Alumni

Reflecting on God’s faithfulness and anticipating the future: Person to Person, Winter 2016

Comments Off on Reflecting on God’s faithfulness and anticipating the future: Person to Person, Winter 2016 Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: 80th Anniversary, Alumni, Events, Newsletter
Michelle

Michelle Underwood is Director of Alumni Relations at Multnomah.

Earlier this month, alumni, friends, faculty and staff gathered together to celebrate God’s faithfulness at our 80th anniversary homecoming event. Guests had traveled from as far east as Massachusetts, as far north as Alaska, and as far south as southern California. Some even came all the way from China. We saw a remarkable representation of alumni spanning the years 1944 to 2015. It was a beautiful reunion, a wonderful time for reflecting, reminiscing and remembering all God has done since our founding in 1936.

Our theme for the evening was “Celebrating God’s Faithfulness” — apropos for commemorating our 80th anniversary. As Professor Emeritus David Needham led us in prayer, we were reminded of the Lord’s great faithfulness and steadfast love. What a consolation it is to know that God never changes. What he was yesterday, he is today and will be tomorrow. He is faithful.

In the midst of a changing world, the reality of this truth is comforting and reassuring. We closed our time together with the familiar hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” declaring that in every season of life — winter, spring, summer and harvest — we can attest to the witness of his great faithfulness, mercy and love.

As we look ahead, anticipating what God might have for us these next 80 years, my prayer is that he would continue to give us grace to look away from ourselves and move toward a deeper dependence on him.

‘A holy place’: 58 years later, MU’s prayer chapel remains a sacred haven on campus

Comments Off on ‘A holy place’: 58 years later, MU’s prayer chapel remains a sacred haven on campus Written on February 12th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Students

A little white prayer chapel sits in the center of Multnomah’s campus. It’s hemmed in by hydrangea puffs and leafy foliage, and its cross-topped steeple pokes above the birch and cherry trees that cast their shade against its whitewashed walls. Inside, the sunlight filters through pale magenta windowpanes onto rows of oaken pews. It smells slightly aged — like a room matured by many visitors.

The altar is the centerpiece. There is a simple wooden cross and mahogany Wurlitzer piano with a worn-out bench and open hymnbook. Above it is a stained glass image of the cross overshadowing the globe.

Those who seek the Lord have found him in the sacred silence of this hiding place.

The Center of Campus

Since its construction in 1957, the little building has been a quiet refuge, a safe hideaway, a quaint aesthetic addition, and an invitation to enter into a different sort of lifestyle.

“The chapel was built to provide a place on campus for students to get away and talk to the Lord,” says Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Needham.

“Prayer at MU is taken seriously,” says Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings. “Everything we do is bathed in prayer because we know that we don’t move forward unless the Lord leads us.”

Alumna Emi Koe remembers the reason for the chapel’s central location: “The slogan when we were students was that the prayer chapel was the center of campus as prayer should be the center of our lives,” she says.

“It is a true and meaningful symbol to have the prayer chapel with its clean, white lines and its steeple pointing toward God in the center of campus,” adds alumna Gail Lundquist. “May it truly be Multnomah’s desire to have prayer as the foundation for everything.”

‘A Different Kind of Quiet’

But the chapel isn’t only a symbol, of course.

At the beginning of her sojourn at Multnomah, Regina Molokomme slipped into the prayer chapel to commit the next few years to the Lord. In response to God’s calling, she had recently moved from South Africa to enroll in seminary.

“I did not know about the journey ahead of me, but I just presented myself to God,” she says. From complete funding for school, to strength for her studies, to a vision for the future, Molokomme has consistently received God’s provision.“My prayers have been answered in that place,” she says.

While it serves as a site of initial dedication, the prayer chapel is also a space for continued communion with God. “When I am there, I am affirmed that he is with me,” says youth ministry major Josh Smith.

“It’s a holy place set apart from the stress of academia,” says English major Rebekah Nayduik. “There’s a peace when you walk in.”

English major Sierra McKinney agrees. “It’s a different kind of quiet. I walked in and felt this calmness.”

