Where Your Calling Takes Shape

DSCN0326WEBLast week we took a long weekend to visit Fort Wayne for TUFW’s homecoming weekend. We hadn’t been back to campus since my graduation, a year after it was closed by Taylor University’s board for financial reasons.
“There was something sad and a little frightening about the place, because it all seemed so forsaken and long ago.” – From Prince Caspian
 
It felt like going back to Narnia. I had vague memories of the place, but life had moved on, many memories and faces forgotten. Parts of the campus were being used by local organizations, others were in disrepair. When we peeked through the broken, boarded-up windows of Hausser Hall, we were greeted by sagging, water-damaged ceiling tiles and unused furniture. Rooms that once housed hopeful freshman excited about the future sat barren, deserted, and forgotten.
It was all so familiar. And so different.
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“That’s what the life of this place is. It’s not buildings, it’s not fields, it’s not classrooms. The life of this place is the connections people made here with a sense of purpose and passion and calling for how to make a difference in this world.” – Dr. Randall Dodge, Former TUFW Dean of Students
 
I was overwhelmed by the profound legacy left by our school. Not just TUFW, but also Fort Wayne Bible Institute, Fort Wayne Bible College, and Summit Christian College–all schools that used the campus before it became Taylor. It’s unusual, I think, for a school to have that kind of history. So many different schools and students and professors, but God brought us all to the same place and changed our lives, preparing us for what would come next. The legacy of TUFW lives on in us, not the empty buildings that still sit on West Rudisill.
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“Then in the name of Aslan,” said Queen Susan, “if ye will all have it so, let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.” – From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Back in 2009, a reporter from the Journal Gazette quoted me in her article about the closing: “It was really hard, but I have since realized God has a bigger plan for it, and He’s going to spread us out and use us in bigger ways than we thought He was going to . . . I’m kind of excited now for all the options.” That’s exactly what happened. TUFW-ers have been spread out all over the world–from Fort Wayne to Upland (where Taylor’s main campus is), Michigan, Minnesota (yay!), Zambia, Sudan, the Dominican Republic. And that’s just some of the people I know about. It was hard to see at the time, but God had a grander adventure in store for us.