Biola honors Veterans with with Image of God chapel

Veterans were given a platform to share their testimony with the Biola community.

Bethsabe Camacho, Staff Writer

To honor and celebrate those who served or are currently serving this country, Biola has dedicated the “Instead #21: Image of God” chapel for student veterans to share their testimony with the Biola community. 

The speakers this week are student veterans, a biblical and theological studies major Dylan Nutt and kinesiology major John Butler. Both shared low and high moments in their time of service, as well as the ways God spoke to them in the military and how they were eventually led to Biola.

Nutt joined the U.S. Air Force at a time when he did not yet know Christ. Much of his identity was wrapped in trying to be the best. After driving by a church for about two months, he felt a calling to go in. He read Christian books, started praying and attending church. Finally, he gave his life to Christ and stumbled upon Biola on a trip to California with his brother.

“I’m really grateful for the way that Christ has brought me from that dark military experience to where I’m at now at Biola,” Nutt said. “It’s this community and people that care and this Christ-centered environment and atmosphere.”

Butler wanted to travel, so he decided to join the U.S. Army. During his time exploring the country, he recalled seeing everywhere he went. He discovered a church home during his time stationed in California and eventually enrolled at Biola. God called him to move to Japan while in the military and used his time there to serve others. 

“I learned that regardless of who you are… I can’t not extend that love to you and that invitation to Christ because a lot of times I realized that I was the closest someone might get to God,” Butler said. 

Kevin Gallmeier, a former Marine and a biblical and theological studies major, said he felt joy watching other veterans tell their stories. He mentioned how Biola has done so much for student veterans, including providing them with numerous resources, which in turn has made him feel loved and cared for. Gallmeier acknowledged that most people cannot fully understand what they have endured, however, he appreciates the platform and the willingness of students to listen.

“It’s not an easy thing to talk about,” Gallmeier said. “It takes time to heal from things that we’ve gone through, but we have the support from faculty and other students.”

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