The Justice Campaign held its 2nd Annual Battle of the Bands: Coats and Cans Drive on Friday night. Going off of the success of last year’s event, the Justice Campaign team hoped to raise money and awareness for this semester’s cause. Furthermore, they hoped to present ways that students can get involved, and gather for a fun evening of music and community. Admission was granted to the event with the donation of clothing and/or canned goods. Attendees were treated to coffee and snacks made by the members of the Justice Campaign as they waited for the battle to begin.
The cause of the Justice Campaign for 2016 is for refugees. This call towards injustice comes with the current attention surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis. While the student body longed for ways to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the overseas struggle, the Justice Campaign sought to offer practical ways to fight injustice. Co-Senior Manager of the Justice Campaign, Renna Varano, shared her heart regarding the Coats & Cans: Battle of the Bands event. “With the donations, students can get involved. If they don’t have time, that’s okay,” she encouraged. “These donations are going to great causes that will help refugees get on their feet and establish themselves here. My heart behind it is that people become more aware. This is an event where we want to shed light on this situation and have a fun event for the students.” Certainly, everyone on the team was ready to have fun and spread their cause. Callie Langston, a first year who eagerly joined the Justice Campaign team, commented, “I’m excited to see all the bands participate. It’s very exciting to see college students get excited about things. I like watching others be excited. It makes me excited.”
The night saw four bands perform: Wakefield, Blankets, Two and a Half Beards, and The Luke Bagget Band. The night began with Wakefield, featuring Seth Renicks on acoustic, cajon, and vocals with James Hutton on keys and vocals. They opened with a cover of Macy Grey’s I Try and received a score of 22 out of 30 from the judges. After a word from the speaker, the band Blankets performed, featuring Cody Towe on acoustic and vocals with Alex Hurtsellers on acoustic, electric, and vocals. After jokingly changing their band name last minute to the Chris Vena experiment to appeal to the judge, the band captured the audience with their indie acoustic version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time, scoring 24 points with the judges. Next up, the lively boy-band, Two and a Half Beards, played their set. The group featured David Ramirez on keys and vocals with Trey Worsham on bass, Jordan Bisignano on drums, and Alex Bisignano on acoustic. They left the crowd singing along by opening with Rude by Magic! and finished with Georgia Florida Line’s Cruise. They scored a whopping 28 points with the judges. The Luke Baggett Band didn’t actually feature Luke Baggett, but featured Seth Banks on vocals and acoustic. They wowed the audience with their voices, and the judges tallied their votes. After the Luke Baggett Band received a score of 26 out of 30, the prize of T-shirts, gift cards, and a golden duck tchotchke went to Two and a Half Beards.
Interlaced into the competition, the Justice Campaign offered more ways for students to get involved in their cause. They raised money by selling T-shirts and raffling prizes. The Justice Campaign also invited Trent Deloach to speak at the event. Trent Delouch is an alumni of Toccoa Falls College and currently the pastor of Clarkston International Bible Church. Delouch brought to the groups attention some of the problems that refugees face overseas and struggles they face when they land right in our backyard. He alighted the audience as to how life isn’t easy, even for refugees who manage to make it to America. The Clarkston International Bible Church seeks to come alongside refugees and offer them a friend in America and any type of support that they may need. Karissa Glass, with the TFC Clarkston Refugee Ministry, offered students a way to get involved with the things that are going on in Clarkston.
Ultimately, it was mission accomplished considering the goals of the Coats & Cans event, but there is still much to do and plenty of ways to get involved. “We’re going to be having events throughout the year,” Varano commented. “We’ll be going to Clarkston and we will be working alongside Trent and the other ministry on campus, the Clarkston Refugee ministry. We’ll be doing whatever needs to be done. We want to help the refugees out in any way that we can. However if students want to get involved: if they want to join the team, come to meetings, or come to events.” TFC is excited to see what the Justice Campaign will do towards their cause this year.
Kaitlin Weidner, pictured as the first girl on the left, is a junior at Toccoa Falls College from Corry, Pennsylvania. She has been a volleyball player her first two years at Toccoa Falls and is continuing to play during her junior year at the college. She is a Cross Cultural Adult Education major who wishes to serve overseas with the Alliance.
Kaitlin explains that she wished to become a volleyball player since she was a little girl. She would practice often on her own while throwing the volleyball up the stairs. She patiently waited for the ball to bounce back down so she could pass it up the stairs again. Her mom was a volleyball player in high school and Kaitlin finally won her chance to play in the 10th grade and has played from them on.
Her attendance at an Alliance church and her pastor attending TFC benefited the path that led Kaitlin to the college. Other people from her camp came to Toccoa Falls, and she was interested in the excellent missions program.
