Heartwarming Verses for Thanksgiving

The Bible is filled with verses about gratitude to remind you to fill your hearts with thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day but throughout the year. With Thanksgiving break soon upon us, we wanted to share 10 heartwarming verses to express our thankfulness to God. 

1 Chronicles 16:34 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

1 Corinthians 1:4 – “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:23-26 – “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.”

Psalm 100:4 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Psalm 107:8-9 – “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Alumni Profile: Alex Chang, Publisher of ‘Your Corner’ 

PUC alum Alex Chang (B.S. in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Emphasis ‘19) recently published a book titled, Your Corner. The book is about his experience with missions- including stories from his time as a PUC student missionary. After Alex’s first year as a missionary, he received great advice, mentors, teachers, lessons, and experiences he felt might be beneficial to share- so Alex started writing during his first year of medical school and finished writing after three years. Your Corner shares Alex’s experience as a student missionary and is intended to inspire people towards the global and local mission, as well as a closer walk with good.

Tell us about your book. What inspired you to write and publish it? 

Everyone has a corner. It may be comprised of friends, family, church members, classmates, local community (even including the cashier at your grocery store), or a global community. I believe that God has called everyone to be missionaries. All are local missionaries. Some are called globally as well. In this book are stories from the mission field, thoughts on how to optimize a local or global missions experience, and inspiration to follow God’s calling and purpose for our lives.

This book can be used as a devotional book to prepare student missionaries for their service, to help guide local and global missionaries, or for those simply interested in reading about the experiences and lessons a student missionary on the island of Pohnpei learned after two years of service.

Additionally, I wanted to create a book that would help both local and global missionaries in each season as they prepare for their ministry, while they are involved with it, and once they are done with their ministry or time abroad. At the end of the day, my hope is that this book is an inspiration to embrace our God-given calling to be missionaries, either local, global, or both.

You include stories from your time as a PUC student missionary. Who encouraged you to be a student missionary? 

I believe it actually started multiple generations ago. My great-great-grandfather on my mom’s side and my great-grandfather on my dad’s side were missionaries. My grandfather on my dads was a missionary for multiple decades in Southeast Asia, and my father was a mission trip leader for our local church. Missions have always been engrained into our family identity and culture. The seed for serving as a student missionary was watered early from stories shared by my youth pastor in 4th grade, Garrison Chaffee. He shared stories of his time on the islands as a student missionary. This in combination with mission spotlight at church, church presentations of recent mission trips, student missionary presentations at Leoni Meadows, and eight short term-mission trips my family took me on really grew my passion for missions. 

What are your best memories of being a PUC student missionary? 

The exciting memories I love to share are swimming with manta rays, breathtaking sunsets with colors I feel like I had never seen before, racing dolphins on our boat, drinking fresh coconuts on screensaver beaches, and experiencing bioluminescent water while stargazing with basically zero light pollution. The deep, meaningful memories that come to mind are moments laughing with my students, playing ocean tag on an island with my senior class, being a human jungle gym at recess for the elementary students, singing songs with the high school for chapel, and hanging out with the 16 or so student missionaries every single day.

How did your time at PUC impact your spiritual life? 

PUC had a massive impact on my spiritual life. I always share with others that one of PUC’s greatest strengths was its support of its students in ministry. PUC made it very easy to get involved with worship music, spiritual leadership, or even start new programs or churches. A couple of faculty come to mind that played a big role in my spiritual development such as Jim Roy, Pastor Jonathan Henderson, Pastor Kent Rufo, Pastor Mark Witas, Pastor David Carreon, Fabio Maia, and so many other faculty. We had incredible support during the time we started the student-led church, “The 12”, and I had incredible support and mentorship not only in my spiritual life but also in my academics and how that affected my decision to be an SM. I used to meet with Kent Davis with ideas of finishing college a year early so I could go as an SM and finish in four years. Dr. Davis always responded with a wise, personally life-changing phrase, “What’s the rush?” I ended up staying an extra year in the mission field, met my now-fiancé that second year, and made even more lifelong memories and friendships. My time at PUC was filled with an amazing culture of passionately pursuing God together as a school. Vespers, church services, dorm worships, and the faculty all were very influential for me.

