To start us off on “As Told by Alumni” is Violet Gott. Violet graduated from BBC in 2012 with an AS in Bible. She currently is serving at Marcola Christian Church as the youth minister, but is preparing to be a missionary in Mexico City alongside CMF International. Enjoy this tidbit of encouragement from the heart and her insight as a student at BBC.
I walked into the church, the way I always walked into churches: midweek, in the evening, and through the back door. As an addict/alcoholic it was the only way I felt comfortable coming into a church. I’d been to meetings in churches before, but this was different. This felt like hope, like home. The ministry of Celebrate Recovery is what drew me to my church and Jesus. It has been 14 years since I got clean and accepted the challenge of a life spent with Christ.
I have served as Youth Pastor here at Marcola Christian Church in Oregon for 10+ years. I recall reading 2 Timothy 2:15 one day and asking myself if I was, indeed, “accurately handling the word of truth.” I was scared, to be honest. I knew I needed a better understanding of God’s Word. I also knew that if I taught students wrongly I would be held responsible. I appreciate the quote by Maya Angelou, “We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better.” I did the best I knew how, but when God opened my eyes to my need for Bible education, I needed to do better. The possibility to attend BBC was opened to me and I, more than gladly, took it. I graduated in 2012 with an Associates in the Bible. Boise Bible College opened up God’s Word to me and gave me a place to grow as a student and as a follower of Christ.
My time at BBC was some of the best times of my life. I made friendships there that have been essential to my walk. God used the amazing professors and staff at BBC to affirm my ability to do what God’s called me to do. And what He has called me to do now is start Celebrate Recovery meetings in Mexico City. I am with Christian Missionary Fellowship International and start my training in June. I had mostly avoided addicts since I got clean. They made me very nervous. I took a friend to a meeting a year and a half ago and thought it was just for her…it wasn’t just for her. God broke my addict’s heart. He also reminded me that these are my people, my story. If I pretend like that isn’t part of who I am anymore, then how can He use that to help others. I love addicts. I want them to be free, like God set me free.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
So graduation is upon the students of Boise Bible College. Graduation week, for me, was bittersweet. It went by so fast. I recall a lot of “last coffee dates” and green belt walks and hugs and tears and goodbyes. Leaving that great community was difficult. But I am so grateful that those people are still a part of my life. My advice on graduation week to this year’s grads…savor it. Part of my heart will always be at BBC.