When asked what her favorite part about being an athlete was, she replied, “It is fun to represent TFC in other places. The team and the coaches are like a little family.”
The volleyball team at TFC always demonstrates outstanding character. After many games, a parent from the other team or a coach frequently comment that the team always has a smile on their face no matter the score. They never get angry with the referee, and many have mentioned they can easily see the character in the team. Kaitlin says, the team always encourages each other no matter how they play.
Besides being an athlete, Kaitlin was asked how volleyball has allowed her to glorify God. She confidently states that she is able to use the talents that God has given her in order to invest and reach out to others. “Athletes can be considered an unreached people group, and in this way I am able to connect with them through a sport.”
In relationships with her teammates, she is able to connect with others in ways that she normally would not have obtained. “Being an athlete isn’t my whole life.” Volleyball is not Kaitlin’s identity, but through volleyball, she is able to invest in other relationships.
While being an athlete, maintaining schoolwork, and obtaining a job; there can be a lot of stress and pressure. Kaitlin explains that even though she doesn’t get too much sleep, she knows it will somehow always get completed. She frequently smiled as she mentioned that there is little time to be apart of other things during volleyball season. However, she tends to procrastinate more during the off-season saying, “I have plenty of time”. She quickly realized that it is important to stay on top of her schoolwork because it can easily slip away.
However, volleyball has been connected to Kaitlin’s spiritual life as well. Volleyball has shown her that she is incompetent on her own. “So many times when I believe that I can’t do something, God gives me the power to help me do it. I am helpless on my own.”
A significant feature that makes the Toccoa Falls College Volleyball team unique are the devotionals led before games. A team member is always in charge of leading a devotion for the entire team. Furthermore, they will sing and worship before games. While ending their time glorifying the Lord before entering the court, the team will throw their hands together and cheer, “All things for Him.” Toccoa Falls College’s Volleyball team always pursues Christ in the manner that the game is played.
On October 7th and 8th, Toccoa Falls College hosted a homecoming celebration. To promote fellowship, many activities and events were available to the alumni, family, and students that attended.
Festivities began with a cookout style dinner provided at the baseball pavilion. People first passed through the pavilion to acquire food, and then—because of the gentle rain—progressed to a nearby marquee to sit around the blue and gold cloaked tables set up under it. The blended group of young and old—of student and alumni—produced energetic conversation as everyone ensconced in the tent.
Satisfied from food and conversation, people wander to the nearby soccer field to watch the women’s soccer game that had begun during the meal; even though the rain had not ceased, homecoming participants were not hindered from supporting the Toccoa Falls College woman’s team as they played against Trinity Baptist School.
During the sporadic rain that accompanied the impressive game, the stands and sidelines were alive with cheers from students, alumni, and family that came to support the game and from conversations among old, seasoned friends.
The half time at the soccer game saw the recognition of four senior players: Jessica Smith, Naomi Horton, Katy Koser, and Sydney Vanhorn. Even with the rain that had begun to intensify, the ladies walked out to the center of the field with their families as their hard work and accomplishments were recognized.
The rain had stopped before the second half began. Our ladies contended with Trinity Baptist, but they emerged through the game with a satisfying victory for TFC.
Following the TFC women’s triumph was another soccer match that placed TFC and Trinity Baptist’s men’s teams against each other. The TFC men played hard and gave everything they had—it was an electrifying game!—but Trinity Baptist won.
After the soccer games, people began to migrate to the intramural field by Grace Chapel for sweet treats. A massive tent was set up, under which was an abundance of delicacies. Boiled peanuts, cotton candy, fried Oreos, Coke floats, popcorn—this was just a sample of what was available. Alumni, students, and family enjoyed themselves as they fellowshipped and indulged.
The long awaited announcement of the homecoming queen occurred in a ceremony that followed the delicious feast. Everyone assembled in the athletic center, where Mandy Silker heralded each representative. Regan Paul, Briana Koser, Dania Morales, Heavenly Dacus, Arin Harrison, and Kaitlyn Koser—accompanied by a father, brother, friend, or significant other—all walked out to the middle of the gym floor as Mandy introduced them.
Hannah Gibson, the previous homecoming queen, appeared last to crown the new homecoming queen. After opening an envelope that revealed who was nominated, Mandy announced that Dania Morales was elected queen! As people cheered and clapped, Hannah crowned Dania. Dania received an abundance of congratulations from people as they left.
Thus, Friday’s homecoming activities were concluded. They were continued on Saturday, which witnessed remarkable weather.
Most of the day was left to the leisure of participants, but everyone began to congregate at Gate Cottage for the anticipated duck race at 1 pm. After depositing one’s pre-purchased ducks at a tent by the bridge, people began to sit along the edge of the creek to watch the race. The race began once all of the ducks were assembled and dumped into the creek. It lasted for some time, as the river flowed weakly and a strong wind blew; but after some assistance from the race organizers as they pushed the ducks along, the race concluded. Respectively from first to third place, Lisa Reed, Sarah Blackaby, and Roy Reed won the race. They were awarded Walmart gift cards and large rubber ducks.
