During the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college at Fresno Pacific University I spent a month with a friend backpacking through Europe. The two of us each carried a massive backpack and a round-trip ticket from San Francisco to Paris. We started our journey in France and from there we eventually made our way to Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and England.
Being college students, we made our trip happen on a budget, which meant we ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and stayed in hostels. Each night we would use an internet café and get the address of a hostel in the city we were going to the next day. We were in Venice searching for somewhere to stay the next night in Florence when we found a super cheap place, which at the time we thought was a hostel. When we arrived, we quickly found out it wasn’t what we anticipated.
We took the address from the website (neither of us had a cell phone on this trip) and we found ourselves at a “rent a tent” camping yard. The set up was that you paid to rent a spot of dirt and a tent, which you had to pitch yourself. I remember arriving at night completely exhausted, wanting nothing more then to set down my 39-lb. hiking pack and lay down on a bed. Instead, we were handed a tent and given a flashlight. This wasn’t an “Eddie Bauer” tent where you connected the poles and 1, 2, 3 your tent pops up. Oh no. We got frustrated and wanted to quit on multiple occasions, but we also knew we really didn’t have many other options, so we pressed on, and after many failed attempts, we finally got it and slept really well.
In just a few weeks, on Thursday, September 5, we will begin the festivities to celebrate Fresno Pacific’s 75th Anniversary at our Gather 2019 event. As I reflect on our university’s history, I’m deeply thankful for the men and women who went before us, and who responded to God’s call, who pitched the first tent. I’m grateful for those in leadership who pressed on and stepped out in faith, refusing to let mortal thinking be a barrier to what the Lord had planned.
Fresno Pacific University is what it is today because of the people who went above and beyond, who gave and served, in ways both seen and unseen despite the frustrations, to propel Fresno Pacific to where we are now. I’m grateful as an institution we continue to provide opportunities for students from all walks of life to pursue new possibilities, to strengthen their walk with the Lord or introduce the Lord to them and encourage them to press on, even when life gets hard.
As we embark on our 75th Anniversary, we are all invited to celebrate throughout the 2019-2020 school year. Through reflection and celebration, we will be reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness to Fresno Pacific and be encouraged to look to the future with anticipation of how he will use each of us for such a time as this.
Our commitment to Christ and to the truth of God’s word is still the rock on which our university is built. God is undoubtably doing great things at Fresno Pacific. As a community we can be proud of, by God’s grace, what we have accomplished and welcome what is to come.
Check out 75.fpu.edu for more information on ways you can be involved in celebrating the marked moment of Fresno Pacific’s 75th Anniversary!