Memorable Moments

Throughout the process of schooling at MU, biblical studies major Curtis Bell spent intentional time in the silence provided by the prayer chapel. “I remember my best friend Cory and I praying in there daily,” he says. “We broke down and prayed for our families. We were even on the floor weeping. Those were precious moments with my best friend and the Lord.”

Alumnus Larry Day remembers similar moments within. “I would go there for quiet time when I was confused about what God wanted,” he says. “It’s a significant place to me.”

A few years ago, Day and his wife decided to refurbish the prayer chapel at their own expense. They replaced the pews, adjusted the altar area, and added a soft new carpet so that people could spend time on their knees. “There is something that happens to our soul when we kneel before God,” Day says.

Master of Arts in Counseling student Zach Jones noticed that the intimacy of the prayer chapel was also perfect for a different kind of kneeling. With the romantic addition of decorative lights and music, he proposed to his wife Sarah inside of it.

“The chapel will always be special to us,” Sarah says. “It reminds us that God was in our lives long before each other; he’s the one that brought us together.”

The Legacy Continues

After the graduation gown has been donned, and the diploma presented, and the path away from Multnomah has been blazed, the prayer chapel still stands as a monument; it’s a place for returning and reflecting.

Alumnus Scott Burns remembers God’s faithfulness whenever he visits. Although it’s a long way from his home in England, he continues to stop in from time to time.

“I’ve spent numerous hours with God in that tiny little building,” he says. “It resulted in me walking forward with a greater awareness of my need for Jesus and knowing how desperately I need His power to be at work in and through me.”

As the years roll on and the steady stream of quiet visitors filters in and out, the prayer chapel remains the birthplace of vision, the assurance of God’s presence, the place where prayers are answered, and a reminder of what he has done in each life that passes through.

Alumnus Paul J. Pastor releases book about Holy Spirit

Comments Off on Alumnus Paul J. Pastor releases book about Holy Spirit Written on January 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Books

Educational Ministries graduate Paul J. Pastor released his first book, “The Face of the Deep: Exploring the Mysterious Person of the Holy Spirit,” on February 1 (David C. Cook, 2016). It’s available for order wherever books are sold. Until you can get your hands on a copy, Pastor answers our questions about “Face of the Deep” and the unique vision behind it.

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Can you give a brief synopsis of your book?

I’d love to. “The Face of the Deep” is a theology book about the Holy Spirit, but from an unusual angle.

The book embodies a theology of the Holy Spirit in its form as well as its content — in how I wrote, not just what I wrote. As a result, “The Face of the Deep” is structured symbolically, and written in tight creative non-fiction (prose poetry at times). My style has been very generously compared to Wendell Berry or Annie Dillard, a wonderful, unusual way to write about doctrine.

If I had to say the book is about one aspect of that theology, it would be the Holy Spirit’s immanence, which is the two-dollar word for the closeness God keeps with creation. But with that said, people shouldn’t get false expectations. The book is not an exhaustive work of pneumatology at all, nor is it an organized spiritual memoir. It’s really meant to be a prose icon — art that embodies theology and sharpens our ability to see and know God. There’s a lot of personal story in the book, a lot of history, theological meditation, biblical exegesis, even a fair bit of nature writing. But it all traces how the Spirit and his love is much closer and more meaningful than we think.

What compelled you to write “Face of the Deep”?

A personal question and a community mission.

In many ways, I wrote this book because I needed to read it. I felt a gnawing question about the Holy Spirit for many years — where is he? My family came to Christianity in a Charismatic tradition, but even still, it seemed that my experience of the Spirit, and the ways people talked about him in church were light years away from the stories and poetry I read about him in the Bible. I needed to see the Spirit in my life, my world, the way that I saw him in the Bible — close, and good, and strange, and very holy. I began to find him, often where I least expected him.

But that quest soon spilled over into a broader calling. I began talking about the Spirit with others who shared my questions or frustrations, and began to see that the calling to explore was for more than just myself. I wrote my graduate thesis on links between the stories of Babel and Pentecost, then began teaching a yearly class on the Holy Spirit here at Multnomah that taught doctrine in that “immanent” way, integrating icon, art, poetry, and story with classic systematic theology. Each time, the response was overwhelming: “Why don’t we talk about this in church?” “I see God even more richly now.” “Where can I go to learn more of this?”