What advice do you have for students interested in being a missionary? 

Being an SM was hands-down the best two years of my life. My time as a student missionary gave me purpose, passion, direction, growth, lessons, experiences, and friendships that have filled my life to the brim and overflowing. In my opinion, the question is not “whether or not to be a student missionary”, but “where are you going to serve as a missionary.” Other than choosing to follow Jesus, I don’t believe there is a better decision than to choose to be a missionary. I would encourage anyone interested and those who had never considered it to pray about potentially serving as a student missionary.

What have you been up to since graduating from PUC? 

I am currently in my last year of medical school at Loma Linda University. I am applying to an Orthopedic Surgery residency this year, and I have dreams of returning to the mission field to serve as a doctor. I am getting married in the spring of 2023 and am excited for what God has in store for the next chapters of my life!

Faces of PUC: Allison Arenas-Sosa

Coming from Omaha, Nebraska, is freshman business major Allison Arenas-Sosa. While looking at Adventist colleges, she wanted to find a school where she could continue growing spiritually and close to God. Allison shared, “The help I received to be here was always very attentive to me and that made me want to be at PUC.” 

What is your dream job? 

It is to work in an office where I can do what I like to do and enjoy doing it, in a pleasant and healthy environment.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher because my mom studied that, and when I was teaching, I helped her, and I liked what I was doing, but later I discovered other things and new hobbies that made me change my mind.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

That they are always willing to help others in any way they can, and the joy they share.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

“Mar Azul” is a beach in the city where I grew up in Mexico. When I’m there, it’s like escaping from the world. Everyone is carefree, enjoying the sea, the company, the sunsets, and the atmosphere in general. It’s very relaxing and gives me peace.

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

Back to the Future, to be able to travel in time.

What is something you’re passionate about? 

Listening to music, taking pictures, and painting. I love to do any of the 3, they bring me moments of happiness in which I feel good about myself.

Q&A with PUC’s Pre-Med/Dent Club President Emily Smith

Pre-med/dent Club President Emily Smith is a senior majoring in management for medical professionals. She joined the club as a freshman in 2019, which at the time was more active but had to stop events due to COVID. Once PUC opened the campus to all students this year, Emily ran for president to get the club running again. With many pre-med/dent students, Emily wants to create a club to make their educational journey more fun. 

Tell us about the Pre-Med/Dent Club. 

The Pre-med/Pre-dent club’s purpose is to provide resources and activities that prepare Pre-med/Pre-dent students for graduate school. We bring in speakers that talk about the admissions process and answer any questions students may have. We also have several fun activities such as trivia/game nights, movie nights, suturing tutorials, and health fairs. 

What motivated you to run for president? What do you enjoy the most about being president? 

I joined the club in 2019 as a freshman when it was much more active. The club stopped having events once COVID hit since we could no longer meet. I saw this year as an opportunity to get the club up and running again, so I ran for president. My most favorite part about being president is interacting with all the new pre-med/pre-dent students. I like being able to give them advice on courses, the admissions process, etc. Also, all the newbies have so much energy so it is refreshing!

What activities or events does the club have planned for this year?

We have plans for a few speakers this year. Speaking of which, we have a podiatrist speaking on November 15th via zoom, so please check our Instagram page for updates about the meeting info. We also are having a pre-vespers at the President Trecartin’s house on November 11th, so please come! The club has plans for a suturing tutorial, a collab with NSA to learn some basic skills (taking vitals, injections, etc), game/trivia nights, movie nights, etc. Make sure to follow the club on Instagram for event announcements. We are also open to any suggestions from students, so do not be afraid to reach out!

What are your goals for the club?

My hope is to make more students aware of the club. We have a large number of pre-med/pre-dent students on campus, so I want to create a club that can make the pre-med/pre-dent journey a little more fun. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pre-Med/Dent Club?

I like that you get to meet other students that are going through the same things you are. It can be rough especially if you are the first in your family to take this academic route. Meeting other students that are on the same journey makes things a little more manageable. 

