Thoughts from the Kitchen Table

By Marian Douglas cs17

Idyllic (excellent abackyardnd delightful in all respects). That is my thought as I sit at the kitchen table in the Alumni Center, peering out at the backyard. That ramp right in front, the one creating those lovely leading lines, I watched Joe Sheil and John Motter g67 fix that on my first day.

Of all the weeks to start my internship at the Alumni Center, none could have been better than Staycation. I got the chance to meet and speak to the volunteers, including Elaine (Voss) g61  and Joe Sheil. They’ve been volunteering a week of their time to the Alumni Center for several years.

Getting to speak to the Sheils gave me an insight that I otherwise would have missed. As a teacher, Joe has belonged to a dozen or so schools. He never attended or worked at Fort Wayne Bible College, but he feels a connection to the people and mission of the school represented by the Alumni Center.

“The people that are here have that sense of ministry, that sense of vision,” Joe said to me. “Sometimes as people go to college, they are very idealistic. And they usually lose that, but the people here still have that sense that they will go out and conquer the world for God.”

You’ll probably see me use the above quote a couple of times. It just captures what I felt during my first days here so well. I would walk into the Center and feel God here in a way I wish I felt Him everywhere.

Matthew 18:20 says “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV)

I didn’t understand this verse before I started writing this blog post. Yes, I knew it, had even memorized it for AWANA growing up. But I knew it out of context. Usually when I read this verse, I think of hands raising during the worship service as people get caught up in praising their Lord together.

In preparing for this post, I read this verse and the surrounding ones.

Matthew 18:20 is about more than a temporal feeling that we get while worshiping. It’s about relationships: about the church coming together in action and God affirming those actions. The verses beforehand speak about how whatever we bind/loose on earth will be bound/loosed in heaven.

When I spoke to volunteers, they all had the same main reason for giving their time. As Eileen (Vorse) Crandal g61 said, “It’s a service to God.” Everything these volunteers do is for the glory of God. And I believe that’s why it’s so easy to see God’s hand at the Alumni Center.

I can’t help but think that when people come to give their time to the Center, they are binding everything that the Center stands for. They’re continuing the mission and building relationships here as they give time and interact with each other, all committed to Christ.

Even though the backyard is beautiful, it’s really the interactions here that mean the most. Whenever two or more Christians work together on a common cause, we get a tiny piece of what heaven will be like.

And that’s what is idyllic about the Alumni Center.

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