Eventually, the vision for the book came to me all at once, in the time it took me to walk from the front step of our house inside. I saw it all—that it needed to include stories from my life, art, symbol, densely and beautifully written, structured as symbols within symbols.

You and graphic artist Martin French collaborated to create 14 modern icons of the Holy Spirit for your book. Can you tell us more about the images you two came up with? Why did you want to include original iconography?

Holy beauty leads us deeper into the knowledge of a holy God. There are times that an image can speak in ways that rational arguments cannot, and it was important for me to ground the book with powerful, compelling illustration. Wow, did Martin ever do that!

We worked together to create symbolic images (“Seven Stars” and “Seven Lampstands”) that integrated ancient symbols and a few modern ones, each visualizing a particular doctrine about the Holy Spirit, emphasizing the way that he works in and loves our world. The images form a path to think about the Holy Spirit in images, not just words.

How might reading “Face of the Deep” benefit the journey of a Christ-follower?

I think they’ll fall much more in love with God, in renewed imagination and wonder.

They’ll come out on the other side of this book with new language to talk about the Spirit’s holy work in their own life, a clearer understanding of how the Spirit works with the Father and Son, and most importantly, the invitation to live with the Spirit in a deeper, richer way than they might have imagined possible.

Also, I think that it’s beautiful book to read — and that never hurts the soul!

What are your hopes for this book?

Before anything else, my hope is that the Spirit himself is happy about it! From the beginning, I prayed that this book would be an offering to him, something lavish and lovely, purely from a sincere heart and adoration for the Trinity.

As well, I hope that it sparks conversation — that people, pastors, churches, even book clubs or small groups all can use it as the first step in discovering the Spirit’s work and closeness in their own lives.

And thirdly, I hope that other young theologians, writers, artists, and poets are inspired to pick up their pens and paintbrushes, notebooks and cameras, and begin considering how they can express the historic truths of our beautiful faith in fresh, exciting ways. Theology is rational, but so much more than a bare mental exercise. It needs to live, breathe, burn. This book is one small way that the truth of the Creator God is coming out in my life. I hope it inspires others to explore the mysterious life of God’s Holy Spirit in theirs.

For more information about Paul J. Pastor and his work, visit his website. You may also click here for a (free!) “Face of the Deep” seven-day devotional. 

Homecoming 2016

Comments Off on Homecoming 2016 Written on January 6th, 2016 by
Categories: 80th Anniversary, Alumni, Events

Homecoming is about tradition. It’s a time for reconnecting with old friends and establishing new. It’s about nostalgia. It’s about  remembering our rich heritage with wistful affection as we seek to carry on the MU legacy. It’s about uniting the past with the present as we aim to provide an opportunity for every constituent of the university to come together and celebrate as a whole. 

Traditions, nostalgia, legacy…in essence, Homecoming is all about coming home!

You're Invited

We invite you to join us February 12-13 as students, staff, faculty, friends and alumni join together to commemorate MU’s 80-year anniversary. Come help us celebrate God’s faithfulness as we rejoice over all he has done since our founding in 1936.

Whether it’s been years since you’ve been on campus or just months since you graduated, we are looking forward to seeing you again and celebrating the MU legacy together — a legacy you have not only helped build, but one you continue to lead.

Special Events

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, David Needham will be our special guest speaker for Friday night’s Homecoming dinner celebration. Other special events will include: class reunions, class visits, a campus tour, a MU community fun run/walk, volleyball alumni mixer and scrimmage, alumni basketball open gym, women’s and men’s basketball games, and more!

Come home and reconnect with classmates, professors, former roommates and friends. Rediscover your favorite things about MU!

