Micah Mandate will be highlighting some of Trevecca’s social justice majors throughout the semester. Check back each week to hear more about how students are loving their neighbors as their major!
With the recent arrival of the highly anticipated summer break, the final student feature of the semester is going to be looking at the work of justice that a student hopes to do rather than a work that has already been accomplished.
Isaiah Fish, an upcoming senior, shared about his travel plans to Eastern Europe this summer.
Fish, along with two other Trevecca students will be embarking on a 12 week venture to Zagreb, Croatia. They began on May 7 and will be returning on July 30. The trip is part of Trevecca’s Immerse program which sends students to another country for 12 weeks during the summer, allowing them time to genuinely share life with the locals.
1. What are you going to be doing in Croatia?
While there are a few things that are available to us, one of the largest things that we are doing over there is simply building relationships with the local Croatians. We will for sure be working with the missionaries over there, Dave and Betsy Scott. We’ll be hanging out with some of the Roma (gypsy) population, helping lead some English lessons and helping with a church plant there. The opportunities really are limitless.
2. What do you hope to get out of all of this?
Truth be told, I still don’t know what to expect. I absolutely hope to start building relationships with some Croatians, but it will also be really cool to see how we Trevecca students bond while we are over there. Then, of course, I’m really excited to see how God works with and in us.
3. How much is everything costing you?
$4,000. But that’s not including anything that I need to prepare. That’s travel, food, and where I’m staying, but there are probably quite a few other things that I’ll need as well.
4. Are there any crazy awesome things you hope to do in each country?
No idea. If I don’t do anything completely ridiculous, I’ll be incredibly disappointed. There’s nothing that I know of for sure quite yet, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout of what those opportunities may be.
Booth Jewett, a 26-year-old sophomore social justice major has creatively combined two of his passions, creation care and music, to produce “Just Plant the Seed”, an EP that melodically speaks on topics such as creation care, humility, overseas missions and the
misrepresentation of Christ.
The EP is available on iTunes and Jewett’s single “Just Plant the Seed” is available on
Noisetrade (don’t forget to leave a tip!).
How did you come to have a heart for creation care?
It wasn’t until about three years ago that I made the connection between social injustice and environmental injustice. The fact that where there is one you will find the other became a reality for me during my time working and living with the homeless population in Downtown, St. Petersburg with The Salvation Army from 2009 to 2011. Later on, I led a trip to East Africa. During that trip, I received a more direct call in my life to pursue the Kingdom of God through creation care.
How did you come to love making music?
I grew up around Salvation Army brass music as a kid and was lucky enough to learn a little music theory. Over the course of three years that I lived in Atlanta, I was blessed enough to live with a number of incredible musicians and songwriters. During that time, I learned that songwriting for me was an opportunity to share beliefs, convictions and stories more than anything else.
How did you come about the idea for the album?
A good friend of mine and incredible musician, Marty Mikles, came up to Nashville last spring for some co-writing sessions. We were sharing some songs we had written or were working on, and Marty brought up his desire to get his hands in music production. He came up with the idea of putting together a small project, and if I would let him produce it, he would open up the studio in Atlanta for us to do it. Over the next couple months I began working on the project and decided that it would touch on four different topics the church is facing today: creation care, humility, overseas missions, and the misrepresentation of Christ.
Tell me a little about the process of producing your EP?
In one word, “experimental”. Each song has a completely different topic and a completely different feel.
We probably did a total of eight days of actual recording over about three trips to Atlanta. After each trip, Marty and I would go back in and listen and take notes about what we did or didn’t like. At the end of the day we knew we wanted to be done by the end of 2012, so when December rolled around, we sort of just cut our losses in terms of tracking and editing and went with what we had.
5. What was your favorite moment in creating the album?
I’d have to say that my favorite moment in creating the EP was the recording of the title track, “Just Plant The Seed”. We hit the wall hard when we got started on day one, so after a couple of hours of trying to push through some creative drudgery, we decided to take a step back, throw up a prayer, and switch gears to “Just Plant the Seed”. As soon as we started, we hit our stride, virtually tracking the whole thing over the next four hours. There’s no better feeling than when you’re in there and it just clicks for everybody and you’re all on the same page with what you’re trying to accomplish.
6. What has been the most difficult part in making it happen?
Since I’d have to make the drive [to Atlanta] when we could get studio time, we would just have to roll with what we had that day in terms of instrumentation. I would love the opportunity one day to record an album while really going for the sound I love and identify with instead having to use only what we have at our disposal at the time.
What all instruments do you play?
Guitar, vocals and brass.
If you could tour with any current artist/band, who would it be and why?
