I can’t say I’ve experienced such a wide range of emotions as Esther and I moving & settling Paul at Southern Adventist University. One of the many, many things I have come to love about SAU is how thoughtful, organized, and well run they are – tremendously helping us even in managing all these emotions. I don’t know why I’m surprised by that, because from the first time we visited back in November 2009, it became obvious this was the school for us… and Paul had already known it was the school for him. : )
Following a conviction to pursue an education in Christian Film, Paul had a couple of Adventist choices (and he made it clear he only wanted Adventist choices after such a wonderful experience in High School as a day student at Monterey Bay Academy in California), but his firm conviction to attend SAU became our shared conviction that November weekend. We’ve come to realize that whatever major he would have chosen, SAU is the place! When you combine a deep spirituality, fantastic God-filled staff, inspired leadership, such detailed organization, great facilities, terrific food, etc. all for a comparative bargain, it’s no wonder SAU is bursting at the seams with students! Praise the Lord!
Still, we were worried about Paul being so far away from home, never living independently, realizing there’s so much more we wish we taught him, etc… But, of course, God knew all this ahead of time, and prepared the way. Paul felt he had to try colporteuring this summer with Youth Rush, and this prepared him, and us, far more than I could have ever imagined. So we couldn’t be praising God more for His leading and care for all of us.
We were so excited to learn that several of his friends were coming to SAU. I think 8 of his MBA classmates decided to come, and a few other’s he met colporteuring this summer came as well! It’s so encouraging to us that he’ll know several people here. Interestingly, Paul commented how much easier it is to talk to people in college versus high school. I don’t know if a summer full of meeting 5,000 new people had anything to do with that (LOL), but no doubt learning where people are from, their classes & plans, etc make for great conversation starters.
Of course there is this “southern hospitality” we’ve come to love… I can tell you, in California, no one wishes you a blessed day, as we heard from the dear lady at Taco Bell. And the waitress at Red Robin with her terms of endearment for our son (sugar), and two of his friends (honey and baby). This is all quite new to us, but we love it!
How exciting it has been to take some time to be here with Paul to get him settled, to meet some of his friends, to go shopping for all the necessities, and some of those things to make his new life at SAU more enjoyable. I have come to love Gun Barrel Rd near Hamilton Place in Chattanooga, and I defy you to dream up something you need that is not within a mile of this area!
We loved the orientation SAU held for parents, it was so helpful and encouraging that so much thought has gone in to maximizing our son’s success – in helping him manage time, optimize study habits, find a job, cope with homesickness, etc…
There is no question God led us here to SAU, and that God has been doing a marvelous work here for some time. We are thrilled to be a part of it, and it gives us such confidence and assurance to leave Paul here, knowing its all part of God’s plan, that He has such special people here listening to His voice and creating such a wonderful place.