Later that evening a team of alumni played the TFC men’s basketball team in a heated basketball game. It was an exciting game, with a diverse group of spectators supporting the teams as they competed with each other. After two halves, the TFC men’s team won.
For many, the festivities ended with the competitive basketball game; but for some the celebrations continued at a rave that was launched at the baseball pavilion.
Participants arrived on scene to see strobe lights—blocked by paint splattered banners—placed around in a circle and setting the mood. Two tables were set up: one with glow in the dark paint and glow sticks—where people could decorate themselves—and one with snacks and water. As music played, people danced amid the strobe wreathed circle. It was an invigorating event, and an exciting conclusion to the enjoyable homecoming weekend.
Altogether, homecoming was a special event that saw reunion and celebration—all who participated were blessed by the restoring atmosphere of positive community and amusing activities.
It’s here! It’s that time of the year where it becomes progressively harder and harder to persevere. It’s that time of year when professors and parents are giving constant encouragement to “finish strong.” It’s that time of year where assignment after assignment comes due. It’s midterms week.
Before fall break, it is very academically, and emotionally, difficult for students. There is a great deal of pressure and stress involved with finishing final assignments and preparing for the first break of the year. Students lose sleep, and drink more coffee to keep them going. With everything that they have to do, it is easy to give into feeling defeated. It is easy to focus on this one week of academic strain and lose sight of the big picture. God has given each of his children strength for every moment. Anything one could ever need, they already have in Christ. He has given his children enough strength, enough patience, and enough perseverance to overcome anything they may face. With all the anxiety this time of year causes, it is easy to be consumed by defeat. It is difficult for students to juggle the greater amount of responsibilities and obligations given to them. With the high level of stress that accompanies this week, it is even more important to remember to keep one’s eyes set on things above, not on things below. As soon as one is consumed by anxiety, crippling defeat is not far behind. An anonymous Toccoa Falls College Sophomore wrote a short piece of poetry concerning this week.
It’s been a long battle between the two of us. You knock me down, and I’ll recover, then you’ll knock me down again. You haven’t given me a moment’s rest. You’ve come at me with everything you possibly could, but I will not be undone. I am in the palm of the one who crafted the heavens and the earth. You have no power over me. The things you attack me with are temporal. They are ultimately meaningless. You have lost. By the grace of my God and my King, it is YOU who are undone.
Dear defeat, you have been defeated.”
Battling the feeling of defeat is a primary part of spiritual warfare. Once a student stops fighting and succumbs to defeat, it is so much easier to fall into depression and despair. This principle applies not only to midterms week, but in all areas of life. God calls us to “fight the good fight of faith.” We as Christians are to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12). God has called his people to live courageously and fight with strength and perseverance. This spiritual battle is challenging. After all, if it was easy, God would not have encouraged His people to fight with courage.
It is the midpoint of the semester, fight to finish well! Fall break is in sight, so fight the good fight.
This year, the seven Toccoa Falls College women were honored to be picked by their peers to
represent them at homecoming. The freshman, sophomore, and junior representatives as well as
the four senior candidates for Homecoming Queen are honored to be a part of the legacy of
Toccoa Falls College.
Regan Paul is the Freshman Representative for Toccoa Fall College’s 2016 Homecoming Court. Regan is from McDonough, Ga. She is currently pursuing degrees in both cross cultural adult education and TESOL. She enjoys missions work and being outside. Coffee and Hiking are also things that she enjoys. Regan reports that the most important thing in her life is forming relationships with people. She loves to connect with people and share with them the grace and love that Christ has shown her. She wants it to be known that everything that she is today is because of Him.
Briana Koser is the sophomore representative. She is currently pursuing a degree in both Music and Bible and Theology. She is currently on the TFC Women’s soccer team, the publicity head for Toccoa Falls for Life, and the Choir Chaplain for the TFC choir. She is also a member of a chapel team. She enjoys as she terms a ‘connoisseur of all things science fiction”. The interest even lead her to create and independent film this past summer entitled Dead sound. While TFC was not the school she expected to attend, she has come to view it as strangely wonderful. The genuine people searching after the Same God full-heartedly have made TFC her unexpected home.
Madison Coulter, known to her friends as Madi, is the Junior Representative. She is well on her way to earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is from Franklin, NC, but feels at home anywhere in the mountains. She is currently working as the Assistant Resident Director for Fant and Letourneau Halls. Madi enjoys playing with cats, using essential oils for made-up ailments, and reading picture books to kids.
