Puget Sound Students Find Language No Barrier to God

Exchange students add an interesting dynamic to the Puget Sound Adventist Academy family. The culture, belief system and language barrier is different than what is typically found in North America.

This was particularly evident during "Connect," the academy's annual three-day spiritual retreat at Walla Walla University's marine station at Rosario Beach.

"In Korea, we didn't have a mixture of education and religion," says senior Terrance Ruan. "The opportunity to have a retreat like this wasn't there."

With Connect, students get to experience outreach activities at the beginning of the retreat by going around greater Seattle providing acts of community service. The remaining time the students participated in activities designed to help them form friendships with each other and most importantly Christ. The night of communion stands out the most to students.

"This is my third retreat," says junior Yo-Seob Shin. "When I was a freshman, I couldn't understand the language like I do now. However, the spiritual connection everyone received with God didn't need a language. We could all share in it even if we couldn't [fully] understand each other."

Young Suk, a junior, said, "It was very good to be able to learn how to pray and talk with God. To grow closer in my relationship and understanding of God as well as growing closer to my friends was amazing."

The teachers were amazed to see the change in students. "Any words to describe the event are inadequate," said Howard Munson, Bible and history teacher. "It was powerful to observe these students and see how serious they were to be right with God."

January 01, 2008 / Washington Conference