Reported by Danielle Brown
Regan Hill has never been anywhere longer than she has been at George Fox University (GFU). Growing up, Hill was almost always surrounded by moving boxes. Her father’s job meant they were always going somewhere new, and though there were many things she felt she missed out on, her parents have always encouraged her to explore the world beyond her comfort zone.
After graduation, Hill will be packing boxes one more time and moving overseas to Namyangju, South Korea, where she will be working as a community builder at Peace Building.
The job description covers a wide range of responsibilities, including working as an English teacher and barista, but the ultimate goal is to reunify North and South Korea. More directly, Hill will work in her various positions to make connections with other people and foster a sense of community among them: a hefty task, but one for which she can’t contain her excitement.
“All of the pieces fit in perfect alignment with my strengths and my interests, which is really cool,” said Hill. “It kind of just fell in my lap, like I didn't feel like I had to do a lot of searching to find it; all of the pieces kind of just came together.”
The plan was always to work overseas in community development, but Hill didn’t know exactly what that might look like until she came to GFU.
“It almost feels like the mentors and the friends and the professors at Fox gave me a pair of glasses, and for the first time, I can see myself clearly and see the world around me a little bit more clearly,” Hill said.
The connections she has made at GFU have shown her what it means to be known and have prepared her for the relational aspects of the new internship.
GFU has completely changed Hill’s perspective on hospitality. Being in spaces where people have welcomed her into their lives and homes, she has learned what intention looks like. These experiences have taught her that there is more to everyone’s story and to treat everyone with kindness.
“I’ve never had relationships like I’ve had at Fox,” Hill said. “And I met some of the most wonderful people with the most beautiful relationships of depth and of richness and of life that I've never experienced before. And the thought of leaving that is making me really sad.”
Years from now, Regan Hill will remember the hard conversations, the sitting in Newberg Bakery with a morning glory muffin, the late-night trips to Portland and the belly-laughing in the Bon with friends. Although her GFU experience was not what she expected, it was life-changing.
“I think I kind of just had this assumption that I was going to come to George Fox and just like receive an education,” Hill said, “but when I think about my time at Fox I’m not going to be thinking necessarily about specific assignments or essays that I wrote but rather the personal growth.”