To future students who are interested in joining, what would you like them to know? 

Join! We would love to have you! I hope to see you at our upcoming events!

Come Transfer To PUC

Interested in transferring schools? Come to PUC! Our lively community is filled with friendly, kind-hearted people who are ready to help you pursue your passions, grow spiritually, and get you to where you want to be. Here are other reasons why you should consider transferring to PUC. 

PUC has over 70 degrees and programs 

Whether you’re undecided, switching programs, continuing your desired major, or interested in taking up a minor, PUC has a range of degrees and programs. Once we receive your transcripts, we’ll assist you in getting into classes.

Gain A Trustee Advisor 

You will have an academic advisor from your program who knows everything about your major and will always be there for you. They are dedicated to helping you navigate your college experience and set you on the right path for your desired career. 

Have A Support Team 

Just as your advisor will always help you out, so will others. The Teaching and Learning Center offers tutoring and advising services, and the Career and Counseling Center provides career tests and counselors you can meet with for free. 

Network and Build Connections 

Another thing your advisor will assist you in is building your connections and getting you out there to network. From the tech industry of Google to the marketing world of Airbnb to the medical field of Loma Linda University, PUC is well connected to people from all over the world working in different areas of work. 

Grow Spiritually 

Our student’s spiritual development is just as important as their academic progress. PUC is devoted to having students gain a spiritual experience and grow closer to God every day. Students join PUC chaplain Kent Rufo on outreaches and lead worship services and events for everyone to enjoy. Every staff and faculty member is also there to help you on your spiritual journey. 

Make Lifelong Friendships 

Through your department, intramurals, clubs, events, work and living in the dorm, you will meet so many people here and most of them will be your lifelong friends. The relationships you make here will leave a beautiful mark on your college experience and life.

Our transfer student counselor, Kharolynn Pascual Smith, is committed to helping students through the transfer process. You can contact her at kharolynn@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2, with any questions or concerns you have. No matter where you are in your program, you can still transfer with the credits you have. Visit our website to get more information. We hope you join our Pioneer family!

Feel at Home with the SOL Club

Senior Alondra Zepeda is this year’s president of the SOL Club. She wasn’t expecting to be president since she was new to PUC and felt nervous taking on the role since SOL Club is very well-known on campus, but as a proud Chicana who enjoys serving the community, Alondra knew this club was going to help her and students in many ways. Alondra and the rest of the officer’s goals are to build a community they can rely on and make each student feel at home.

Tell us about SOL Club

SOL CLUB stands for Student Organization of Latinos! This club has been around for quite some time at PUC and has been one of the clubs on campus to have many members. The mission of this club is to truly build a community that can rely on one another and be the place you can come to relax and enjoy. Our goals are not only to continue to grow as a club but also to build and give an insight of the club to the next team leaders of this club.

What motivated you to run for your position?  

Given the position of president was definitely something that I was not expecting to have during my junior year of college. I was still sort of new to the school, as well as to the club. I had only come into campus after COVID, so everything was still barely getting back to its old way. Especially knowing that SOL Club is a very known club in school, it made me a whole lot more nervous. But one thing I am completely proud of is my roots. I am a proud Chicana who enjoys serving its community, and not only did I know I was going to serve my community in some way- I knew this club was going to help me develop leadership skills and also help develop a strong community amongst the students here on campus. That’s what motivated me to take this position.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of SOL Club? 

I would have to say that my favorite thing about being part of SOL Club beside the events, is being able to develop new friendships. In every event, there’s always at least one new person that you meet, and you just think “Wow, I’m really glad I met this person”!

What are your goals for the club this year? What activities do you have planned or hope to do?  

The goal for this school year is to do many events for the student body and connect to the community a lot more. Every other Monday, we will be having Refresca at 7 pm. Refresca is an easy get-together where we get to mingle and worship, and it’s a great way to start the week. We do have fall fest coming up in November, so definitely do not miss our table! We will be serving a delicious plate. An upcoming big event is our Albion Trip which occurs every winter quarter. Last year’s trip was so much fun! This trip is a fun weekend trip where we get to enjoy ourselves and really just take a breather from school. So, definitely stay on the lookout for the announcements! We will also be doing some small events throughout the year, but we will announce those as the year comes along.

