One of the most common questions Yvette and I hear from people who discover we are new to the area: Why did you come to Fresno? We usually tell them we came to serve at FPU. We remind ourselves that we did not come because we were invited, but we came because we were called. Calling to us means surrender. It is a stepping stone to dying. As followers of Jesus Christ, we live a life of dying: dying to our will, to our personal preferences and to our comforts. We constantly remind ourselves to follow Jesus’ charge to deny ourselves and to take up our cross and follow Him, a charge easily forgotten in our post-modern world. He sets the goals; He marks out the journey; He defines the success; and He receives the glory.
We first felt called to FPU when we found a confluence between our personal call to higher education and the FPU Idea. Over a decade ago I began to pen out a personal mission statement that expressed this calling. I wrote, that our mission is: “To Extend the Influence of the Kingdom of God through Christian Higher Education.” These words were drafted without any personal knowledge of the FPU Idea, which preamble uses almost the same phrase. I might be a little dull in hearing the voice of God on occasion, but this type of incident rarely happens, even when seeking God’s guidance. After reading the complete document, it was obvious that the FPU Idea had already been our commitment to living in higher education: building Christian community that engages the world.
Yvette and I are honored to be part of the FPU family. We don’t bring much in and of ourselves, but we live with the assurance that “all things are possible to those who believe.” Living with expectations of the possible has privileged us to see God’s hand move in ways that seemed impossible. Yvette and I have come to a place in our lives where we are recognizing that our courage, confidence and competence is in Christ Jesus our Lord. As missionaries in Pakistan, where servants are degraded and diminished we internalized the Christian calling “to serve and not be served.” We pray with you that the FPU Idea will be fully realized in the years to come, and that the glory of Christ through FPU will be a witness to our region and to the world.