Dania Morales, soon to be Dania Ramirez, is a senior nominee for Homecoming Queen. She is thankful for her time at TFC and how it has formed her. She reports that she gets to marry her dream guy this December and that she has loved the journey God has given them together. The main lesson she is taking from TFC is to pursue character. She reports that she has learned that her life is not about her but about Christ. She is thankful that is true. She is passionate about leading worship and prays that attitude spills over into how she lives out her daily life.
Hevenly Dacus is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. Currently, she is the Executive Campus Life Chair, is part of a Worship Arts team, and works as a tutor for Academic Services. The things that she is most grateful that TFC has taught her are the positive effects of learning. She has learned to love learning for the sake of learning, how to give an account for why she believes what she believes, the power of random dance parties, the simple courage of fighting for those she loves, the importance of humility in showing love, and what the priceless honor of gaining fiercely loyal friends feels like. After graduations, she hopes to get a masters in leadership development in order to facilitate success in leadership teams in ministries and businesses.
Arin Harrison is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling and Psychology. She serves as the Executive Chair of Community Partnerships for SGA. She is a master in the arts of passenger seat dancing and singing in the shower. She also can make any stick into a lovely home decoration. In the future, she hopes to receive her masters in psychology. Arin has a great passion for building strong, local communities and sees that helping individuals who suffer with mental health disorders in one of the best ways to impact communities for the better. She is so thankful for the friend, professors, and mentors who challenged, encouraged, and loved her and ultimately prepared Arin for the future.
Katlyn Koser, known to her friends as Kay, is a senior nominee for Homecoming queen. She is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. She reports that Toccoa Falls College is a part of her family stating that this college was the place where her grandparents met. She loves the community that Toccoa Falls fosters and seeing college students pursue Jesus in all of their endeavors. She is thankful for all the wonderful people here who continually show the love of Jesus. Katy is currently a part of the Women’s Soccer team, of the Counseling Club, the SGA senate. In her spare time she enjoys going on adventures with loved ones, naps, dancing always, and appreciating the little things in life. God continues to transform her life as she learns at Toccoa Falls College, and she counts herself as blessed to experience the Gospel oriented community of TFC.
All four nominees have demonstrated care for others and a deep conviction to love God and to love others. They are humbled by the love they’ve received at TFC both because of their nomination and their experience as a whole. This week you’ll have the opportunity to share your voice in who should be left as this year’s Legacy.
Here’s the link to vote: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfsUUH2w9LH23cKYmhEaAj8aUWypVc0qta8TqB8d7Kj8esSqQ/viewform
Just when the nights began to turn a little chillier, an abundance of eager TFC students gathered in the Student Lounge for a night of friendly competition playing Family Feud.
Friends gathered in the dimly lit room, taking seats on the outer edge to chat while those organizing the game finished up some last minute arrangements for the anticipated Family Feud challenge. As the room began to fill with people, the teams—which had been organized before the event began—could distinctly be recognized, united by identical outfits or outrageous costumes. They prepped together, secretly strategizing or simply talking away the imminent stress.
Gameshow host Thomas Floyd initiated the games by explaining the general rules of the game. Afterwards the first round began, facing off the Homewreckers with Hoprah. With the first question “What might you do to become a sumo wrestler?” the two competed to win the round. Homewreckers put up a valiant fight against Hoprah, but after three more questions and a round of Fast Money Hoprah seized the victory.
The next round the enthusiastic team Hoprah—with their socks and sandals and wacky shirts—faced Fant Plus One, a quintet of ladies clad in plaid. After a provoking round that ended with the challenging question “Name something a mad golfer would do,” Fant Plus One pulled just ahead of Hoprah and won the match.
Disappointed but still upbeat, Hoprah surrendered, leaving Fant Plus One to be challenged by the Vicolserhorns—a group of ladies dressed as grannies, with powder white hair. With an entertaining round of questions accompanying the humorous rivalry, the Vicolserhorns trumped Fant Plus One.
The subsequent round pitted the victorious Vicolserhorns against the Brown Family. It was an interesting round, where both teams struggled to triumph over the other; but at the end of the round the Brown Family lost, propelling the Vicolserhorns to a second victory.
At this point in the game the audience began to dwindle because, as teams began to leave, so did those supporting them. Also spectators who had come to investigate the festivities began to leave as well, satiated from their observations; but many supporters lingered, not only interested in seeing the outcome of the Family Feud competition but also because of the tense atmosphere as the Vicolserhorns transitioned into their third round and another possible victory.
The next round featured—of course—the Vicolserhorns; but this time they faced Two A Squad. The round was tense, with the mood further exacerbated by difficult questions such as “Name a fictional character who doesn’t wear pants.” When the round was over, the score revealed that Two A Squad had won. The Vicolserhorns were disappointed, but sat down and watched till the end of the game, the possibility of winning conceivable.
