP, Ryan Brooks began work creating a Job Development Guide. This guide will help those in search of employment to navigate through writing a resume, filling out applications, doing well in an interview and maintaining employment after hire. After graduating from SHARP and OBU, Ryan began work with a nonprofit to teach English and provide relational support to families in Shawnee, Oklahoma.


Makenzie Norman - Summer 2013

“[The Lord taught me that] I fight so that they [God’s people] would know the Truth I know, but that they would also stand for the Truth within themselves that comes from the Spirit... I am free to stand in the joy of Christ and the Truth he provides that will always prevail. Always. That’s what I’ve learned. Now I’m in the applying stage-probably for the rest of my life. It’s been a little difficult lately, but I know it will get easier and I am so thankful the Lord is fixing my eyes on Him and His people. He’s taking away my judgmental, and destructive vision and making it clearer and more beautiful, which is nice- because it means I get to see more beautiful things! I think my favorite [thing about SHARP] was probably the smallness and easy relationship building environment. It was an honest and open place, which is always great.”


Emily Otness - Summer 2013

“[The Lord has taught me that] the Church is the hope of the world and that can never be unleashed until we recognize it goes way beyond buildings and programs and preachers. I was challenged so much this summer by the content we covered in SHARP. Instead of just having things reaffirmed that I already knew, I felt like I learned so many new things that allowed me to widen my perspective and truly come away with a kingdom mindset toward many things I hadn’t considered before."