Amidst personal pain: How God used Multnomah in one student’s life

Comments Off on Amidst personal pain: How God used Multnomah in one student’s life Written on April 10th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Students

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Dear Multnomah Family,

I am continually amazed at the powerful, transforming work God does through the lives of our students. I recently heard the incredible story of Zach Muñoz, a recent graduate who illustrates how Multnomah continues to shape disciples who love the Savior.

Zach’s earliest memory is of pressing his hand against the glass divider that stood between him and his mother. She was in prison. Zach was three years old. Up until that point, his mother had grappled with drug addiction. New boyfriends trickled in and out of her home. Many of them abused Zach.

Zach was able to escape when his grandmother, his only semblance of a mother, stepped in to raise him. But at age six, he had to move in with his father. He was routinely exposed to emotional and verbal abuse. He joined a gang at age 14.

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When Zach was 17, his life took a sharp turn when he met Jesus for the first time. Three years later, he enrolled at Multnomah University. During his first semester, his father died unexpectedly. Zach’s family wrongly blamed him for his father’s death and ultimately disowned him. He inherited his father’s astronomical debt, including many hospital bills, all while he was still 20. The following semester, the grandmother who raised him died too.

With no family and no money, Zach became homeless and lived out of his car to stay in classes. Multnomah was the only home he had. Overcome with hopelessness, Zach turned to alcohol to forget his pain. His faith was gone.  Everything he held onto slipped through his fingers like sand. God didn’t seem to be who he claimed he was in the Bible. If God was love, then why was this happening?

One of Zach’s professors, Dr. Ray Lubeck, and his wife Tamara, heard about Zach’s situation and invited him into their home with open arms. Tamara cooked dinner for Zach, a seemingly insignificant gesture, but it made an enormous impact on him. It began to draw him back into the loving arms of the Savior.

Hear some of Dr. Lubeck's reflections on that time:

Another professor, Dr. Jay Held, would close each class by saying to his students, “If you forget everything that I teach you, remember that I love you. I really do.” These words resonated deep inside Zach’s heart.

God was slowly building up to a transformational moment in Zach’s life. Finally, he connected with Zach’s heart during a Hebrew class. Dr. Becky Josberger and her students were reading the first of the Ten Commandments:

“You shall not have any other gods before me.”

Zach discovered the nuance behind the words “before me.” They come from the Hebrew words “al-panay,” which can also mean “before my face.” Zach realized God wanted a personal, face to face relationship with him. With tears streaming down his face in the middle of class, he re-encountered God in all his glory and love.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Josberger and hear about her memory of that special day:

Zach graduated last May with dreams of becoming a Hebrew professor. He wants to serve students the way his Multnomah professors served him. What an amazing story!

I’ve been studying the book of Daniel lately, and something stood out to me during a recent reading. In Daniel 4:2, Daniel tells the king,

“It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.”

As President of Multnomah, I can also say that it’s my pleasure to tell you of the miraculous signs and wonders God continues to perform in and through students like Zach. These 25 acres are a catalyst for producing vibrant men and women of character who love the Word and are deeply in love with the Savior.

That’s why we need your help now more than ever!

Your sacrificial and generous gifts help students like Zach afford to stay at Multnomah. Will you consider giving to help our students, many of whom are going through financial hardships and personal crises? Gifts of all sizes are celebrated and appreciated.

Zach-M

We are grateful for participation at every level. Gifts like $10, $20, $50, or $100 each make a significant impact! Click on the button below to give for students like Zach, whose lives were dramatically changed by being here!

Thank you for supporting this amazing community, and for furthering the mission of Multnomah.

Faithfully,

Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.
President