Two A Squad went into the next round facing the Red Birds. With challenging questions, the two teams struggled to beat the other. At the end though, Two A Squad won. The Red Birds were frustrated, particularly team member Clay Ogle, who expressed that he was astonished that the responses “food” and “shelter” were not considered correct answers to the question “What one thing would you want to have on a deserted island?”
Two A squad then entered into the final round, were they confronted the Sour Patch Kids. Both teams did an excellent job, but the scores at the consummation of the round revealed that the Sour Patch Kids got squashed.
After quick calculations to determine whether Two A Squad or the Vicolserhorns were the winners, Two A Squad was declared to be the winners! The team celebrated together as they posed for pictures and were awarded Chic-fil-A gift cards—the prize for winning the thrilling TFC Family Feud contest.
One thing was evident throughout the entirety of these games—good sportsmanship, encouragement, and joy reigned supreme. The audience cheered on the contestants, and the team members supported each other throughout the games. “Good answer!” was yelled by friend and foe alike, further emphasizing the positive atmosphere. Reflecting the values of TFC students, this event surely represents the qualities any future TFC event that will be featured will possess. Join in the fun next time if you missed out, TFC students! You will not regret it.
In the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Toccoa offers much more than hiking the falls or gazing upon the scenery at sunset. Toccoa, Georgia offers history, community, and an authentic experience of a small town.
Maybe making a trip to McDonalds at 11:00 p.m. on Big A Road or taking a leisurely drive to Walmart on a Friday evening are the “exciting” events in Toccoa. Perhaps the citizens of Stephens County experience the word “fun” at the high school football game or driving the “biggest and baddest” truck around. However, the city of Toccoa is a meaningful town that welcomes home veterans who have fought for the country.
This upcoming weekend, downtown Toccoa will host the annual and fun-filled Currahee Military Weekend from September 30- October 2. Come enjoy a weekend full of history food, and fun as Toccoa celebrates a plethora of military history. Currahee Military Weekend is a series of events that celebrate the history of the paratrooper that trained at Camp Toccoa in WWII. The event encourages others to remember the 17,000 men that attempted to accomplish the paratrooper training in Toccoa where the Northeast Georgia Mountains reside. Even though 5,000 men completed the training, there remains excitement as citizens welcome the reunion of paratroopers that come to the yearly events. Currahee Military Weekend is about remembering those who were sent to Europe in 1944 and thanking the men of Camp Toccoa.
The weekend starts off with the yearly Hangar Dance that is held at the Toccoa-Stephans County airport. Many Toccoa Falls College students enjoy a time of dancing and dressing in vintage costumes. The camaraderie of people and the dancing offer a wonderful experience to kick off the fall weekend.
Other events include the Chamber of Commerce Barbeque, Currahee Challenge, Memorabilia Show, WWII veterans book signing, the Veterans Parade, reenactments at the military camp, and the displays of vehicles and planes. The fun does not end on Saturday. A special service will be held on Currahee Mountain on Sunday evening. Curahee Mountain offers a beautiful view of the Georgian Mountains and a stunning, glow at sunset.
Toccoa Falls students also participate in the Currahee Challenge each year. The Currahee Challenge is a 5k/10k run or walk up and down Currahee Mountain. The Currahee Challenge is also called “Three miles up and 3 miles down” and will be held on Saturday, October 1st. Registration will begin at 7:00 A.M. that morning. The 5k run/walk will be held at 8:00 A.M. and the 10k run/walk will be held at 9:00 A.M.
Take the opportunity to check out the Currahee Military Museum at the Toccoa train depot. There is an overabundance of history in Toccoa that many would not imagine. Glass walls protect military uniforms and artifacts of veterans. Hundreds of metals display countless stories of history, and a giant parachute hangs on one of the ceilings throughout the museum.
For more information check out http://www.cityoftoccoa.com/currahee-military-weekend.cfm
Don’t forget to come and participate in the weekend’s events and support the return of the veterans!
As the masses descend upon the great sandy shores of unfamiliar beaches or besiege the family dwelling with sleepy eyes and the urge to binge Netflix, the time will pass by faster than one might think. Instead of achieving a state of mindless spontaneity, consider this time a chance to explore the unexplored. Enjoy the unknown, and even reinvent the known. I am writing to all who would like to participate in a new kind of fun, a renewable bucket list. A summer “put drops in the bucket,” instead of kicking it.
The following are some ideas to help the summer become an experience to remember:
- Disc Golf! Even if you cannot throw the discs far, disc golf can be a great stress reliever spending an hour or two chucking objects toward a goal. As for the discs themselves, a surprising amount of people are getting into the sport, and because of this, discs can be found almost anywhere. The discs on the lower end are only a few dollars and would last long enough to determine whether or not the player wants to put a little more money in. Also, courses are generally free and expansive. It has never been a better time to play a new up and coming sport!
- Star in your own movie! With a good majority of Americans having access to a smartphone and almost a century worth of film ideas, why not make a small movie? First, grab a phone (most shoot HD video), grab a friend, and spend a couple hours in varying locations making stuff up as you go. Next, upload it onto a computer, download a free editing program, and go to work putting in wacky transitions and anything else that could be fun. Finish the product and show it to friends. Laugh, learn a new skill and love the experience.
- Host a dinner party! So sports are not your thing. Maybe making a movie is too much work. How about hosting a get together with friends and food? Gotta have a break from the beach every now and then, right? What’s better than food, movies, and AC? (credits to Kinsey Whittet for the idea)
- Servanthood through recycling knowledge! Have you ever wondered how recycling material works? I mean really, what happens? When we toss our cardboard Triscuit boxes, or our electronics away how can they be reused? Maybe, this summer would be a good time to gather up a bunch of recyclables around the house and set up an appointment with a local recycling plant manager. You could possibly see a tour or at least learn a lesson in understanding how recycling works. Its worth a shot, and I am sure that someone out there would be willing to share the process to an interested college student. You never know, by having the knowledge you could really be making a difference. If not, then at least you recycled!
As the summer continues, take the time to focus on building relationships with those around you and exploring God’s creation. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories with the ones you love. Having the opportunity to share a fun idea with a friend may make their day. Relaxing on your summer vacation is great, but remembering the moments of sitting by a bonfire or fishing with your family are the best of memories. The summer bucket list could become a trend for every summer.
Well-known and loved by many at Toccoa Falls College, Professor Joyce Griffin has been teaching at TFC for 18 years. The college asked her to become a professor after she had returned from living overseas as a missionary in Argentina. At first, Professor Griffin was an adjunct professor, but she eventually moved into a full-time.
When asked for her favorite passage of Scripture, Griffin had a hard time choosing—because she loves the whole Bible, of course! However, she was able to narrow it down to two passages. Currently, Psalm 23 is very special to her. Throughout this Psalm, God reveals Himself to be a loving shepherd to His people, instead of a harsh judge. God has been using this truth in Griffin’s life lately, as she has been going through a study on the Psalm with the girls in her Barnabas group. The second passage that Griffin chose is Philippians 4:4-9. These verses have been a comfort to her throughout her life, helping with anxiousness, correcting her thinking, and helping her to rejoice in various circumstances.
Next, Griffin gave three interesting facts about herself:
One time when she was riding in a tiny plane, the engine failed. The pilot was forced to crash the plane in a field. Luckily, everyone was ok, but it has become quite the story to tell!
Second interesting fact, when she was little, she was locked inside a men’s restroom at a campground in Quebec, Canada. The other people in the restroom only spoke French, so it took some time before she was able to escape.
Lastly, she reveals that she was once a co-star in a three-act Christmas play for a church in Argentina—her office is in the World Missions building, in case you want an autograph.
Griffin says that her favorite part about working at TFC is the students. She loves being able to build relationships through mentoring, teaching, and everything else involved in working with students. Ask her what her least favorite part about teaching is and she instantly answers “grading papers!’. Griffin’s craziest memory at TFC involves some students from her department. One year, the seniors had thrown a Christmas party for the professors in the Global Ministries Department. Legend has it, that the student impersonations of the professors and the White Elephant gifts went a little crazy that night.
Griffin offers these three pieces of advice for students at TFC:
- Take your classes seriously and learn everything that you can. Even if it does not seem applicable now, it will build character and life skills.
- Make relationships and invest in them. Learn this now, so you can do it in the post-college world.
- Get all kinds of experience while at TFC. Figure out who you are as an individual in God through these experiences.
It can definitely be said that many TFC students are very grateful for Professor Griffin’s work. Her love for Christ and for students shines in all that she does. She loves to laugh, which is fitting because she makes her students laugh as well. She is a joy to have as a professor, mentor, and friend. Thank you, Professor Griffin, for serving the Lord the way you do! Simply put, you are fantastic, and your ministry at TFC is beyond valued by all!
When one thinks of a mother, words such as caring, kind, and wise usually begin to come to mind. Mothers play a huge role in the lives of their children, and this does not stop when the children start to grow up.
College students often find themselves completely flustered by situations faced by adults every day. For some, cooking is a prime example of this. Recently, one TFC student found herself with three large pots of beans, when she only intended to make one small pot for herself. Though stuck in a sticky situation, this college student knew exactly what to do. It was time to call in the expert: her mom. A mother’s advice seems to be able to fix most everything. In the case of the excess beans, this superhero mother’s solution was quite simple: freeze them in Ziploc baggies and save them for later. Good mothers are always there to help out their children, even with the tiniest of crises, such as having cooked enough beans to feed the entire school.
