The United Methodist Church has always been a big part of Alana Rembert's life. Now a student at McNeese State University in her hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, she is an active member of St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church.
"Growing up," Alana remembered, "I spent a majority of my time at the church. My mom has been the office manager there for the past 20 years, and I attended the preschool and summer day camp. I am blessed with having a church that I saw as my home."
She found joy in her church family and loved learning about theology. The congregation helped to bring Alana out of her shell. "Sometimes," she said, "it was a challenge for me to make new friends in school, but I was able to make lifelong friends at church, where I was much more comfortable and felt like I could be myself. My best friends are the girls I grew up with at St. Luke-Simpson."
Her church family was supportive as Alana prepared for new challenges in college.
"My pastor, Dr. John Robert Black, has always encouraged me in my course of study and shown a genuine interest in my student life. Through church mentors and prayer, I was able to decide to study in the medical field, help those who are in need of diagnosis and show them God's love."
Deciding a major wasn't easy, Alana admitted. "It took lots of prayer, personal reflection and asking others' opinions. God answered my prayers and showed me the path he wanted me to take. I am so excited to have been recently accepted into the School of Radiology."
Alana's congregation pointed her toward the Gift of Hope scholarship, supported by your contributions on United Methodist Student Day Sunday.
"Receiving the scholarship," she said, "has had a huge impact on my life by helping with college expenses. It has given me the opportunity to reach my goals of graduating from college and starting a successful career. United Methodist Student Day is so important for young adults in preparing for their future."
Alana looks forward to sharing her faith with the people she encounters as a radiologist. "I plan to show my patients love and compassion and be an example of God's light," she said. Eventually, she would like to participate in a medical mission trip to Honduras or Cambodia.
While attending college, Alana serves part time as the assistant youth director at St. Luke-Simpson UMC. She loves organizing activities like the Fall Fest, a safe Halloween alternative for families, as well as a Christmas dinner for women and children at a local shelter. She also helps to coordinate summer mission trips for youth. "I have witnessed our youth fall in love with mission work and grow in their faith journeys," she said.
United Methodists celebrate Student Day on the last Sunday in November (Nov. 29, 2020). The churchwide special offering supports United Methodist scholarships and the United Methodist Student Loan Fund. Please give generously!
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.