Semester McKenna JohnsonSummit Semester has been one of the best things that has happened to me. God has timed it perfectly in my life. This previous year I was a freshman in college. I attended St. Cloud State University in Minnesota for the fall semester and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for the spring semester. During my time at these two universities I struggled to find one specific thing — friendships. Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of people that I enjoyed being around, but none were what I was looking for. I should also note that although I was searching for something specific, I did not know exactly what it would look like when I found it. I found it here. The friendships that run deeper than just surface conversations, the ones that you can trust in a matter of weeks, the ones that cause your stomach to hurt from all the laughter, and the ones that are Christ-centered. Summit Semester has created such a wonderful, rich environment for this to happen. We eat together, study together, work together—everything is done together. I’m quite amazed by it.

One might guess that in spending so much time together we would become frustrated and annoyed with people, but I think we all value the relationships enough to work these types of things out before they cause rifts between us. It’s easy to tell that each person here wants to invest in relationships. This, I believe, is the key that I had been missing. A surface relationship, although it serves its purpose, does not require the same amount of investment. We invest in each other. We make it a goal to love, serve, and get to know each other. In fact, one of our first nights we talked about love languages (for those who do not know, there are five: physical touch, quality time, gifts, word of affirmation, and service) so that we may understand how to love each other and how to build on these relationships.

Relationships are important, and I am so very thankful for the ones that I have been privileged enough to form here at Semester. I will cherish each one, and take what I have learned from each with me wherever I may go.

McKenna Johnson comes to Snow Wolf Lodge from the town of Byron, Minnesota. Having graduated high school last year, she has attended one year at St. Cloud State University where she is studying Social Work as a major and English as a Second Language for a minor. When McKenna attended the Summit Student Conference in Colorado last year, she felt challenged to go deeper in her faith. While there, she recognized that God has called her to pursue her passion of serving others. Currently, McKenna plans to pursue a position in the Peace Corps in order to enact her desires to serve God and other people. Before she finishes her time at Summit Semester, McKenna hopes to grow in consistency with her walk with God and feel prepared to engage the issues facing her generation.