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Lydia Shaarda


Bold Points




Moody Bible Institute

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Theological and Ministerial Studies
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Health, Wellness, and Fitness

    • Dream career goals:

      Non-profit Member or Leader

      Future Interests




      Dr. William and Jo Sherwood Family Scholarship
      This scholarship will allow me to attend Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. There I will be learning how to teach English to speakers of other languages. This degree holds interest for me because I want to use it as a means of entering countries otherwise closed off to American persons. Why would I want to go to such countries? God planted in my heart a dream to walk alongside women and children escaping from sexual trafficking until they reach healing and freedom, found through salvation in Christ Jesus. Human trafficking exists everywhere, including in these closed countries. The first offering I want to bring these escapees is the hope of salvation and freedom in Christ Jesus. Sexual trafficking breaks down the very meaning of love, but Christ Jesus is love itself. Thus, I want to bring the gospel message to these women by walking out my relationship with Jesus among them. I fully believe that the fact God would pursue sinful humans- to the point where He would give His own self as a sacrifice to redeem them- brings hope. This hope stems from the knowledge that God Almighty loved that person enough to give everything to save them. Why would His love for them do any less in their healing from the trauma of trafficking? Experiencing the true love of God will transform the deceitful definition of love victims of human trafficking have been fed to a beautiful miracle. Secondly, I want to offer these women and children my presence. I know that I'm not a particularly amazing person. I'm an average woman. Yet I know from my pain and hearing the stories of others' pain that someone's willingness to remain with the hurting one regardless of what happens can be healing. Thus, I hope to be a safe place, listening ear and gentle companion to any escapee of trafficking I might work with. Finally, I want to offer escapees of trafficking a practical skill to equip them with means to sustain their livelihood and keep them from returning to traffickers out of desperation for money. This is where a degree comes into play. Having a bachelor's in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) will allow me to equip women to have a skill that will carry them far in a globalizing economy. Furthermore, it will be nearly impossible to enter a foreign country to work with victims of trafficking unless I have a TESOL degree to put on a visa application.
      RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
      Paragraph: "14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God." -1 Corinthians 2:14-17 Taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version The passage above ends with a bold claim that the group writing is better equipped to proclaim the knowledge of Christ than others, who are allegedly using a precious message to profit themselves. What gives the writers boldness to make this claim? What do they know or believe about their relation to the knowledge of Christ which proves their sincerity? The answer appears after closely examining the text: sincerity in proclaiming the Gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus is a result of a Christian understanding their victory in Christ. To begin, the knowledge of Christ or God- the message that is being preached by various groups in the above text- refers to the Gospel message found in the Holy Bible. Earlier in the chapter, the writer speaks of taking the Gospel to a city called Troas (verse 12). This quickly flows into the paragraph listed above. Thus, the “knowledge of Christ” refers to the Gospel: the Truth that the Son of God came to earth in the likeness of a man, lived a perfect life, died for men’s sins, then rose again, inviting anyone who puts their faith in Him to be saved from eternal damnation. Considering this, what spurred the authors to claim to be equal to the task of declaring such a precious message? The text begins with an ironic picture: captives being led in a triumphal procession. The irony catches the eye, causing a reader to wonder how the paradox is true. First, one must note that neither the procession nor the triumph belongs to the captives; the text describes it as “Christ’s triumphal procession”. Both belong to Him. Why then, do the authors describe themselves as captives? One must look back to see that God leads them. This proves that they are not in charge, but are under the Holy Leader. The word captive presents the idea of belonging to the winner of a battle; captives are at the mercy of the victorious party. This accurately depicts Christians: God- not them- fought against sin, making a way to bring humanity back to Him. When Christ rose from the dead, the victory was sealed for God. Christians may be thought of as people who have run away from their previous leader (sin, evil) to beg mercy from the opposing King. God captured their hearts with His unconditional, radical love for them. Now Christians belong heart and soul to Him and are called to live in service to His kingdom. Capture, however, is not synonymous with defeat for Christians. Rather, they now belong to the winning side. Their capture means they now have victory in Christ, the Son of God. Victory cannot come without surrender to the Victor, who takes the captives as His own. The captives, then, serve not out of obligation, for they came to the victorious party through unmerited favor. Rather, their service stems from awe at the love of their new Lord. Seeing the King’s goodness and mercy towards them sparks an overwhelming gratitude. These captives know they have been spared from death and given better than they deserve; thus, they desire to live up to their new position out of gratefulness to their Rescuer. This attitude appears at the beginning of the passage when the authors exclaim, “Thanks be to God”. The captives’ lives cease to circulate around selfish desires; instead, they strive to make known the merciful Ruler who saved them. Who needs to hear this message? Other citizens of the defeated kingdom. They must know that a way of escape exists! The captives risk returning to proclaim the good news. However, they do not return smelling of smoke and blood- scents pervasive in the perishing kingdom. An aroma of cleanliness radiates from them. In fact, the change is so noticeable that the text says “We are the pleasing aroma to God of Christ,” showing that their cleanliness reminds the King of His dearly beloved Son who saved these captives. The King is no longer reminded of His enemy when the captives are around; He sees redemption which brings praise to His greatness. Among citizens of the defeated kingdom, however, the smell causes varying reactions. Some smell death, thinking these captives have foolishly given themselves to an enemy. Others, however, draw near to the aroma and chase after life. This picture circles back to the question: why do the authors so firmly believe themselves equal to the task of proclaiming the good news in sincerity? First, their sincerity stems from a heart-felt thankfulness to a merciful King who saved them from death, then brought them into a place of victory. Because they know the victory is not from them, they strive to live in a way pleasing to the Victor who graciously allows them to share in His triumph. Secondly, only members of the defeated kingdom can communicate with one another with minimal suspicion. A sweet-smelling captive proclaiming victory may be the sole phenomenon that will convince staunch citizens of a defeated kingdom to run to the only salvation available.