Julia Rieniets

Rieniet Family

Julia Rieniets

Class of 2008

May 2018 marks the ten-year anniversary of my graduation from AFLBS. As a high school student, I had always looked forward to attending AFLBS. It is weird to think now that those years are so far behind me. As I reflect back on the past ten years and my two years of Bible school before that, these are the three most significant parts of my time at AFLBS.

First, I learned that I am a sinner saved by grace. I came to AFLBS thinking I was a good person, who sinned probably once every 2-3 days. By midterm my first semester, I was convinced otherwise. The reality of my sin grew before me and I despaired. I would ask myself, “How could God love me?” But then, the Gospel broke through. God knew I was a sinner, and I could do nothing to make Him love me- and yet, He did! (and does). I was dead in sin, but God, through Jesus Christ, made me alive.

Second, I was given opportunities to share the love and joy of Jesus. My two absolute favorite times during AFLBS were choir tour and summer teams. The opportunities to go proclaim what the Lord had done for me through song, testimony, stories, games and relationships helped me to grow in so many ways. It gave me experience serving in the church and played a part in guiding me into my profession as a teacher. I will never be able to fully express the impact of these opportunities on me.

Third, I was exposed to the richness of God’s Word. Having grown up in a Christian family, I had read most of the Bible before going to AFLBS. However, the assignments that required us to immerse ourselves in the scriptures really changed my view of it. For example, when Pastor Moan required us to read the gospel of John in one sitting; or when Pastor Rolf had us outline each pastoral letter and find ten applications points for each chapter; or when Pastor Holmaas spent three or more class periods dissecting one chapter of Isaiah with us. The Bible became more than just a collection of (sometimes bizarre) stories and coffee mug quotes. It became a living, unified message of God’s plan for mankind.

Many people have said that their two years at AFLBS were the best and most formative years of their lives. This is not the case for me. Personally, I would say that my most significant personal and spiritual growth came after my time at AFLBS. However, that does not discount the reality that it was an important place and time that God used in my life for His purposes, some of which I have mentioned. I give God all the glory and thanks for what He did in and through me during my time at AFLBS.

After graduating from AFLBS, I attending Crown College to become a teacher. I taught for five years. Almost four years ago I married Matt, who also attended AFLBS (he did not make it into the “three most significant parts of AFLBS.” It was a post-

AFLBS relationship, so I tell him it does not count.) Today, I am a stay-at-home mom to Thor (13 months) and am domestically supporting my husband through seminary.

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