A Perfect End to My Time at Life Pacific College
Today was my last day of teaching at Life Pacific College [unless, of course, I pull a Brett Favre 🙂 ]. I have spent a total of over 13 years of my life here at the school (4 years as a student and 9 years as a faculty member)…that’s over a third of my life!
I really love this college. This small little private college has changed and accomplished so much in the past 10 years. There is definitely a night and day difference in the caliber of education and community life from when I first attended as a student back in the 90’s. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to play a small role in this transformation.
Driving into the parking lot this morning brought back memories of the first time I drove in as a faculty member. On my first day as a professor, I distinctly remember sitting in the parking lot overwhelmed by the privilege of serving in this capacity. The tears of joy and deep realization of grace during that moment has forever been embedded into my soul. It was just one of those moments where God reminded me of his hand in my life.
Well, it’s been 9 years…my life has forever been changed by my season at this college.
I cannot put into writing the feeling of gratitude I have towards the thousands that have formed me during my time at the college. Here’s a weak attempt:
- Special thanks to the administration for taking a chance with a 27 year old with very little experience and only a naive passion to do something to inspire college students to better love the world. Thanks to all the staff for always being supportive of my subversive activities in mobilizing students in strange ways. Your hospitality and partnership felt like a beautiful dance. 🙂
- Thank you to all my colleagues (many of whom were my professors when I was a student) for treating me with respect and welcoming me into the faculty community. You have no idea how humbled I am to be included among some of my heroes of faith. Thank you for modeling how teaching can impact lives in tangible ways. I will be forever grateful.
- Lastly, but definitely not the least, many thanks to my students throughout the years who helped to become a better thinker and human being. You challenged me to consider areas of thought that I may not have considered without our interaction both in and out of class. Thanks for always making me feel that I had something to contribute to your life. (Also, thanks for putting up with me as I developed new courses for the college and allowing me to try it on you.) As much as I may have invested into you, I am fully aware that you have significantly formed who I am today.
I always imagined in previous years (often while watching movies about influential teachers of course) how my last time in class would be like. Well, today was perfect and better than I ever expected.
My last class today was Ministry and Culture. This is course that examines how the Church could better interact and participate in the cultural and spiritual formation of our cities. This is probably one of my most favorite courses to teach because of its emphasis on the need for us to become a tangible expression of God to our communities.
For this particular semester, I challenged the students to give up certain luxuries during the semester in order that we may contribute to some causes that find sustainable ways of helping people in poverty. To my surprise, our class collected $838! I was so proud of our class because this money was the direct result of not intentionally spending on common day to day activities for the sake of creating space to be generous.
Together as a class, we went online to donate $475 to help 5 people reach there goal of getting a micro-financing loan through Kiva.org. In addition, we were also able to get 303 people clean water ($303) for an entire year through bloodwatermission.com. And to top it all off, we bought 20 pairs of shoes ($50) for children in developing countries through 50000shoes.com.
Can it get any better than this?
One thing I am definitely most proud about is how our school has shifted in the way it cares for our world. For example, our coffee house on campus is actually fair trade and slave free…consumption has collided with conscience. It has become common conversation on campus to consider ways to advocate and provide relief for those who experience injustices around the world. I believe that this is only a small sign of great things to come!
All this to say…thanks LPC! Although this is not the end of our relationship, I want you to know that you are deeply appreciated and prayed for regularly.