Jennifer Nesslar is a graduate of the class of 2012. She is currently a content writer for Wycliffe Bible Translators. She is also engaged to be married to current band director and IRCS alum, Tyler Bauer.
Jennifer came to IRCS as a sixth grader. Her parents put great effort into considering where to send her and her twin sister Kristin to middle school and ultimately decided that IRCS was the best option.
When asked how her time at IRCS prepared her for college Jennifer replied, “AP Human Geography with Mr. Rich Hayward was much harder than any class I took in college! I don’t think that will be everyone’s experience in college, especially in advanced math and science courses. Academically, I felt more than prepared for the rigor of my course work. At Indian Rocks, I got a firm foundation in my faith in Jesus Christ. My challenges in college came from an unexpected place. I went to a public university, and I experienced a bit of culture shock when I arrived. In fact, I thought a lot about transferring out of my school during my first semester. I stayed strong in my faith, but at first, I struggled to relate with others because I felt like few people shared my worldview. On top of that, some of my professors questioned my faith. Their questions didn’t shake my faith, but discouraged me, because I never felt like I had a good response. The summer after my freshman year, I went on an Indian Rocks-sponsored trip to Summit Ministries. That, combined with an incredible campus ministry I was involved in, kept me from switching schools. There, I learned how to actually have kind conversations with people who disagreed with me while standing firm in my faith! It seems simple, but it is a concept that can be tough in our culture. I gave up the “us versus them” mentality I had been clinging to, and it helped me love others so much more while still holding on to my beliefs. I’m so grateful to Indian Rocks for allowing that trip to happen, and that Mr. Ben Futoran was so enthusiastic about Summit that it caused me to even want to look into it.”
While in high school, Jennifer had the opportunity to participate in IRCS Ministry-mester trips to St. Lucia, Jamaica, and twice to El Salvador. She also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Faith Promise missionaries during Missions Conference week at the church and school. Her favorite memory from high school happened one night in El Salvador. They were in a remote town hosting an evangelistic campaign. Jennifer said, “As the night got dark, I remember looking up at the sky and seeing more stars than I had ever seen in my life. My jaw just dropped. It was a moment where I was able to get a visual picture of how awesome God was. I reflected on how the gospel message was not limited to my corner of the vast world.”
When asked if there was one teacher that had a particular impact on her life Jennifer shared, “There are so many! But I will stick to the prompt and pick one. Mrs. Gail Busjahn is one important reason why my career has centered around writing. She always encouraged me to pursue it and get better. I was in her English class in both seventh and 10th grade. I remember doing fun free-writing prompts in her class that encouraged my creativity and really made me love the craft of writing. Her love for reading also stuck with me. She was always talking about an amazing book that she had just read off of our accelerated reading list. She didn’t just assign work and hope that we would like it. Instead, she showed us how much she loved it too.”
I asked Jennifer how she chose her current profession. She replied, “My interaction with mission trips and Faith Promise Missionaries in high school set the foundation for me to understand the importance of missions. It exposed me to organizations like Wycliffe Bible Translators, where I currently work as a content writer. As a student at Indian Rocks, I came to understand that Christianity was bigger than my life. There are people around the world who have never heard the gospel message and don’t have the Bible in a language they can clearly understand. These people are loved by God just the same as I am, and working with them to translate the Bible into their languages is an important task!”
We are proud of Jennifer and her accomplishments since graduation. We wish the future Mrs. Bauer all the best!