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Stories of Giving

He Restores My Soul
Vanguard University

Alina Juntunen thanks donors for opening her relationship with God and enabling her to learn so much as a Business major. 

After studying at a Bible College in her homeland of Finland, Business major Alina Juntunen made the decision to transfer to Vanguard University. “I knew of Vanguard in high school because they came to events I attended with my youth group. Then, a few close friends of mine started attending there, and I visited them often. I began to feel connected and accepted, and it felt like home.


“I’ve enjoyed becoming part of this community. It’s truly a family, and feeling connected has been such a great experience for me. I love my classes and professors! The professors have made me excited about studying Business.


“I’m learning so much, and I’m surrounded by amazing people who share my faith. To me, Vanguard means community. It means people that love me, teach me, encourage me, and people that I can do the same for. It means that my story matters, as well as the stories of all the people I meet. My experiences and relationships at Vanguard University are something I could not get somewhere else, and to me that is priceless.


“I believe that God will use my time here to invest in relationships with people just like people are investing in me. They encourage and challenge me to see things differently, to view things like Jesus would, to be patient, to be more open-minded, to put my own desires aside. My friends make me a better person. I see Jesus in my relationships at VU, and that’s beautiful to me.”


In addition to her growing relationships and connections with the Vanguard community, Alina has also experienced tremendous growth in her faith and spiritual formation.


“My relationship with God is continually evolving and I’m truly learning what it is to seek Him. I appreciate the effort and talent and time that goes into chapels and teaching so much, because it is no small task. But I am definitely gaining so much from all of it. I especially love the VU Spiritual Formation team (From the Vine Music) for producing and creating their new worship album. It’s incredible, and I’m so proud to be a part of the school that is producing such talent and something that others can enjoy.

After Alina graduates, she plans to travel to see more of the world that my God has created.


“There is so much to discover out there and I have barely gotten a taste. I also hope to be involved in an organization that is helping other people. I have a lot of different passions, and I don’t know yet how they will all come together, but I believe that God will use my talents and passions for His kingdom. I would love to start my own non-profit or be involved in managing an organization that I truly have a heart for. I’m an artist as well as a global enthusiast, so I would want to use my art and passion for people of the world, as well as my logic and management-oriented mind in the best way possible. I also deeply desire to have a family, and I want to show God’s love to people in my life through my relationships with them. I believe that’s my ministry, first and foremost.


“There’s a verse that God has continually used in my life to speak to me in times where I’ve truly needed to lean on Him and trust in Him to bring me peace. Psalm 23: 1-3 has been extremely powerful in my life. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”


Alina is grateful that she made the decision to attend Vanguard University, which was only possible thanks to the support from generous donors.


“I receive a yearly academic scholarship from Vanguard, and if it wasn’t for that, I would not be able to afford school. It is because of this financial aid that many of the students here, including myself, are able to participate and be involved in this incredible community of learning and sharing our faith. There is truly a reward for everyone because of what these people make possible.”


Gifts to the Vanguard University Annual Fund help fund scholarships to deserving students like Alina as well as support needs around campus. Thank you for your generosity that makes such a difference in our students’ ability to realize their God-given potential.