Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New student introduction

We're excited to introduce to you some of our new students joining us for the spring semester of  the 2012-13 school year. Today's featured student is Michelle Wood, who is an MDiv student from New Castle, IN.

I’m so excited that God has guided me to Earlham School of Religion to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree.  I currently have a Masters Degree in Special Education and teach special ed in New Castle, Indiana.  I have a heart for the students that other teachers don’t want, the emotional disabled and students that just can’t make it at the regular school for various reasons.  My husband, Greg, of just under two years is a school principal at the alternative school in New Castle.  He is very supportive of me following God’s leading.  My 23 year old son, Josh, works in Indianapolis and my 20 year old daughter, Emily, is a pre-med student at Taylor University.  She is currently on a missions trip in Indonesia.  I have 19 year old twin step sons, Cody and Alec, at I.U. East in Richmond.  My home is filled with the pitter patter of five furry friends of both the canine and feline variety – Abby, Sadie, Simba, Petey, and Jack. 

My life’s passion is missions work.  I like to encourage everyone to go on at least one missions trip.  It is life changing; at least it changed my life.  I have a strong desire to bring joy to the hopeless and Christ’s light to a dark world.  I have spent time in China, Ukraine, and Pine Ridge Reservation.  My students like to hear my story about being on the run from the Chinese police.  They think it is cool that their teacher was a rebel but I believe in standing up for what is right, in a nonviolent manner of course, and the human rights violations in China are not right. 

One of the great things about a missions trip is learning about another culture.  I learned a lot about Native American culture while I was on Pine Ridge Reservation.  I learned how distrusting they still are of the white man, and I don’t blame them.  I spent time building a relationship with them and earning their trust.  A matter of fact, they trusted me enough to invite me to a sun dance.  This was such a privilege because it is not open to visitors or white men.  It was as if I was one of them now.  The sun dance is a highly religious ceremony and I felt honored to be included.  God may be leading me back to Pine Ridge permanently when I finish my degree but I know things change as time goes by so I am keeping an open mind and will try to discern God’s purpose for me throughout my education at ESR.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

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