Student Stories of Impact
Meet the students whose lives are being changed
GOD CAN CHANGE THE IMPOSSIBLE
Sovannary Cheng ‘14 was born in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia and will graduate from John Brown University as the first generation in her family to receive a college degree. After her family moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, Cheng’s neighbor introduced her to an uplifting radio station called KLRC. From listening, Cheng heard about a private Christian college called John Brown University.
“I became interested after learning about KLRC and its ministry in Northwest Arkansas,” she says.
Unfortunately, Cheng’s family could not afford to send her to JBU and looked at different colleges in Arkansas, even considering Northwest Arkansas Community College.
“I had decided if I could not come to JBU right after high school, I would take some classes at NWACC and would transfer to JBU when our finances became more stable,” Cheng explains.
Due scholarships provided through the JBU Scholarship Fund, Cheng’s family was offered additional financial resources, making it possible for her to attend. When she got to JBU, she was voted the Freshmen Senator in the Student Government Association and joined several on-campus ministries.
What excites Cheng about being at JBU? “Being a JBU student,” she says. “Being a student in a caring community that reaches out to spread God’s love.”
JBU WORKS WITH STUDENTS, NOT AGAINST THEM
Jeremy Enders ’14 wears his father’s military jacket proudly, not just because his dad flew helicopters for the army for thirty years, but because God healed his father after an electric shortage caused a near-fatal crash in 2004. However, his father suffered a broken back and has residual numbness in his legs, so it fell to Enders’ mother to financially support the family.
In 2009, the Enders family hit another difficulty when the market began to crash and the economy took a downturn. By now Enders was a senior in high school, and with tight family finances, he greatly needed scholarships. After applying to several different schools and meeting personally with the financial counselors, Enders realized that many universities had few resources to offer.
JBU was different. “Many schools were retracting funds from available scholarships, but JBU was the only school that kept providing more,” Enders says. “They kept working with me, not against me, so that my family could find a way to send me here. I am very thankful for that.”
Enders is now an honors student double majoring in international business and business administration with the hopes of one day starting a humanitarian for-profit company that works in impoverished countries.
“I am now the sophomore senator for the student government association and am really looking forward to getting involved in SIFE or LSI,” Enders says. “I want to not only help people and communities grow, but I also want to inspire other companies to do the same.”
JBU ENVIRONMENT SUPPORTS ALUMNUS' HEART FOR MINISTRY
Nathan Fields ‘09 was a popular, enthusiastic student at JBU. He was crowned Homecoming King in ’07, worked in on-campus ministries like Chai Time and Act against AIDS, served as an RA in J-Alvin for two years and lived in the Ministry House.
His heart for ministry began before coming to college, and JBU was the perfect environment to cultivate such a desire.
During Chai Time, a ministry composed of students who pray for missionaries overseas, Fields heard about Anna Neale ‘06, a JBU grad who had traveled to China. Fields contacted Anna Neale to see how Chai Time could best pray for the work she was doing and quickly became interested in going to China.
After graduation, when the chance came to teach English in China, he snatched up the opportunity. He began working in the Fujian province as a teacher. While in China, he lived only three hours away from Anna Neale and the two were engaged in 2010. Nathan Fields and Anna Neale were married on July 16, 2011 and plan to return to China to continue serving as missionaries.
“If it wasn’t for JBU, I wouldn’t have developed such a deep love for the Church. The community at JBU built in me an understanding that we are not alone. JBU instilled in me theological training and a love for learning,” Fields says. “Also, JBU nourished the understanding that all truth is God’s truth and all people should have an opportunity to know the truth of Scripture.”