Message from the President
Listening for God’s Call
After completing a recent run, I was near the track talking with Jeff Larson, one of our cross country coaches. Stretching nearby was a runner whom I had seen before. I did not want to ignore her so I asked her name. She responded: “You know you have met me before.” I hate it when I fail to remember someone, and it really bothers me when it happens on campus because our university promise is that students will “be known.”
Kate was gracious and I asked forgiveness for my failing memory. She is a transfer student from a state university in Wisconsin, but she is from Minnesota (she is a true Minnesotan because she pronounces the name of the state just right). We get few students from that region so I asked how she got to George Fox. She had not heard of us before, but found us through an online search. It helped that Oregon was “the running capital of the United States” and that winter is warmer here than Minnesota, but the real factor was Jeff, her eventual coach.
I learned that Kate really loves to run, but she loves Jesus more. She has a dream to help athletes and others get the most out of their physical abilities while at the same time sharing the love of Christ. In her conversation with Jeff, he confirmed that George Fox was a place where she would be challenged to develop her talents and also encouraged to share the love of Christ in service and ministry. It was in that conversation that God called her to George Fox University.
When our university (then Pacific College) was founded 120 years ago, the purpose statement noted that “the college seeks to be definitely and positively Christian. It seeks to bring its students to an acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. It seeks to help its students to a definite dedication of life to the service of Christ . . .”
I believe that George Fox has remained consistent to its original vision to help students develop their God-given talents for the service of people in God’s world. In this issue of the Journal you will read about George Fox engineers, psychologists and physical therapists who are using their talents to serve in the name of Christ.
Meeting Kate again encouraged me. I need to be reminded often that we are here as agents of Christ, serving the next generation as we seek to awaken God’s call in their lives. Sometimes they bring that “call” with them, and they serve to awaken that spark in us as we continue to develop a university that trusts solely in the Lord.
To read more from President Baker, visit his blog at: blogs.georgefox.edu/president.