How can students get involved with SOL Club? 

Everyone is welcome!! We love the help and ideas that the students have. Feedback is important to us because that will allow this club to grow and give the community what they want. For those who want to get more involved with our clubs by helping out of any sort just approach us. If it’s easier they can just email me at ajzepeda@puc.edu, the V.P Catherine at catgarcia@puc.edu, or the secretary Nayelli at namgarcia@puc.edu. We would definitely love to have the members get involved!

What do you want future students to know about the club that is interested in joining?  

To future students, SOL Club is open to everyone! Just because it has a Latinx name doesn’t mean you can’t be part of it. Our goal is to make the student feel at home and build a community on which you guys can rely on. Joining a club allows you to know the campus more, and being involved is going to give you a good college experience. So do not be afraid and join! You will not regret it.

Faces of PUC: Taytan Bereket

Meet one of our new Pioneers, Taytan Bereket. She’s a biotechnology pre-med student from Riverside, CA., and is passionate about lifestyle, growth, and her relationship with Jesus. By the end of her senior year of high school, Taytan had a feeling she would attend PUC. “I’m glad that I made that decision,” she shares. “And I am so blessed to be here.” 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I’ve always been interested in the way the brain works, especially in the area of medicine. Maybe one day I’ll own/be a founder of a facility that works with diseases in the brain like Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, etc., receiving treatments, from natural remedies and receiving healthy foods, and to dedicated nurses and researchers. 

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

I wanted to be a doctor when I was five, then wanted to be an actor for some reason- I don’t know what I was thinking, and then I wanted to be a counselor during my sophomore and junior year, it wasn’t till senior year where I knew exactly what I wanted to be.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

I love the beauty of the campus and the teachers as well. You could tell that they are dedicated to the things that they teach and that is something that I appreciate. At times, I don’t want to go to class, but when I arrive in class, the hospitality that the professors here give you makes you feel like you are at home, making the day better. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love to go to the beach! The sounds of the waves and the feeling of the air and the sun give you peace. 

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

A Journal for Jordan

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about lifestyle, growth, and my relationship with Jesus. Also, I love music and learning things about music in different genres. 

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend 

I’m not from the bay area, I’m from Socal haha. But I’ll say from what I know, go to Oakland or San Francisco, they have wonderful sights that you can drive through, walk or take pictures of. 

Staying Healthy & Fit At PUC 

Going to college and starting a new school year can be an overwhelming change for a lot of students. It can be difficult to incorporate a healthy lifestyle when you’re busy and feel that you don’t have enough time to have a proper meal or exercise. Here at PUC, we encourage an active and healthy lifestyle by giving our students the resources and opportunities they need to live a good lifestyle. Here are ways to stay healthy and fit at PUC.  

Change Your Eating Habits 

College comes with the freedom of choosing when and what to eat. Our dining commons serve locally grown fruits and vegetables and offer healthy dishes for each meal. If you’re tempted by candy or junk food, opt for healthier options. The dining commons is stocked with chips, ice cream, and candy, so we’re not saying to cut out sugar completely but to have a good balance.

*add photo of students eating at the cafe or food being served

Utilize The Pacific Auditorium

The Pacific Auditorium is PUC’s gym, which provides a fitness center, weight room, rock climbing wall, pool, and three indoor courts for basketball, volleyball, soccer, or badminton. Outside you can find the track, six tennis courts, and the soccer, football, and baseball fields. There are plenty of ways for students to workout and stay active on campus. 

*add photo of students at the gym 

Move Through The Back 40 

The back 40 is made up of over 30 miles of trails for everyone to enjoy the outdoors by hiking, biking, running, or walking. (Some students even do yoga out there to relish the fresh air and peaceful environment.) Since PUC owns the back 40, it’s great for our students to live on a campus with such a vast backyard that not only benefits their physical health but also their mental health. 