I’d probably have to go with The Lone Bellow. I got the chance to get to know Zach Williams [lead vocalist] a bit while staying with my sister and brother-in-law in Brooklyn, NY a few years ago. They were all a part of planting their church in Brooklyn at the time (Trinity Grace Church). Zach was leading worship there and playing solo around the city. The dude has got a voice and passion like I’ve never heard. It’s been really neat seeing him connect with Brian, Kanene and company [the other band members] and the absolute songwriting/vocal powerhouse they’ve all become together.
This week’s highlighted student is Ray Abreu. Abreu, a senior at Trevecca, recently started La Familia Resource Center, a non-profit that is committed to the advancement and achievement of the Latino community. La Familia, which is under the umbrella of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice provides a few different services. They help Latinos learn English as a second language and provide cultural appreciation for families in the organization. They also help their families in social advocacy and social reinforcement services. Along with these goals, La Familia strives to further the name of Jesus Christ amongst Hispanic communities.
What impressed you to start this ministry?
God put in my heart a feeling to make a difference and address the need for education and resources in the Hispanic community. Along with that, there’s a need for reconciliation with Christ in this ethnic group.
What’s one really awesome story since you’ve begun this work?
I remember my first networking event. I was in the middle of all these important people from the Latino community without knowing or having a clue of how to connect with people. I was so afraid of not being able to express myself in an appropriate way so I could promote La Familia. But God gave the words to say each and every time I had to promote this ministry.
What was the biggest obstacle in starting this non-profit?
I always thought that I needed to be prepared to start a non-profit. One of the things that I struggled the most with at the beginning of my journey was my lack of knowledge in this field. I questioned God many times because I did not feel prepared for this ministry, but he kept providing and making the way for me to say ‘yes’ and be obedient to his word.
You’re from the Dominican Republic, correct? What is your favorite food from back home?
Yes, I’m from Dominican Republic. My favorite food is the Mangú (mashed plantains).
To learn more about Ray and her work with La Familia, please visit the website www.lafamilia-nashville.org.
This weeks student feature is on Lucas Reed. Reed is a junior social justice major who founded Game On about a year and a half ago. Game On is a 501c(3) non-profit organization which opens up a gym on Saturday nights to provide a safe alternative for high school boys. The night includes basketball and Bible study.
Q: What led you to start Game On?
I met this kid named Justin King and we got to talking and he asked me what I was doing that night. Him and his friends open up a gym and just play basketball with about 10 high school kids and then have a little devotional too; the same way Game On is [run]. I loved the idea of using basketball to reach out to kids, as a way of getting them off the streets. I began to think about doing this in Nashville when I came home for the summer. So I called up some leaders and got a gym with the first call I made. God just opened up doors and kept answering prayers. We started it up as soon as we got back to Nashville… I was thinking I’d be happy if seven guys came. Then the first night we had like 35. The second Saturday we had 45, and the third Saturday we jumped to 75.
How much time and energy did you have to put into getting it all started?
I don’t know how to put it into an amount, but it’s a lot more now. When it began it was just a simple Saturday night program, but now it’s turned into more of a week-long thing to really build relationships with these young men.
What has been your most amazing experience so far?
One kid named Dashon came to my church and got baptized, which was really cool. I also got to baptize one of the Game On kids… Baptizing is why we’re here on this earth; to make disciples.
What about the most frustrating one?
Yeah it’s definitely frustrating because some of these kids are disrespectful, some don’t care, some complain about having a devotional, some are ungrateful, some you tell them not to cuss and they continue to cuss. But then at the end of the night I remember this is exactly why I’m doing it [the ministry]… I’ll be honest, there’s some Saturday nights where I do not want to go to Game On. I just don’t want to go. But I made a commitment to doing it and every time I go there, I just [think], “Nah, I love being here.”
Tell me a little bit you’ve learned from the time you began until now.
Taking the time out to invest in somebody’s life is a huge impact on people. The fact that
they see you’re willing to take personal time out to come hang out with them and get to know them is huge… A lot of these kids come from broken families. It shows me their perspective, just on life in general… So it opens up my mind; everyone comes from a different home life, a different background.
Where do you see Game On going in the future?
Right now we’re getting a board team together. I don’t want to be making decisions by myself when [the decisions] are having to do with peoples lives. That needs more people. Here in the next month or two we’re going to be [starting] new locations at Maplewood High School, Rockettown and First Nazarene down on Shelby Avenue… I want take it all over; all over the country is my vision. It sounds crazy and it sounds big, but I think it’s possible.
If you could play one-on-one with any retired or current basketball player, who would it be?
I would love to say Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but I’m actually going to go with “Pistol” Pete Maravich. He changed the game back in the day.