Moms are special people. From day one, many moms are ever-devoted to caring for their children. They give and give, and expect nothing in return. When they do not feel good themselves, they can often be found taking care of others. If something is wrong, a perceptive mom will know right off the bat. Usually, she will also know just what to do to help fix it.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to take their mothers for granted. Sometimes, a mother’s love can be misinterpreted as over-protective or nosy. Instead of shoving a mother’s questions aside as insignificant, it is important to value them and answer them fully. Mothers desire to be connected with their children, and it is hard for a mother to let her children grow up.
With that in mind, college students should remember that the occasional phone call to keep mom up-to-date can make a huge difference.
It is also important to note that a mom does not have to be a biological mother in order to be a mom. Many of the world’s greatest moms are not the biological mother of their children. These women are very special individuals who deserve just as much honor as any other mother.
In Proverbs, there is a description of what a godly woman looks like. This description is found in the latter half of chapter 31. This chapter is a good reminder of all that goes into motherhood and it shows that the job description is not easy. The Proverbs 31 woman is hard-working and valued by all those around her. Verses 25-26 say, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is an excellent description of what a good mother is for her children; she has much wisdom to impart to them and her words are kind and loving. Verse 28 says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her.”
Though it is easy to do this on Mother’s Day each year, it is important to recognize that mothers deserve this year-round.
Every year, Toccoa Falls College sends out a group of interns who go overseas to do mission work. Often times, these students are cross-cultural majors, but in some cases other majors go overseas as well to fulfill their internship requirement. Every year, these students raise support, they raise awareness. They leave the comfort of home and family. They leave their friends and they go where the Lord is sending them. Every year, they come back with stories of joy, of growth, of pain and trials, of sorrow, of rejoicing, and ultimately stories of the Lord’s goodness in their lives.
This year is no different. The semester is coming to a close and as students are turning in the last of their papers, studying for finals, and preparing to leave this place for another year, there is a group of students who are also preparing to leave for the summer to go and serve where they have felt led to go.
There are over twenty interns this year, and they will be dispersing to go all over the world. Some are headed to the Middle East while others are headed to Thailand and some are going to Bosnia and others to various other locations. Some are going for the summer, and some are going for a semester abroad this coming Fall.
These interns have been working hard all semester to raise money through various Student Mission Fellowship events and sending out their support letters. Many people have given financially to support this group of interns, and the interns are overwhelmed by these people’s generosity. However, the interns still need support, but the support they need now looks a little different. They need people’s prayers and encouraging words. So many people have gathered in prayer for these interns, but it doesn’t need to stop now. The prayers need to continue and overflow throughout the summer and coming semester.
Prayer is powerful. Students are encouraged to commit to praying for an intern this summer and let the intern know that he or she is being prayed for. This is an incredible opportunity for the body of Christ to gather around their very own who are about to go out into the harvest. It is an exciting time, but a scary time as well.
Here are a few prayer requests for the interns:
- Strength for the journey.
- The Lord’s provision.
- Peace and confidence.
- Adapting to a new culture.
- Building relationships and sharing the love of Christ.
If anyone is interested in learning of more specific prayer requests, go and find an intern and ask them how you can be praying for them. There is a wall in Woerner Missions Building where pictures of all the interns have been hung up and each intern is holding a sign of their intended destination. One can take a look at the wall and see where students will be in the coming months.
In addition, next Wednesday, May 4th, is the last SMF of the semester. Dr. Crosby, a cross-cultural professor at Toccoa Falls College, will be speaking and he will be commissioning the interns to go out this summer to serve the Lord. At the end, there will be a time of prayer for the interns. All TFC students are encouraged to attend and be a part of this commissioning service whether it is as a friend to an intern, someone who supports missions, or someone who simply has a heart for people and wants to send the interns off with prayer and a hug. All are welcome. It is sure to be a special night.
Taste of Toccoa hosted its 26th anniversary providing an evening of food, fun, and friends on April 28th.
This historical occasion offers different foods from local restaurants for people to enjoy. The event was hosted from 5 to 8 P.M. to bring the community together and share the experience of Toccoa life. The downtown area of Toccoa was closed off to set up booths, rides, and entertainment for both locals and visitors to enjoy the atmosphere of Toccoa. Taste of Toccoa helps advertise for small town business, coffee shops, and restaurants. On a beautiful, sunny day in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, people certainly took pleasure in an evening full of good food and friends.
