Flying squirrels and life in Kansas : Jesse Owens

Hey BCM family!

My name is Jesse Owen, and I am a junior transfer student majoring in Wildlife Conservation with a minor in Forestry. Here at BCM, I am currently serving as the guy OL for Green Fam.

What have you been up to this summer?

To begin my summer, I rode to Texas with my brother Wyatt who had a summer internship in Dallas. During that short trip, I also got to visit family friends and get a small view into Texas life.

Following the trip to Texas, most of my summer has been spent working as a habitat technician for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at their Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area, which is about 50 miles south of Kansas City. The job has been amazing as I have gained a huge amount of valuable field experience working to improve wildlife habitat, something that I find extremely fulfilling. Highlights of the job have included learning how to conduct prescribed fire, planting over 100 acres of crops for migratory waterfowl, and the opportunity to tag along with researchers while they were conducting a survey on bats.

How have you seen God work recently?

Honestly, God’s providence has been most obvious in how I landed my summer position. Starting in March after my original wildlife related summer internship fell through, I had been applying to wildlife related internships all throughout the Lower 48 and praying that God would provide an opportunity but had no success. By the end of May, I had run out of time in applying for internships, assumed that it wasn’t in His plan for me to get a career-related summer position, and got a job in an unrelated field to earn extra money. I had been working at my last-resort summer job for less than a week when I got an email from a job I had applied for in April, stating that my application had been misplaced after I sent it in and that they would like to interview me for the job. 

Several days went by following my response to that email, I had gotten no confirmation that the hirer still wanted to interview, and I was beginning to panic internally. On that Saturday at about midnight, I was texting a friend about the situation and he gave me the best advice I had gotten so far, which was to calm down and pray about it. Realizing that I had not talked to God at all regarding the issue, I prayed about it then and there. Less than 30 seconds after the prayer, I received an email from the person who would become my future boss, stating that he was still interested to talk to me about the position.

To keep the story brief, I interviewed the next week, was offered the position, said goodbye to friends and family, and was on the road to Kansas within 10 days. In the moment of receiving the email, I totally saw God’s hand working and knew that He still had a plan for what I was to be doing this summer, even if the timing was completely unexpected. It was a great moment and one that I hope I never forget as how special it was to see God working so obviously in my life when I least expected it.

What is something you love about BCM?

The best part about my experience with BCM over the last year has been the community, accountability, and relationships that have come from being with other believers in family groups. The ability to deepen your walk with Christ through small groups is amazingly easy if you’re willing to dive in.

What are you looking forward to in the fall?

In person classes! Since I transferred into VT last August, I haven’t had the “normal” college experience yet. Getting to be around friends I made last year and meeting new people in classes are what I’m looking forward to the most about being back in school. 

What advice would you like to share with incoming freshmen?

My biggest piece of advice would be to stay strong in your faith through college and to find a community that will encourage that. When you get that first taste of freedom from parents and loved ones back home it’s easy to stray away from God but staying strong in your faith while in college is well worth it! I am definitely biased, but BCM is a great place to grow your faith at this stage of life. 

What are your favorite things to do in Blacksburg?

The outdoor opportunities around Blacksburg are pretty amazing. Over the last year I’ve made it a point to explore as much as possible through hunting and hiking. In town, I love going on late night milkshake runs with friends and searching for things I don’t need in the many pawn shops and thrift stores that Blacksburg has.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *