Listening to Fresno Pacific

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You learn a lot more when you’re listening than when you’re talking. For many of us our roles in life require us to do a lot of talking. One of the differences between being a parent and a grandparent is that parents tend to talk more to children and grandparents often have learned to enjoy listening to children. If we want to know more than we can say, and be wiser than just what we know, it comes by listening. If the president of a Christian university is obliged to do a lot of talking, then the president must be even more intent on listening well. Here are some things I’ve heard Fresno Pacific say:

  • I am a freshman from Atlanta, Georgia. I am a President’s Scholar and I am on the men’s soccer team. I came expecting to be a kinesiology major, but what I experienced in my medieval history course fundamentally changed my understanding of the church and its role in the kingdom of God and in society. And my Bible and theology courses during my first six weeks here also transformed my perspective. The combined influence of those courses from those professors made me change my plans. Now I want to major in biblical studies, including getting started on learning biblical languages.
  • The 292 total student athletes in our 14 varsity sports include 103 new athletes. All nine head coaches, their assistant coaches and the athletics administrators know how to produce highly competitive teams that comply with all the countless rules and standards of NCAA Division II. And they also are modeling Christ-like faith and behavior as they disciple their student athletes to be followers of Jesus. It’s working.
  • Now I understand why you require us to do all this other stuff that seems to have nothing to do with winning a PacWest conference championship, stuff like participating in Chapel and doing volunteer service and getting good grades and being respectful and polite to people. It actually helps us be the kind of athletes that people feel deserve to win championships, so we win no matter what.
  • God, I am learning to worship you right now by whatever I am doing right now: reading this difficult book, dealing with this friend, mastering this “impossible” music, eating this delicious food, running this last 400 meters all out, writing this paper.
  • I spent a considerable amount of time researching and praying to be sent where I was meant to go, and it is crystal clear to me now that Fresno Pacific University is where I will be fully utilized by God and become a stronger woman of faith who is fully prepared for future success.
  • I am doing well so far but I need to sleep more. I just took a nap before coming to the dining hall for lunch. I am learning to trust God by sleeping when I need to.
  • We just attended the opening Chapel service. We are here from Brazil. My husband is learning English and I am enrolled in a master’s degree program. It will be hard for us but it will be worth it.
  • I am in awe at the possibilities that I have to make a difference, not only while attending Fresno Pacific, but afterwards as I pursue all that God has to offer me. I hope to share God’s love and, most of all, to be a blessing to others.

You can learn a lot about a place like Fresno Pacific by just listening.