A Conversation with John Yunghans

There’s so much more to a friendship that you have when you live with that person rather than just see them in passing in social settings. I found that to be the case when I lived with my, now stronger friend. While my investigation of his biographical narrative was easier due to my pre-existing relationship with him, I sought to find out more of the core of what came before I became friends with him. What I found amazed me. Here is my write-up after interviewing him:

Very rarely do I ever get to really get to know a leader who does well to lead by both example and authority. Fortunate for me, he’s also a great and trusted friend of mine. A fellow college student at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, John Yunghans is currently serving as a Resident Assistant for Damiani dorm hall; he has recently been chosen to serve in the same position in Beisel Down dorm hall for next school year. Yunghans is currently a senior college student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministries with a minor in business with the intention of fulfilling the call of God on his life with his course of study. Out of the his calling and passion, he intends to go into church planting using his platform to creatively communicate the Gospel to a secular audience and also build the body of Christ. Born in Delaware and then raised in New Hampshire, Yunghans had an early love for learning and knowledge; most of his time was devoted to watching History Channel documentaries and reading. Early on, his love for studying caused him to have motives of pleasing his teachers and parents, but as he grew up, his studying became focused on his vocation and, in turn, his social skills became essential to his maturity. Even though his first year in college was primarily focused on getting good grades and having a near nonexistent social life, he found friends (and his current girlfriend, Heather) who were just as serious about studying as having a healthy social life. His college also gave him great opportunities to serve in leadership positions starting from a START Team Leader (START Teams is the college’s new student orientation experience) and a Community Service Day assistant leader in his sophomore year and then getting chosen as an RA for this current school year. He continues to grow more as a leader learning more about following the examples of leaders above him and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then leading by example. What many people do not know about him is that he suffers from a rare bleeding disorder similar to that of hemophilia. Most of his childhood and early adolescence was spent dependent on blood transfusions and hospital stays and treatments creating challenges that greatly limited his life, but as time went on, more revolutionary medicine and handy blood products has made the last seven years of his life much more independent and became “damage control”. His future in ministry is extremely promising as God leads him to use his past experience and his extensive capacity for knowledge and teach-ability to further show God’s grace and absolute truth to the world.

Local Newspaper Online Media Editors Visit VFCC

After having a conversation to conclude the Media Consortium, (L-R) Heather Tyrell, editor for The Phoenix, Sarah Peppel, communications professor for Valley Forge Christian College, and Diane Hoffman and Eileen Faust, editors for The Mercury, posed for a photo opportunity. Each of the editors of newspapers located near the local area surrounding the college was asked about their use of social media and other communication means in relation to their work.

Capturing Worship

A typical low-key set-up for First Ghetto Assembly of God in Damiani Hall's lounge after Sunday's service.

Worship, while it seems easy to capture, is much more than the pictures that I captured. There is something to be said with being able to see the photographed heart, something that is not seen but felt when the Holy Spirit becomes our vision and our heartbeat. One of the greatest parts of this photo shoot opportunity was just how simple this worship was in comparison to the the more expansive worship experiences that we experience at a “typical” church (not that there is anything wrong with being accountable to  a church body and therefore experiencing worship this way). I can see it in the eyes and the posture that they feel extremely sincere about their devotion to the Kingdom of God.

Impromptu Photo Shoot – Soccer Game

A goalie looks out into the field

As I’m further developing my photography, I’m finding that any opportunity to shoot is a great opportunity. These photos were literally shot and edited within the past few hours. A post went out on Facebook that people on my campus were playing an impromptu soccer game. Having no experience with shooting soccer, I went straight in with camera in hand ready to make the most of the moment. I think the greatest challenge that I had was the limited lens that I had (shooting with a Canon Rebel XLT). I had the hardest time getting close enough shots to really capture the action, but I shot with enough pixels in the photos that I was able to crop most of the photo out. For a shoot that I managed to do with the time and resources that I had, I think I did well, but as anyone would agree with me, we can always do better.

A Risky Game


An intense game of Risk. It’s only getting started

It was only a matter of time that my friends were going to play a game of Risk…an intense one at that. I thoroughly loved the idea of paying attention to my friends play a game that practically took two night’s worth of time to play and finish. There’s such a range of emotions one can feel during the course of a game, but adequately capturing a raw emotion was certainly a challenge. It reminded me of shooting action/sports photography in one of my earlier assignments that really got me into photography. It’s really about anticipating the emotions before they are felt and expressed facially. There were moments that in the nature of photography that my friends intentionally posed. While nothing is wrong with this, it did make it much harder for me to do this assignment right. I had to get to a point that my reasoning for having a camera in the lounge during the game could not be explained to them. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I’m looking forward to my next chance to capture great photography.

The Long Lost Blog Post…Let’s See Where This Goes

I’ve lost a lot of my internet mojo over the past few months due to a series of crisis situations that caught up a lot of time and more wasted time sold to my overanxious personality. Now that many of the chaos has subsided, I can move on and start all over again with this blog that hasn’t been used in about a year or so. I have so many unfinished drafts that I feel that now that my schedule has freed up a lot. I’m going to make it a point to schedule in some time to just blog my mostly unfiltered thoughts and maybe integrate video into my posts. I’d want to seek more readability and interaction with my randomness. Let’s see how this goes…

Playing video games can be a Biblical experience

Kingdom HeartsRecently, I have been meditating on the plot line of one of my favorite video games of all time…Kingdom Hearts. I was thinking about why I love this game, and I think it’s because my life feels like Sora’s life. To me, a lot about being a Christian is finding your identity through the stories that you hear whether it’s a testimony, a book you read, a movie you see, a dance recital you attend, even a blog post that you see…

To give you an idea, Kingdom Hearts is an RPG game that deals with the wrestling with the hearts. Sora, in a sense, battles for his hearts and the hearts of the different worlds that he encounters. As he gets more knowledgable about the Keyblade that he holds and the tasks at hand to bring things back to the world as he knew it, he gets farther and farther away and the battle for his heart gets much more challenging. He relives the stories that we know well from the mind of the world of Disney ranging from The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, and Mulan. Eventually he battles evil masterminds of the knowledge of the Heartless, the enemies that he faces throughout the game. The emphasis on relationships with his team members, Donald and Goofy, contributes to his development in strength, courage, and heart. In the end, he realizes that his greatest source of aid in his battle was light. The movement of the story is a continuous journey that never seems to end.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice a lot of themes and similarities to a journeying Christian. For instance, Sora’s greatest enemy is darkness and evil overlords that advocate it. He battles with his heart and guards it. I believe that there is a verse in the Bible that deals with the concept of guarding your heart. The moments that he is alone he is weaker but with his friends who are focused on the same mission, he is able to keep the darkness away from his heart. Living out the stories of popular Disney characters is no different than living out the stories of Biblical characters. Values such as trust, cooperation, responsibility, and community are used as means of progressing in the game as they are in life. The game is not easy, nor is the Christian life.

Obviously, just like anything, too much of anything is not so great, so just playing video games is not everything about being a Christian. At some point, real life fellowship and study are just as important. What I’m really saying is that God is everywhere when you look hard enough. I want to know what you think…

What about video games complements and advocates the Christian lifestyle? What doesn’t?

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