Bethany College

By early 1996, I knew that Bethany was not going to approve the idea of a Sacramento program, and I was quite discouraged. One morning in my discouragement, February 2, I woke up with the beginning of a poem on my heart. I got up and went to my office to write down the first few lines, and the rest of the poem immediately followed, all in twenty minutes. I knew that this poem was Godís guidance to me again, giving me encouragement to trust and praise Him even at this time. Let me share it:

The Meaning There

My heart tears within me.
There is no meaning there.
I must look to my Creator.
There is meaning there.

Temporal life is so tragic.
Where is meaning there?
At such times I must look upward.
There is meaning there.

I am not the only hurting.
Is there meaning there?
There is One Who hurt before us.
There is meaning there.

Oh, Our Father, move within us.
Give us meaning there.
Fulfill your vision that you gave us.
There is meaning there.

Let this life have a purpose.
There can be meaning there.
Let your light shine in and through us.
There is meaning there.

May our lives reflect your glory.
What a meaning there!
May your glory bring us victory.
There is meaning there.

Let us travel ever upward.
Glorious meaning there.
May we bring others with us.
There is meaning there.

May our lips forever praise you.
You give us meaning there.
You alone are all our meaning.
That IS the meaning there.

Once I had completed my doctorate, I obtained temporary jobs to help pay my school bill. I remember praying and interacting with God one day at a temp job. As I sat at the desk, I thought that I might not ever teach again, since I had quit teaching at Capital Bible Institute so I could do temporary work and since it appeared that Bethany would not materialize for Sacramento. But it was then that I told God that I would worship Him no matter what, even if I never taught again. Even though I thought God had given me the desire to teach, He was more important to me than teaching. I would serve Him no matter what! I totally surrendered to Him.

By the time of the April 1996 district council, I knew that Bethany was not going to go ahead with the Sacramento program. This involved a lot of suffering on my part because I had such a strong desire to teach, even though by then I had committed myself to God no matter if I never taught again. At this council, a former student, Pastor Mark Tucker, prayed a dynamic prayer on my behalf which was a great comfort to me.

On Sunday afternoon, May 5, 1996, our son Roger, called to encourage me. He reminded me about the six prophecies which I had forgotten about. He also reminded me about Joseph in Egypt waiting two years in prison before the fulfillment of his dreams and then being elevated to second in command of all Egypt. Rog told me that the fulfillment of the prophecies may not be now and may not be Bethany, but God would fulfill them in His timing. Rog did encourage me, but as my husband reminded me, he also had been encouraging me along the same line.

The next morning, May 6, while driving to a temporary job, I thought about what Rog had told me the day before and I started relating Scripture to my situation. I remembered that Joseph had received his dreams thirteen years before they were fulfilled. Then I observed that the coming September 12 would be thirteen years since I had received my "calling" to teach. Would I be as Joseph and have it fulfilled in a greater capacity than teaching at Capital Bible Institute? Next, I thought of Moses spending forty years in the wilderness, but forty years was a long time. I would be ninety-six years of age, counting from this moment. That wouldnít work. Then all of a sudden, I couldnít remember the date. What year was it? 1996, okay. What month was it? May. Oh no, what day was it? The sixth. On May 9, 1956, I became a Christian. That was almost to the date forty years ago. Now I thought, would I be like Moses and not enter the promised land or be like Joshua and enter in. It is amazing that I made it to work safely, thinking all these thoughts while driving.

Well, on Wednesday, May 8, I received the "official" call from Bethany that they had decided not to do a program in Sacramento. This was the date that ended my forty years since being a Christian. May 9 would begin my forty-first year. Even though I received a "No," was my time of waiting for Godís fulfillment almost over? In spite of the "No," I was at peace with God and began to praise Him, knowing he would fulfill His "calling" for me in His timing. That evening, I even drove home praising God. I would enter Godís promise for me someday. Right now, I had to trust Him that all things were in His control and that His will is always best.

As it turned out, by the end of June 1996, I received another call from Bethany. They had changed their mind and decided to resurrect the idea of a Bethany College Sacramento program to begin that fall semester. I would be the Director and an instructor. Praise the Lord! In September, my calling would be fulfilled thirteen years after I had received it, just as with Joseph. And as Joshua, I began to enter into the promise of God.

God provided a number of confirmations to the calling and fulfillment of teaching. He provided a facility for Bethanyís Sacramento courses at Family Christian Center with Pastor Rich Oliver, who very graciously allowed Bethany to use their facilities. God also provided highly qualified adjunct instructors in addition to myself. And God provided motivated students who had been praying for a regionally accredited undergraduate Christian college in the Sacramento area offering majors in Bible and Theology, Church Leadership and Psychology.

Later we needed more facilities than Family Christian Center could provide. Bethanyís Sacramento office had been in our home for five years, but we needed to have the office moved near our classrooms and we needed library space. God guided in this need also. In October of 2000, I attended a sectional ministerís meeting and one of the pastors at the meeting asked if we needed space for the college. I said, "Yes," but this pastorís facility was outside of the Sacramento area. However, another pastor, Jesse Rorie, who overheard our conversation said to meet him after the meeting. He said he had space for us at his church, Arena Christian Center in Sacramento right off Interstate 80 and Interstate 5, and asked me to follow him to his facility. While showing me the space, which was large enough for my office, a library, and two classrooms, someone approached the pastor and wanted to rent some of the space. The pastor said he thought he had just rented the space to us. And he had! Whew! We made it with a few minutes to spare. The space was ours with a great location for the Sacramento area, and God provided again.

Bethany College maintained their successful program in Sacramento for seven years. But on Friday, June 13, 2003, I was told that Bethany was closing down the Sacramento program. However, I and the other instructors were invited to continue with Bethany through their on-line program. We agreed to do so.

Although most of the Bethany Sacramento equipment was purchased and owned by my husband and myself, Bethany kindly allowed us to keep what equipment was theirs in addition to the library books. Was this a sign that we should remain a college? Was God guiding again?