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Growing Closer to God

Pengxue Her on discovering God in physics and connecting with a diverse community.

I came to Bethel as a PSEO student. I had a few friends here already, and I knew right away that I wanted to enroll. I had taken several chemistry classes already, and I wanted a major with lots of math. That’s why I chose physics.

Studying physics has drawn me closer to God. He ordained the laws of physics. We aren’t creating the laws, we’re just discovering what God already put into place, like force is equal to mass times acceleration. God is the true master of physics.

I’ve been privileged to see the Physics Department expand like crazy. I was lucky enough to intern with the department during the summer of 2012 when we were beginning research on surface plasma on top of metals. We started out doing programming so we could read the data and the software could communicate with the hardware. We ran tests and conducted sample readings to ensure that the equipment was working properly. It’s been exciting to see how the department has grown and to celebrate the many valuable grants they’ve been offered so that they can improve even more.

Right away, I connected with United Cultures of Bethel (UCB). UCB consists of the Asian Christian Fellowship (ACF); Moya for African Americans; First Nations for Native Americans and natives of other countries; Vox Latina for Latino/Latina Americans; and Peace Makers for Caucasians who want to explore their own cultures. We also hold events so that all the groups can come together.

UCB is a great place for people to fellowship. When people think about the group, they might think it’s only for people of color. But it’s for everyone. Attending UCB events would enhance a person’s Bethel experience even more.

It’s also a great place to teach each other our traditions and stories. I’ve been able to teach my friends about how missionaries reached out to my people and some of our Hmong traditions such as removing shoes when you enter a house. Knowing how to act around people of other cultures will help us succeed when we begin working in our diverse world. Involvement in this group has been foundational for me in being part of the Bethel community and also where I’ve met my closest friends.

I’ve seen first-hand how God unites people. A person’s race or background does not matter. God unites all people, and we are all one under Him. Here at Bethel, I have learned so much from other cultures. My experience has been just a small glimpse of how diverse God’s family is.

My faith has also grown here. I grew up in a Christian home, primarily surrounded by Hmong Christians. Coming to Bethel has opened my eyes to see that God is bigger than what I perceive. I have learned that African Americans experience God differently from me, that whites experience God differently from me, that there are those from different faith traditions who worship differently from me. But we all worship the same God out of our hearts and minds.

I experience God every day. He’s part of my thoughts and prayers. When I think of prayer, I think of praying unceasingly. He’s part of my daily experience.

I’m hoping to continue my education after I graduate. Or, I may work in industry for a few years first. The Physics Department is very well connected in the community, so I’m not worried about finding a job.

More info about Pengxue

Graduation Year
'14

Program
Physics

School
College of Arts & Sciences

Hometown
Lake Elmo, MN

Interests
Guitar, hanging out with friends, playing basketball, volleyball, or table tennis