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the Covenant experience narrative

The Blue Tribune is your place to learn about all things Covenant and keep up with stories from campus and beyond. By guiding you through the different aspects of Covenant, we'll help you decide if you want to pursue your very own Covenant experience.

A Friendship Shaped by Covenant Community

two women with their daughters smiling

They first became friends while cleaning toilets. 

In the mid-nineties, Covenant had a program called “practical work” where students completed service hours around campus. (These days, it’s called Mark 10:45). Christine (Griebel) Baker ’96 and Michelle (Williams) Harris ’96 both did their practical work for B.E.S.T., the department which was responsible for cleaning the buildings around campus. Then, as today, Covenant’s culture of community encouraged student workers to develop friendships and learn to work side by side in Christian community. “While cleaning toilets together, we bonded over our mutual love of NYC and Billy Joel,” Christine said, laughing over the memory. 

Their friendship has only grown since then. They were roommates for a time after college. They were in each other’s weddings. And they’ve walked with each other through times of immense joy and deep sorrow.

Christine struggled with infertility for a number of years and finally learned she was expecting a daughter in 2013. She named her Eilidh, a Scottish name meaning “radiant one.” A few months later, Michelle was unexpectedly pregnant with her fourth, also a daughter, whom she named Ellie. These girls, like their moms, are as close as sisters.

Christine and Michelle love to travel together and have done so since college. When their girls were younger, they dreamed of taking them on a Laura Ingalls Wilder tour to see the sights found in the stories they both loved as girls. In the fall of 2017, they decided their girls were old enough to go and made plans to do so. Shortly before the trip, Christine learned that Eilidh had leukemia. Instead of a trip to see the “Laura sites,” Michelle and Ellie came to be with them, and supported them through the hard journey that lay ahead.  

It wasn’t until 2021–after Eilidh rang the bell announcing that her treatment was over and after the pandemic restrictions had passed–that they were finally able to make their dream come true. In 2021, they took a road trip in the lower “Laura states” including Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas–where Little House on the Prairie took place. In 2022, they went to New York and saw Almanzo’s house from Farmer Boy. And in 2023, they did the rest of the “Laura states,” including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, where On the Banks of Plum Creek and Little House in the Big Woods took place. 

Christine and Michelle reflected on their time at Covenant College as a time that fostered and shaped their friendship with each other, teaching them what Biblical friendship looks like. Christine commented that friendships formed at Covenant are “deep and strong.” “When you meet someone who went to Covenant, there’s an immediate connection,” she said. Michelle agreed and said that the Covenant community is “a family” and “a small picture of what the Church is to look like.” 

Covenant values Christian community and strives to create a culture of lasting friendship, one that endures beyond the four years spent on the mountain. Christine and Michelle’s friendship is just one story of many that have endured throughout the years.

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