Global Urban Perspectives Cabinet

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Global Urban Perspectives cabinet on lifeguard stand at HoneyRock

Left to Right:  Elise Lopez, SungMin Yoon, Kaija Nivala, Sarah Kaczka, Grace Wong

Kaija Nivala - Chair

Why GUP?
The urban poverty, loneliness, hate crimes, great capacity, but lack of community and support I witnessed in East London, made me passionate about urban areas. If my life's beliefs do not meet my actions, my life means nothing. Experiencing GUP with InnerCHANGE, my daily actions and assumptions were questioned. I am passionate about the issues GUP stands for because they are so important for growing in the heart of Christ. I desire to grow in indignation, empathy, love in impossible circumstances, and coming to understand and support our brothers and sisters. My passion is for the city; my action is GUP.

Words to live by:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Craziest thing I've ever done:
swam with sharks in open seawater

What I love about Wheaton:
The people! Great professors and fellow students who accept me for who I am and challenge the person I am becoming.

It bothers me when...:
couples that own a dog together call themselves mommy and daddy.

SungMin Yoon - Administrator

Why GUP?
GUP is a ministry that is willing to challenge and engage different perceptions of the world in order to illuminate the truth of the Gospel. God has given me his heart for the city--GUP is a place where that passion can overflow and cultivate.

Words to live by:
"Love one another because he loved us first." 1 John 4

What I love about Wheaton:
Wheaton College is a place where faculty, staff, and peers can challenge you and your perspectives if you are looking for it. Truly, Wheaton is an embodiment of transformative education.

I want to...before I die:
read a thousand books and own a vineyard

People often say I'm...:
intense, intentional/purposeful, and musically gifted.

Elise Lopez - Fundraising Coordinator/Campus Programs Coordinator

Why GUP?
GUP taught me to see the world Jesus saw the world, with love, compassion, and a soft heart.

Childhood Nickname:
My little sister, Sarai, would call me Lisey because she couldn't say Elise and my family has called me that ever since.

Craziest thing I've ever done:
I spent 6 weeks living with complete strangers in a transitional home for homeless families, with no phone or computer access and the only money were allowed to spend was 5 dollars a day...I love GUP.

People often say I'm...:
the bomb diggity.

It bothers me when...:
my room is messy. I want to clean all the time...

Darrah Dickerson - Orientation Coordinator

Why GUP?
I am a part of GUP because I think that it is amazing to see God at work and bringing redemption to cities where there is often so much inequality and brokenness.

Words to live by:
"Be thou my vision"

Craziest thing I've ever done:
I was evacuated by a helicopter with my family from a war-torn country.

I want to...before I die:
travel to every continent, backpack through Europe, ride an elephant, skydive.

It bothers me when:
my roommate hides a stuffed goat in my bed.

Sarah Kaczka - Placement/Travel Coordinator

Why GUP?
I have a heart for cities and want to explore ways to promote community development in urban contexts.

Childhood Nickname:
Serbear

Craziest thing I've ever done:
Rode an elephant in Thailand.

Words to live by:
"Love many things, for therein lies the truth strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." -Vincent van Gogh

People often say I'm...:
sweet and empathetic.

Hannah Wong - Publicity Coordinator

Why GUP?
I strongly believe that there is a strong calling and need for outreach in the city. I knew that from the experiences lived together, stories shared, and learning how to give/receive love, my global perspective and vision for my life will be shaped immensely. I want to invest in the urban community around me.

Words to live by:
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." -Audrey Hepburn

What I love about Wheaton:
Hannah banana, Hannyp

I want to...before I die:
see the Northern Lights

It bothers me when...
I can't think of anything that bothers me.

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