Continuing the MU legacy while uniting alumni and friends,

Michelle Underwood
Director of Alumni Relations

P.S. To secure your spot for Friday night’s Homecoming dinner celebration, please contact Michelle Underwood  or 503.251.6458. Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah

Comments Off on Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah Written on January 6th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni
Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah

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A special word from our VP of Advancement

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Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings

Multnomah Family:

What a delight to serve at Multnomah amidst sold-out disciples of Jesus Christ, and countless others like you who have walked this campus, studied God’s Word, and grown deeper in your faith. These 25 acres have been a sacred space in Portland for 80 years and counting as God continues to transform lives in and out of the classroom. Multnomah has an amazing legacy rooted in His faithfulness.

Two traits related to our students and graduates get me really excited these days. They exhibit spiritual maturity, and they have a deep love for God and His Word. I have personally witnessed our students giving from their limited resources to help a fellow student go on mission trip and send another home to Africa on Christmas break. Who does that? Not just our students. I see selfless generosity in the graduates I meet across the country.

Every year at graduation, I have the privilege to fan the flame in our graduates hearts so they may grow in the grace of giving. It’s a privilege to do this because Im speaking to mature Christ-followers who understand that all they have comes from the hand of God. I remind them that when they get to heaven, God will ask each one of them to give an account of how they used what they had to bring Him glory. Its my desire that each one will be ready to share how they used their time, talent and treasure to advance God’s kingdom. That’s how we roll at Multnomah today – and many of you who have gone before are leading the way!

Participating in Gods work

Americans live in the richest nation, and yet statistics show that the “average Christian” gives 2.43% of their income to charitable causes. Do you know we gave more to charity as a nation during the Depression than we do now? That means we have room for growth, and  we understand this at MU.

Thats why were fostering a culture of generosity thats taking root and bearing fruit in amazing ways. Were proclaiming truth, and people are responding in obedience. Here at MU, we tell our students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends: “We don’t want your money.” Instead, we urge them to deploy God’s money to accomplish God’s purposes. In that light, we celebrate what we want for people – not from them. We want everyone to enjoy the privilege of participating in God’s work.

Across the globe, I learn about members of the Multnomah community who appear as joyful distributors rather than hoarders of God’s resources. Their lives are rich toward God (Luke 12:21) and inspire us to grow as faithful stewards. Just the other day I was visiting with one of our alums from 1973, and I asked him why he gives to Multnomah. His response was simple yet powerful: “Multnomah invested in me, and I just wanted to say ‘thank you!’”

Why do we tell their stories in emails, social media posts and snail mail? Because we want you, the Multnomah family, to experience the rich joy of giving to God out of gratitude for what He has already given to you. We hope you will excel in the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7), no matter where the LORD stirs your heart to give!

A free gift

Bless you, dear MU community, for your prayers and support. We could not do what the LORD has called us to do without you. We would like to thank you in a tangible way by giving you a free copy of Chris McDaniel’s book “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21 Day Experience in Stewardship”!

If you would like a copy, send an email to advancement@multnomah.edu or leave a message with your name and phone number at 1-877-9-ALUMNI (877-925-8664). One book per person, please.

A special word from the author

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Author Chris McDaniel

I am so excited for the Multnomah Family and their vision to grow givers’ hearts who are rich towards God. It reminds me of Acts 2, where we witness early believers giving and sharing with one another. As a result, the “Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (verse 47). That’s what Multnomah University is all about: equipping leaders who reach the lost and disciple mature believers.

When you are generous, you accurately bear the image of God to a lost and hurting world. He gives us life, relationships, our basic needs and His own Son so we can live with Him eternally. God’s a giver! That’s what makes Christianity different than religion: radical generosity. We can give because we have all we need and because we follow a generous God. So stand bold in your faith and live generously. My prayer is that God uses “Ignite Your Generosity” to speak directly into your hearts and that He “ignites” a unique journey of generosity!

Chris McDaniel

Author of “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21 Day Experience in Stewardship”

Join our students in this season of giving

Comments Off on Join our students in this season of giving Written on December 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Pray For MU, Students

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God’s generosity in sending His Son cannot be matched. It’s the greatest gift ever given! For 80 years here at Multnomah our students have celebrated Christ’s birth and shared generously at Christmas time. Let me share two recent instances.

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On Giving Tuesday (December 1), our students collected food for the hungry by partnering with the Oregon Food Bank. Despite the limitations of their student budgets, they donated four large barrels of food and personified God’s generosity. It was really amazing to see!

