Giving Thanks for Return

Demorest - Stephanie, Matthew, and Zeb Homecoming 2015

Stephanie (Cox) g93, Matt g97, and their son, Zebidiah, talk with former Professor Arlan g64 and Sally (Sweet) g62 Birkey at Homecoming 2015.

By Stephanie (Cox) Demorest g93

In this modern American culture, we are driven by schedules: appointments, meetings, commitments, as well as last-minute texts and phone calls. In all the busyness, it is difficult to take a breath, let alone take a break and reflect on what is meaningful in our lives and worth living for! So as the calendar year flows, I am relieved when there is a “holiday.” There is indeed something holy about setting aside days for reflection. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two times set apart for remembering those things for which we are grateful to God for all He has done for us and providing us a Savior in the birth of Jesus.

This year I have reason to be especially thankful, for God has recently called me back to the place where He began a great work in my life. This past summer, I began thinking about applying for part-time work to use my time more productively now that our son is getting older. The very week that I had been praying for God to show me His direction in this matter, I received a message from Michael Mortensen g91 asking if I would happen to be interested in a job at the Fort Wayne Alumni Center. My first reaction was, “Really, God?” I had graduated from Summit Christian College at the beginning of the merger transition; I returned years later to teach introductory Bible classes at TUFW; then, in my second year of teaching Greek, I was here at the time the closure was announced. I was not sure what was left of the university that had so molded my life. I guess I thought it was all a thing of the past that had come to a complete and final end in May 2009, with the university’s final graduating class.

Believing that God must have a plan, though I did not understand it, I pursued the contact from the Alumni Center. How surprised I was to find a thriving ministry of my alma mater actively extending care to me and to generations of alumni who have passed through the doors of Fort Wayne Bible Institute, Fort Wayne Bible College, Summit Christian College, and Taylor University Fort Wayne. I immediately connected with friends old and new and was amazed to encounter the diligent work of all these people coming together to celebrate God’s work in our lives over the years.

On August 1, 2015, I began working as the Program Assistant for the Alumni Center. It has been such an encouragement to me to be back in contact with so many of my professors, friends, colleagues, and former students. I had forgotten how rich these relationships that I previously had were. And it feels like I am connected to a much larger history this time around. I am meeting and developing relationships with people who were here at different times than I was, and so I am getting the opportunity to see the ministry through their eyes. God is completing my picture of His work through this place.

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