*add photo of students biking, hiking, or running in the back 40

Use The Dorm Gyms 

The dorms also have workout rooms for residents to use. Exercise equipment such as treadmills, multi-functional trainers, and weights are provided. Students like having workout rooms in their dorms because it allows them to just go down the hall or stairs to add a workout early in the morning or between classes. 

*if photo is available, add photo of one of the dorm gyms

Join Intramurals 

Intramurals are a great way to exercise while also having fun with friends. Sports such as flag football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and badminton are offered throughout the school year for students to get a range of options to choose from. 

*add photo of intramurals 

Walk, Don’t Drive 

Every student has had that moment waking up for class and dreading to walk to class early in the morning. The temptation to drive instead of walk to class is real, especially when it’s chilly out. We know the struggle, but don’t waste your gas driving to class. Save money and walk to class instead. 

*add photo of student/students walking around campus

Embrace The Stairs

Embrace the stairs around campus. Your legs will feel stronger by taking the stairs and getting a cardio workout every day. If you have time, take the long way to class to get more steps in and take in our beautiful campus. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid them, so embrace the stairs. 

*add photo of students walking the stairs by Clark Hall

Enjoy Linda Falls

Just down the road from the main campus is Linda Falls- a favorite spot for many students. Students don’t have to go far to embark the outdoors when we have trails nearby and a pretty waterfall to enjoy.

*add photo of students at Linda Falls or just Linda Falls 

Go Beyond Campus

When students feel like venturing beyond campus, some places they go to are Mount St. Helena, Mount Tamalpais, and Moore Creek State Park. With these places not far from campus, students are able to venture out by foot or wheels to get a good workout in while enjoying delightful views. 

*add photo of students at one of the hiking points or hiking mountains around PUC

Have A Good Attitude

Your attitude makes a big difference in how you see yourself and being consistent with your health goals. With school, work, and personal life taking most of your time, it’s normal to have no energy after a long day to exercise. Looking forward to adding a workout in your day or having one of your favorite healthy meals changes your attitude and can get you excited to continue reaching your health goals. 

Gain Career Experience In School  

It’s important to start building work ethic while you’re in school because it allows you to learn new skills, use your strengths, and find new passions. You’ll also get an understanding of a work environment and see which careers are best for you. Here are three ways on how you can gain career experience while in school: 


There are many opportunities available to students to volunteer through their school and community (and you don’t need to have a lot of work experience). If you have an idea of what career path you want to take, look into volunteer opportunities specifically for that job. Volunteer positions provide flexible hours, so you don’t have to work about being behind in school. 


Check with your school to see what job opportunities are available to students. It’s great working for your school because you don’t have to go to another location, and the faculty understand that your schoolwork comes first, so they schedule your hours around your classes. If all jobs are taken, let them know to contact you if anything becomes available. 

Outside of school, there are part-time jobs offered to students that are convenient for their schedule. Especially now, there are many stores hiring so check out job sites to see who’s hiring in your neighborhood. 


Internships are a great way to gain work experience in the job field you’re interested in. Finding internships can be difficult, especially when it comes to required experience, hours, and pay. Research internships on job sites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who could help you or message recruiters to show your interest in their company. You never know who might know someone looking for student interns. 

Faces of PUC: Spencer Gibb 

Metta Spencer Fitzgerald Gibb is a biology student who dreams to be a professor at a medical school. Spencer is passionate about soccer and his favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is being on the soccer team.

What is your dream job? 

My dream is to be a professor at a medical school so I can help raise the next generation of doctors and health professionals.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

When I was younger, I wanted to be a sailor and travel the world, but now I want a more stable, comfortable income that will still allow me to travel but also not have to leave home for work.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

I have had the best time of my life on the PUC soccer team. The guys are amazing and, we are like a family. The coaches are amazing and are helping us become better, stronger men and preparing us for life while simultaneously elevating our level of play on the field.

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love Japan. I was very fortunate to live there. The land is beautiful, and the beaches are the best I have been to.

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about soccer. It is super fun and the people I get to play with are amazing.

Recommend a place to go in Northern California on a weekend

Go to Kiki’s chicken place. It’s super good. Get their KiKi house sauce chicken or their chicken fries.