Wilson and Thawng put two new pins on Hesston College globe

Benny Thawng warms up before his match against the Tabor College (Hillsboro) reserves team. Photo by Jon Voth

by Trey Greening

With the start of the new school year underway, there are two new countries being represented on the Hesston College campus. 

Benny Thawng is the first ever Myanmarese student to become a Lark.

“Since I want to know more about Christ, I just wanted to grow in an environment where people will help me grow physically and also spiritually,” he said.

Thawngs experience so far has been memorable for him, and has enjoyed playing soccer at the college. 

Thawng heard about Hesston through a friend also from Myanmar. 

He and some friends all traveled together to come to Hesston to tryout for the soccer team, which is when he realized he wanted to become a Lark. 

Thawng hopes to start bringing more people from his country to Hesston. 

“I think more people from Berma (Myanmar) will come because Hesston is a pretty good place where there are different types of people and where people from different kinds of countries come and it’s good diversity here and I see people enjoying it here,” he said.

Josh Wilson also brings a new country to campus, as the student migrates from New Zealand. 

“I got hit up by Coach Glaum earlier in the year asking about my baseball (career) and it eventually led to me being offered a scholarship to come here,” he said.

Wilson arrived on campus and fell immediately in love with the atmosphere. 

“I’ve only been here a couple weeks but I’ve already made some very good friends and it feels like I’ve known everyone for years. It feels as though everyone here is one big family,” Wilson said. 

One would wonder how so many international students hear about Hesston College, and why they choose to travel here.

Associate Director of International Admissions Mari Sailors says there is a long process in recruiting these students from afar.

“We do a variety of different types of things,”  she said. “John works a lot with agencies overseas. Over the years, Hesston College has developed relationships with agents in particular countries who recruit students and help them in the process and then they match them with a college or university abroad that they think would be a good fit.”

At the end of the day, students do what is best for them with their time here. 

Thawng hopes to grow in all aspects of life when he finishes his time at Hesston.

“I hope to become a better person, like coach (Matthew Gerlach) told me to be, and I expect to be a better Christian from when I graduate from here.” Thawng said. 

Wilson plans on being successful on the baseball field. 

“Hopefully me coming over from New Zealand will help influence the others back home to keep working hard and eventually come over as well, there are a lot of good players back home and they definitely want an opportunity like this,” Wilson said. 

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