Taste of Toccoa’s operation is fairly simple. As one walks into the downtown area, booths are set up for people to buy tokens for fifty cents each. After buying tokens, one can use them to buy food, coffee, or dessert at the different catering businesses and restaurants. At the end of the day, the tokens were counted and entered into a competition. The booth that received the most tokens wins a prize and the money is split between the city and the business.
Attendees were able to vote at the WNEG radio tent for their favorite foods. Businesses were challenged to bring their best spring menus. Eight different awards are offered every year to the favored food companies. As the voting was taking place, one of the volunteers at the tokens booth explained that she loved the event every year as she watched people interact and enjoy the different activities.
While walking past young children with funnel cakes and fellow college students curiously looking for food, everyone seemed to delight in the camaraderie that was built around the community.
Faith Newey, who is Toccoa Falls College’s Director of Leadership and Service, was helping with the Rotary table. Rotary is an organization of businesses that help with community needs. Faith explained that she has been coming to Taste of Toccoa since she was a student in the 90’s at Toccoa Falls College. She has enjoyed each year and loves to see all the people interact with each other.
Another table called the Stephens County Food Bank, Inc. provides non-perishable food and canned items for those in need. Also, connected with the Toccoa Soup Kitchen the volunteers explained that the organization has helped feed the hungry for over 25 years. Not only were tables meant to advertise food, but encourage the community to help others in need.
Taste of Toccoa is a fun, historic event that symbolizes the importance of community life. Interacting with one another allows people to grow and experience their culture together. One evening out of each year, people are given the opportunity to observe small town businesses while enjoying one another’s company. Taste of Toccoa truly fulfills a loving community inspired to help one another.
Hello there! I’m Martha Mae, and I’m just tickled that you’re here. It isn’t often that I get visitors this far out. But if they do make it out here, nobody leaves with the bout of melancholy they came in with. You see, I just have that special knack for advice givin’. My mama had it, and so did her mama, and well, here I am with the same skills. I always seem to know just what to say to make a soul feel better.
Oh, but there I go, rambling along, but you don’t know nuttin’ about who I really am. I guess the first thing you oughta know is that I moved here from Savannah, GA. I was the prettiest girl in Savannah… Well, at least that’s what daddy said, but then mama would always shoot him a look that let him know she didn’t ‘ppreciate losing the contest. Anywho…
I make the best dang peach tea and pecan pie that will ever grace your taste buds. My pie has won blue ribbon at county fair for the past three years now. My mama and nana have taught me all their household runnin’ secrets. I’ve been married for nearly 50 years now. I’ve worked with people my whole life in different job endeavors, always following dreams. I love to paint and draw overlookin’ my back crick. I’m just a regular ole southern gal still looking for adventure.
My kids are all grown now trying to give advice to little kiddos of their own. My husband spends his days fishing and cracking some smart aleck jokes in the rocking chair next to me. I’ve got some life under my belt and I want to share it with you, youngins. It’s time my advice givin’ skills were put to good use.
I say all of that to let you know a little of who I am and why I can help you. All you have to do is ask; I won’t tell nobody your name or who you are. That’ll all be our little secret. So, come and sit a while with me on my porch and I’ll try to help you the best I can with what the Good Lord gave me. I hope we can learn a little from each other.
If you do decide that you would like to contact me to advise you in your time of need, honey, you can reach me by e-mail at: ComeToMartha@gmail.com.
I would love to help you. After all, these grey hairs aren’t just for show. Where else would you find this much knowledge in one place? Come back soon!
Victoria Head gave insight into what it is like to own a local business and left advice for aspiring business owners.
Toccoa native, Victoria Head, owns local bakery, Victoria’s Sweet Treats. Started in 2013, “Victoria’s” is relatively new; however, it continues to grow. Running her own business has given Head much experience and insight. In an interview, she explained that it has been both difficult and worthwhile.
Head said that the most difficult aspect of owning and running a local business is the management of both time and resources. While Victoria’s is rapidly increasing in popularity, it has a very limited staff.
“As the business has grown, it has been challenging to keep up with the demand in the space I am currently in with the staff I currently have. It requires long hours just to keep up with the orders and then on top of that, there is the ongoing need to manage the business’s finances and supplies to be able to continue operations.”
Head compared owning a business to having a child in the sense that “the work is never really done.” She said that the list of things needing to be prepared or accomplished seems endless.
Owning and running a local business has been rewarding for Head. “Knowing that a product or service you provide brings joy and happiness to someone else is a great feeling.” While encouraging those who aspire to own a business, she reminded them that it is a commitment. One must be willing to give one hundred percent effort.
Head also advised future business owners to become very familiar with their community and customers. She said, “If you do that, your customers will keep coming back and that is what keeps a business going.” Connections are crucial to businesses, especially in small areas.
Head believes she has followed her calling by opening her own bakery. While owning a small business is not easy, she has found it very gratifying.