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Then, when hearing of needs within their midst, MU students surprised two other students by taking up collections to send one to Thailand for a missions trip and the other home to Africa for Christmas. No fanfare. No announcements. No applause. Simply sacrificial sharing so there was no needy one among them.

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Why do we give to those in need and share with those who have limited resources? God’s greatest gift to us inspires our greatest response to others!

At this time we are praying that God will provide for the financial needs of our students through generous giving. Would you pray with us? To date, Multnomah alumni and friends have given $715,388 toward Student Aid of our $1.45 million goal for this fiscal year.

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God, indeed, is with us at Multnomah, and our students’ hearts are reflecting His character through their generosity. Will you join with our students and remember Multnomah in your year-end giving? We invite you to invest and participate in what God is doing at Multnomah.

give now

Your gift will be doubled, thanks to God’s provision of a match, so that Multnomah students will be equipped to show His generous love for a lifetime of ministry and service.

Growing in generosity,

Craig

Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

President

Humble dependence: Person to Person, Fall 2015

Comments Off on Humble dependence: Person to Person, Fall 2015 Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

MichelleDear Multnomah Family,

Once every fall and spring, Multnomah cancels classes for the day so our students can devote their whole morning to service. Volunteering at locations around the Portland area, we have what we call our traditional Day of Outreach. Our fall focus was centered on serving people within the community and sharing Jesus' love with them.

I was able to work together with a couple of our freshmen students, roommates Abigail and Hannah, and I was so encouraged by our time together. As we walked through the streets — picking up trash and conversing with pedestrians and business owners — it was such a joy to hear their stories and watch them interact with one another. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and pleasure in thinking about former MU students, as well as the amazing men and women God continues to lead to Multnomah today.

Abigail’s grandfather, James Bruce Sinclair (Dip '39), was from the first graduating class of Multnomah. He spent a lifetime of commitment to the Lord, training and teaching in the back roads and barrios of the Philippine Islands. As I understand it, he also built a Christian High School in the Hawaiian Islands. Now, nearly 80 years later, Abigail follows in his footsteps as a music major and elementary education minor, with aspirations of teaching young people and furthering God’s kingdom for His glory.

Though Abigail never had the privilege of meeting her grandfather in person, she feels his prayers and support today. “As soon as I came to Multnomah, it felt like home,” she said. “I had looked at other schools and felt that they could be a good fit in support of my goals, but by choosing MU it was as if I was putting my life in God’s hands. I knew it was His choice for me.”

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Abigail Green (right) and Hannah Ferguson.

In just the few short weeks that Abigail has been on campus, she has already jumped into ministry and is helping lead worship in our weekly chapels. She would say that, though it has been a challenging few weeks, her faith has grown and she is learning to trust Him more in this season. “I could chart my own course in choosing a direction that seemed more predictable, or I could move in the direction I felt the Lord leading and allow Him to chart my course,” she said. Such great wisdom for us all.

No matter where you may find yourself on the continuum of MU’s legacy, whether you graduated 50+ years ago, or just last year; my prayer for us all today is that we too would walk in such humble dependence. As we yield our lives, our wills, our plans to Him, may He chart our course and use our stories for His glory.

Thank you for the part you play in the ongoing legacy of Multnomah.

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood

Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah University

Greetings from the Vice President — Fall 2015

Comments Off on Greetings from the Vice President — Fall 2015 Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

Dear Multnomah Family,

I am on a journey to grow my heart to be rich toward God (Luke 12:21).  It hasn’t always been easy, as I used to see my money as…well...MY money. That is, until God got a hold of my heart one day in a very subtle way. It was about 6 years ago, but it seems just like yesterday. I was working for Prison Fellowship, enjoying my new role of raising resources for the kingdom and encouraging those that God put in my care to be generous. I pulled up to the post office with 200 letters tucked under one arm.  I was excited to sow seeds of biblical truth and encourage others to respond, no matter where God led them to give.

