We are God's Family
There was a song we used to sing when I was a student at Multnomah.
Family ( echo),
We are God’s family (echo).
He is our King (echo)
(All) And I’m so glad He has brought us here together,
I’m so glad that the Father is our God.
The song was a favorite of ours and became the theme for the 1984-1985 yearbook. I had no idea how that song would echo throughout our lives.
During the summer of 2009, Multnomah had a 25 year reunion for the classes of 1982 to 1986. I was excited to think about seeing everyone again, but also a bit fearful. You see, I was unemployed. How could I answer the question, “So, Kim, what are you doing now?” Without looking like a failure? Then Ruth Knott-Schroeder, an alum planning to attend, sent a letter to all of us. In her letter, she talked about the difficulties she had faced since Multnomah and that she’d heard that many of us had also faced a myriad of problems….and, for those reasons, some were thinking about not attending the reunion. You see, we had been so idealistic. We had such grand ideas and high hopes for our futures. We were going to conquer the world for Christ and be shining examples of His work. But that’s not necessarily how things worked out. Many, many of us have faced hardships like unemployment, depression, bankruptcy, job loss. Some have even faced things that our Christian subculture might gasp at: divorce, sexual sin, drugs, alcoholism. Ruth reminded us that, no matter what we’ve been through, no matter what we’ve done, we still belong to Him…and to each other. And that we are all ready to love each other and embrace each other, cry with each other, rejoice in victories, and share in the junk that life (and we ourselves) has handed us. We are family.
We are family
We enjoyed the reunion so much so that we decided those of us who could; we would get together again here in the Portland area. Last Saturday, a few of us gathered at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. Again, you could see how difficult life had been. Several folks were facing health issues, crazy family situations, financial difficulties...the fallout of a sinful world. In the last Alumni Connection, Michelle Peel encouraged us to see God’s imprint in our lives in the victories and defeats. And that’s exactly what we need to do for each other. When someone can’t see His fingerprints because life seems bleak, the rest of us need to come alongside and remind that person of the Truth. As I looked around Saturday evening, I was struck that we were doing just that. Praying for each other, encouraging each other and upholding each other. We’re still family. We always will be. And truly, I am so very glad that He brought us here together; I am so very glad that the Father is OUR God.
Meet the author
Since Multnomah, Kim Vonheeder has gone on to get her Master of Arts in Teaching and added the ESOL endorsement to her Oregon teaching license. Although she is currently substitute teaching, she doesn’t get much work and is, for all intents and purposes, still unemployed. If you see her at a freeway entrance, please be kind and throw money to her. Just not coins…they sting a bit.
Submit your story
"Where are they now?" is published monthly in our Alumni Connection e-newsletter. Alumni interested in submitting their story to be considered for publication can do so by contacting the alumni department for more details.