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Film student from Sri Lanka learning about many new things at Evangel — even snow

March 3, 2013 | Paul K. Logsdon

There are certain winter skills that most Midwesterners have learned by the time they can walk — things like how to throw a snowball or build a snowman.

For one Evangel University freshman, last week provided his first opportunity to experience those joys of winter. Rajeev Colton Wickramaratne had never before seen snow.

“I had seen snow on TV, but it surprised me when I walked outside and was surrounded by it — it was really white everywhere I turned,” he says with awe. “I took lots of photos to send home.”

Rajeev is all about capturing experiences — he came to Springfield from Sri Lanka nine months ago to study Film at Evangel.

“Back home, everyone thrives on films. It is the most influential industry in the world, and American films are very influential in Sri Lanka,” he says.

“Evangel has a very good Film program. I also like that here, there is a ministry side, and I can learn to use it for God.”

Rajeev Colton Wickramaratne

“Sometimes you have to put down your backpack and enjoy,” says Rajeev Wickramaratne.

But last Tuesday, those classes took a back seat.

“I spent almost the entire day outside,” Rajeev says. After all, there was much to learn.

“I picked the snow up and felt the texture. A friend told me how to pack it into a snowball and throw it. I liked learning the sound of a snowball hitting the other person. I enjoyed running and sliding in it.”

What was the most fun?

“The first time I hit someone with a snowball,” he says with a laugh. “I wanted to do it again!”

“I love the idea that God is so creative,” Rajeev says. “I think that this snow showed His childlike side. We were stressed over mid-term exams, and it was like He said, ‘I made this for you so you can have fun. Put down your backpack and enjoy.’”

Nancy Pace-Miller, assistant professor of communication, says she appreciates that Rajeev brings that level of enthusiasm to everything he does at Evangel. “Rajeev has been a complete delight to have in class. He brings so much to the learning experience. Culturally and spiritually, we all can learn from this young man. I’m pleased to be one of his professors — as I tell him, ‘You make me smile.’”

 — Story and photos by Paul K. Logsdon, director of public relations and publications

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