Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

Hello dear reader!

If you read my last column, then you know that I interviewed Ichthi’s president, Kevin Holland, and this week, I continued the trend by interviewing Abby Jebaratnam and Laura Umek, the two student leaders of Restore, which is the Protestant faith-sharing group on campus.

They are both sophomore physician assistant majors and they were kind enough to let me interview them.


Nathan: Hey guys, thanks for meeting with me. So, how did the first Restore of the semester go?

Abby: “It went really well; we had 10 to 15 people there, including some new people that hadn’t come before.

“We started with setting goals for the upcoming semester about how we’d like to grow in our relationship with Christ.”

Laura: “After that, we watched a video; it was a sermon by Timotheus Pope. It was very compelling and it was about following Jesus. …

“[Then] we broke up into groups for discussion and talked about how we thought it was applicable to our life.”

N: Do you always meet in Waldron 219?

A: “For the most part, we meet in 219. Laura and I send out emails Tuesday night to let everyone know if it’s not in 219… if it’s not, then we come to the Kirk House.”

[For those of you who do not know, the Kirk House is the Protestant house on campus where a Protestant faith-community lives.]

N: What events do you have planned for the next couple weeks?

L: “[Last Friday we played] a game called “Murder in the Dark” in the [First Presbyterian] Church.

“It’s a lot like tag in the dark – and people really enjoy it.

“[This] week, we’re having a winter luau [also at the church] and we’re going to play some volleyball. We’ll have decorations, food and drinks [for the]  luau theme.”

A: “That’s going to be [at 8 p.m.] Saturday.”

N: Awesome. Does everyone that comes [to Restore] have a Christian affiliation?

A: “It is a Protestant Bible study, but we do have people come who are Catholic, or people that wouldn’t consider themselves to be Christian at all, but come to check it out and learn more about the Bible.”

N: Great. To close, is there any final words you want to say about how Restore impacted you? Do you have any hopes and dreams for it this semester?

A: “Well, Laura and I met at Restore our freshman year and for me personally, it’s been a great way to get connected to other Christians on campus who are all coming together to learn more and grow together.

“My hope is to see it grow with… more people coming to learn.”

L: “Similar to what Abby said, it helped me get connected to the university and the people.

“I didn’t have a lot of other lasting relationships or connections that I made outside of Restore… When I went to Restore, I got to know people in a more honest and deep way…

“It impacted where I’m living, [since] I’m living in the Kirk House now.

“My hope is… that people would carry it more outside of the group on Wednesday nights and people would think about things that we talk about during the week, apply it to how they talk to other people and just be more open about the things that they believe.”




[email protected]