As I walked up, I saw a young man, 19 or 20 years old, standing near the door holding a 3x5 card. He needed $3.00 for a bus fare and lunch.  I did what we all do.  I avoided eye contact and kept moving.

Side note: I used to love to collect change in my car ashtray: quarters, dimes and nickels. I loved to watch it pile up. I never used it. My family knew not to touch “Dad’s coin tray.” It’s for looking at and admiring the collection as it grows. It made me feel like I was saving up for something special, for some rainy day that never came. It gave me a sense of control. Because, after all, it was MY money.

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So, I’m standing in line with this mass mailing I’m sending out for God to help His people be generous, and instantly I hear the Holy Spirit nudge me and quietly speak into my heart:  “You know all that change you have in your ashtray? I want you to give it ALL to him.” 

But LORD! I immediately protested, That’s MY... — but as soon as I said the word “my,” I stopped. Here I was being the “good messenger of God” and the Spirit was speaking to me to lead by example. How could I encourage others to give generously when I myself needed to let go of “my stuff” and see it as His? Everything I have been blessed with is “His stuff.” I am just privileged to manage it for my Master.

After mailing my letters, I went immediately to my car, with exuberant joy in my heart for what I was about to do. I couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face. It took me awhile to scoop out the  $30 worth of change and get it all into my two cupped hands, but I did it, and I walked up to him with a huge ear-to-ear grin.

“Hi, I’m Steve. What’s your name?”  He gets a pen out and writes his name down for me. It turns out he is deaf. “Mark,” he scribbles. I said, “Mark – God asked me to give this to you. It’s for you. He wants you to know He loves you and is taking care of you.”

You should have seen his eyes bug out. He only needed $3. I just gave him $30 of God’s money!

I wish I could say Mark came to Christ that day, but I don’t know. But I do know that I will never forget that day. God changed my heart that day — or should I say my wallet? I took a major step forward in my journey of generosity and haven’t looked back. Who do you think was blessed MORE: Mark or Me? I believe it’s always the giver who receives the greatest joy. It is a joy to steward all that God has entrusted to us: our time, our talent and our treasure for the kingdom.

steve-cummingsThat’s exactly what we are fostering here at Multnomah. Not because God needs our money. He already owns it and is really the “Chief Fundraiser” here at MU. God wants our hearts. I pray you stay engaged with us and grow with us in your journey of generosity.

Steve Cummings, M.Div.

Vice President of Advancement
Multnomah University

MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit

Comments Off on MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Missions, Students

Dan (’97) and Janell (’00) Hartley have a desire to transform lives. For the past 10 years, they have been sharing the gospel as missionaries in Southern Africa. During a recent trip to their alma mater, the couple brought their passion for the gospel to Dr. Karen Fancher’s Pressing Global Issues class.

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“As alumni, our hearts are connected to Multnomah,” says Janell. “We hope that our stories — the chapters we have done well and the chapters we have learned from — will be a blessing and ignite a passion for doing missions.”

Youth ministry major Miguel Ruiz’s attention was undivided during their presentation. Hearing their stories and well-spoken wisdom unexpectedly awakened something in his heart. “My plan was to be a soccer coach, and now…” the freshman trails off, shaking his head and chuckling at his sudden change of heart. “I think God is putting me somewhere else.”

The Hartley’s vision and devotion acted as a catalyst within Ruiz — he now finds himself lying awake at night, thinking about his potential new path. Although he’s unsure of the future, he’s confident in God’s plan for his life. “It’s His will, not mine,” he says.

Making it clear that their work as missionaries isn’t always easy, the Hartleys were honest about past struggles with self-doubt and self-identity. “I needed to understand not just who I am in Christ, but whose I am,” says Dan.

It’s not by chance that past failures often hinder our mission and vision, especially when you’re working for the Lord. “We have a target on our backs, and that doesn’t go away just because we step into ministry,” he says.

But hardship can be overcome by choosing to rely on God for strength, not on ourselves. Janell advised students to come to the Lord with questions as a way to overcome self-reliance.

“When I wake up I pray, ‘Good morning, Lord. What do you want me to accomplish?’” she says. “Learn what his heart is.”

