Hi! My name is Kat Cooke, and I am a second-semester twenty-two-year-old at EBC. I like to share a bit about myself, so I’m going to start with wonderful news: I have recently become an aunt for the second time to a beautiful baby boy, Noah Jacob. I am the youngest of three, with two parents who love Jesus and each other more than words could express. I am SO blessed to have a family like mine – no one else would put up with me.
I will start at the beginning: I was raised in a Christian home by my two wonderful parents in Maryland, but I myself did not submit my life to Christ until the age of twenty. I spent the first twenty years of my life thinking that because I knew about God and Jesus and the Bible, I was “saved”. My idea of salvation was very skewed, and I lived my life under the assumption that I could do whatever I wanted with whomever I wanted, but I wouldn’t have to pay the consequences. I had my “Get out of Hell free!” card, and I lived a very wanton, hurtful, selfish life. Now, I know a lot of people tell their testimonies, and you think, “Okay, so you did something bad. What, did you say a swear word or something?” I won’t go into all the details here, but I will say that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at fifteen, and got involved in bad relationship after bad relationship. I hated my life, and I didn’t know how to fix it.
I moved to New York when I was eighteen, following my parents. I had lived on my own for about a year, but, after a series of poor decisions and suicide attempts, I didn’t know where else to go. So moving back in with the parents it was.
After a year and a half in NY, I started going to my parents’ church, and got plugged in with an amazing small group. Seriously, second to my family, they have been some of the most wonderful and influential people in my life. In November of 2008, I realized my life was a total wreck, and that I had ruined other peoples’ as a result. I basically told God, “Look, I suck at life. I don’t know how to do this right, but I know You created it, and You sent us Jesus to show us how to live it. You need to do something here.” His response? “Finally, she gets it!”
So what does all of this have to do with EBC? Well, as their mission statement says, they desire to teach students to live and die well. Never being one for school, God led me to here to help further answer my request two years ago: teach me how to live right. So I packed up my bags, moved to the other side of the country, and am writing this in the living room of my apartment in Simi Valley, CA.
EBC is not your typical college. There is no huge, fancy campus, because they want students to be able to get an amazing Biblical education at a reasonable price. It’s very small, which I love, because I get to talk to the professors, and we actually know what goes on in each others’ lives. I was telling one of my friends (that went to another college) the other day how our president has lunch with a group of students once a week, and anyone is welcome to come. He was surprised, responding that he had only ever seen his college’s president twice – at orientation and graduation. We don’t have on-campus housing, because the school wants us to live out what we are learning and be involved in our communities. This is not a “Christian bubble” college.
My favorite thing about EBC, though, is that I don’t feel like I’m in college. This is more like advanced discipleship. We get to learn about the God of the Bible, the universe, and my life. We get to learn how to read the Bible in a way that reveals more and more of God’s character to us, and how to live our lives according to this knowledge. We get to learn how to have Biblical, God-honoring relationships, and how to function well in the Body of Christ. We get to learn how to think, not just what to think.
This is not a school where you mutter, “Dang, I have to go to this class again…” This is a school where you are EXCITED to go to class because you have the joy and opportunity to learn more about the Triune God.
I’ve only been here seven months, but I know God is already using this college to change my thinking, to stretch and grow me, to edify and be used in His body, to His glory. I am excited to see what the next three years will bring.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.