Summer 2022
Main Page Download

Saturn Macias, Isabela Flores and Kade Sorrenson share their stories

Stories of Faith, Grit and Joy

Saturn Macias

Photo of Saturn smiling outside.

Sharing Culture Through Worship

I grew up in a community in California where the population was majority Latinos. Growing up in church, I learned to pray, sing, and listen to the pastor preaching in both English and Spanish. In my city, there were fruterias and carnicerias galore, people blasted mariachi and banda from their stereos, and salsa was eaten with every meal. This was my home, this was my comfort zone, and I loved it.

I knew coming to Fox would be a shift in environment for me. However, I wasn’t prepared for how big a shift it would be – especially during worship. Latino churches can be very different from most churches. At my home church we are used to getting loud and rowdy during worship. Preaching can often feel more intense, and engaging with God with all of our hearts, bodies and emotions is strongly encouraged.

Because my upbringing was very different from the majority, I believed the way I acted or served God might be looked down upon. I thought I had to change who I was to be a part of the group. To combat this, I joined a Life Group specifically for Latinos on campus organized by pastor Stephanie Lopez. God used pastor Stephanie and the Life Group to show me that I didn’t have to act like someone else on campus. God gave me my heritage and background for a reason. He wanted me to embrace it. He wanted to use it for his glory. So I gave it over to him.

That same semester I joined the Vespers chapel band. I remember the first time I led a song in Spanish, a Latina student came up to me and expressed how special it was for her to be able to worship God in her first language.

I believe we need more opportunities like this on campus. Just as I have found some of the practices my non-Latino friends take part in to be life-giving, I know the way the Latino community worships can be a blessing to so many as well. This upcoming semester I have the privilege of being a spiritual life intern. I hope to make more opportunities for the Latino community and others from different backgrounds to pursue and experience God, both in new ways and in the ways they have experienced him back home.”
– Saturn Macias

Photo of Isabela smiling outside

Isabela Flores

Trusting God in the Unknown

Due to financial troubles, my family and I couldn’t afford tuition the fall semester of my sophomore year. I struggled to understand God’s plan at that moment because I felt deep in my heart that this was the place God called me to, and yet I was faced with having to leave the very place I grew to love and call home.

As I left class that morning with a heavy heart and so many questions, I found myself walking to the spiritual life office to see a campus pastor and talk things through. I met with Jamie Noling-Auth, and it was that day and that moment that I truly felt the Be Known promise – that I felt seen.

Jamie sat with me, she heard me, she provided spiritual guidance, and she offered resources to help with the transition. I was a scared 19-year-old and not so sure what was next. Jamie reminded me that God is present and near. She reminded me that in all things, God has a plan, even when we don’t understand it. One thing I will never forget is how she so confidently believed that I would walk across that stage one day.

A semester later, God opened the door for me to return, and Jamie got me a job as a campus chapel greeter to help get me on my feet.

This spring, I graduated from George Fox. I am so thankful to Jamie for her compassion and prayer. My faith was tested and challenged, but Jamie showed me what it looks like to truly trust in God – even in the unknown.”
– Isabela Flores

Kade Sorenson

Photo of Kade smiling with his 2 friends

Growing in Community

A way that I have grown in my faith this year is through community. I am a transfer student and this was my first year at George Fox. During my freshman year at another university, I struggled to make meaningful friendships, and it was a very lonely time in my life. I decided to transfer, and I knew that I wanted to go to George Fox.

Over the summer I prayed almost every day asking that God would provide me with meaningful friendships that would help me to become more like Christ. It was honestly difficult for me to pray that prayer after my freshman year of college because I did not have a ton of hope.

When I got to George Fox I was welcomed with open arms. I have met some incredible people here. I meet with two of my best buddies once a week, where we check in on each other and challenge each other in our walks with the Lord. We ask each other intentional questions, and it has been a great opportunity for me to grow.

Brian and Grant are two guys I know I could talk to about anything – they have truly been friends that have spurred me on to be more like Christ. On the first day of class this year, I wrote down prayers I wanted God to answer. Meaningful, Christ-centered friendships was the top one. I recently went back to my journal and put a big checkmark next to that prayer request!”
 – Kade Sorenson

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
email sharing button

Summer 2022 Cover

Cover of Summer 2022 issue

Looking for more?

Browse this issue of the George Fox Journal to read more of the stories of George Fox University, Oregon's nationally recognized Christian university.

Browse Summer 2022