The students attentively soaked up their advice for navigating the ebb and flow of challenges that missionaries often encounter. In closing, the Hartleys offered a way to react to those challenges: “We stopped asking, ‘Why?’ and asked God, ‘What are you doing, and how can we be a part of it?’”

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Visit the Hartleys’ website at www.magezi.org if you’d like information about their vision to share the gospel with unreached people groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Contact Janell to request email updates or newsletters at janell@magezi.org. Most importantly, remember to keep them in your prayers.

Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2015

Comments Off on Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2015 Written on October 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

MU celebrates Alumnus of the Year Dave Munson, CEO of Saddleback Leather

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Multnomah University was proud to give Dave Munson the Alumnus of the Year award in September. After graduating from Multnomah with a degree in Bible and Theology, Munson moved to Mexico and began teaching English. He looked everywhere for the perfect carry-on to hold his school books, but nothing fit his criteria. That’s when he collaborated with a local craftsman to design his first leather bag.

When the bag started receiving multiple compliments a day, a lightbulb turned on in Munson’s head. He scrimped and saved for more bags and then sold them — first out of his Land Cruiser, then via eBay, and now through Saddleback Leather Company, his thriving business that crafts high-quality luggage, wallets, backpacks and more.

“Even if I knew the path of my life back then…even if I knew that one day I’d own Saddleback, I would go to Multnomah again,” says Munson. “It was instilled in all of us there to be honest. There was a constant pounding on the drum for integrity.”

Read more about Dave Munson and his kingdom-minded business model.

Different dreams, one purpose: Students from all over the world join MU

ClassOf2019Students with different dreams and goals arrived on campus for fall orientation. Some had included MU in their plans for years, while others made last-minute decisions to attend. But regardless of their backgrounds, all of our new students desire a higher purpose in their careers. They look to their faith to infuse meaning in all they do.

Miguel Ruiz traveled all the way from his hometown in Mexico to experience MU. “I basically came to follow my dream,” he says. “I want to have a sports ministry. I have played soccer my whole life, and I want to go back to Mexico and share the gospel there through soccer.” The youth ministry major is convinced MU is the perfect place to pursue his ambitions. He says he wants to learn everything he can while he’s here. 

Read more about our new students and fall orientation.

MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit

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Dan (’97) and Janell (’00) Hartley have a desire to transform lives. For the past 10 years, they have been sharing the gospel as missionaries in Southern Africa. During a recent trip to their alma mater, the couple brought their passion for the gospel to Dr. Karen Fancher’s Pressing Global Issues class.

“As alumni, our hearts are connected to Multnomah,” says Janell. “We hope that our stories — the chapters we have done well and the chapters we have learned from — will be a blessing and ignite a passion for doing missions.”

Read more about the Hartleys and the students they inspired.

Athletes kick off first season in NAIA

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MU students have officially started playing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which announced its acceptance of Multnomah in April, marking a historic achievement for the university. The NAIA is the largest sports association the institution has been involved with since MU’s establishment in 1936.

I am thrilled that MU has been accepted into the NAIA,” Athletic Director Lois Vos said. “This historic time is directly related to the hard work each person has invested in MU to make it an athletic department that stands for excellence and for making it the best experience we can for the student athlete. We are truly blessed!” Vos has been serving at Multnomah for 26 years, and she said this is the most significant development during her tenure as athletic director.

Read more about our Athletic Departments historic achievement.

Students experience the power of service

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Once every fall and spring, undergraduate students volunteer at several locations in the Portland community. A volunteer site can be anywhere: a nonprofit, a community center, a school. Even a MAX station. MU cancels classes for the day so students can devote their whole morning to service.

During Day of Outreach this fall, the commuters waiting to ride the nearby MAX Light Rail brightened up as Multnomah students offered them steaming cups of coffee and fresh donuts. Freshman Megan Flikkema loved the opportunity to brush shoulders with people she wouldn’t normally meet.

“It’s a great connector,” she said. “It’s an easy way to pass out breakfast and talk about Jesus.” Flikkema was right: Many students took time to engage in meaningful conversations with people they encountered, listening intently to their life stories.

Read more about Day of Outreach, and the students who made it successful.