Volume 1, Edition 2, September 2013
On August 22, we welcomed 360 new students to campus who were eager and anxious to begin their journey at Westmont. Do you remember your first day? Do you recall that first, long drive up Cold Springs Road to arrive at 955 La Paz Road, your car filled with personal belongings and your heart brimming with hopes, dreams and maybe a few fears? It doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? This year’s class theme, “Finding Your Bearings,” expresses an apt sentiment for all of us, regardless of our station in life or whether we’re heading up La Paz Road for the first or last time.
After a wonderful and all-too-quick summer, I’m excited to begin the year. The campus is abuzz, from the grounds crew to the faculty, ushering in new and returning students. It’s great to have the students back. In the alumni office, we’re mindful of all who’ve gone before this incoming class and hope to stay in touch with and serve you wherever life finds you. This, our second newsletter, is one small way of doing that. Enjoy!
Teri Bradford Rouse
Senior Director of Alumni & Parent Relations
We’re proud to highlight a few alumni in each 955 edition. Please contact me if you know someone you think we should feature. For this edition, meet Jenn Kliewer '96 and Deyl Kearin '02. Enjoy!
I am a stay-at-home mom caring for our little ones, Alexa Joy, 3, and Brett, 1. We participate in weekly parent education classes through La Canada Presbyterian Church (LCPC) and attend Bible Study Fellowship. Some close friends and I are creating a little preschool co-op for our kids this fall. Our days are also filled with housework, play dates, exploring parks, napping, and lots of toddler games and activities. ... We volunteer once a month with the Neighborhood Urban Family Center (Westmont alums Steve and Jenni Wiebe founded this organization) by making cupcakes for the monthly birthdays. I also serve on the boards of NUFC and LCPC Parent Education.
I stopped working as a pediatric physical therapist when Alexa Joy was born and look forward to returning to the profession once the kids go to school. I admit I’m that mom who is up for any adventure and opportunity to have fun and be messy. Being a parent has been a steep learning curve and great opportunity to discover more about myself. A new love of mine is reading about parenting, discipling and child development. I could see myself pursuing a degree in marriage and family therapy or social work as a second career.
Jeff and I do our best to enjoy each other and be intentional about growing in our marriage through counseling and sharing life’s journey with family and dear friends. I couldn’t be more thankful to be married to a man who is so loving, faithful, willing to grow and learn, hard-working and handsome.
I'd love more sleep, an extra dose of patience, a cleaner house, and stock in baby wipes. Although the days can be long and trying at times, I'm grateful for this simple, somewhat monotonous life with these two blessings to love, parent, grow alongside, and most importantly, share Jesus with. There is something magical that happens each day around6 p.m.when all is right in the world because Daddy is home!
We celebrate the arrival of our second daughter, Vienna Grace, who was born March 1 and joins her older sister, Summer. We are blessed!
I own a real estate investment company called Enduravest Partners. We employ a Westmont graduate and have worked with several Westmont interns. We continue to grow as we just bought our 68th distressed property since 2008.
... My wife, Paige, owns The Joy Agency (www.thejoyagency.com) and employs two Westmont graduates. Her speaking agency is working with Kobe Bryant, Dr. and Lisa Oz, Suzie Orman, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Stedman Graham, and Patch Adams, just to name a few.
I recently started Run4Poverty, which helps impoverished families by fundraising through endurance racing events. I raced 250km across the Sahara desert and another Westmont alum, Vanessa Felts, raced the same distance across the Gobi Desert. We have raised more than $60,000 to date. Check out www.run4poverty.org. I still love to surf, fish and run (albeit very slowly)!
Faculty Corner: Who is Reading What and Why?
"Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery" by Eric Metaxas
In this full and rich season, I recently finished reading a great book, “William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery.” Metaxas writes in his introduction, “If ever someone could restore our ability to again see simple goodness, it should be Wilberforce. If we cannot cheer someone who literally brought ‘freedom to the captives’ and bequeathed to the world that infinitely transformative engine we call a social conscience, for whom may we cheer?”
... Eric Metaxas was speaking in Santa Barbara, and my friend Jack Callahan was kind enough to obtain a copy of this book for me. Little did I know it would be the first thing I picked up afterour final game of the basketball season. It’s as entertaining as the Louisville vs. Michigan championship basketball game and as thought-provoking as a Bob Gundry lecture—well almost! This book reads like a novel, and Metaxas has a style that’s easy to connect with. I recommend it!
"The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster" by Tim Crothers
One of the most fascinating books I read this year tells the compelling story of a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Written by Tim Crothers, “The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster” springs from the vision of a Westmont soccer coach. Twenty-five years ago, Russ and Sue Carr founded Sports Outreach with the goal of reaching the poorest communities around the world through the love and eternal hope of the Gospel.... The ministry originally focused on outreach through sports but recently discovered chess to be a successful strategy for those not athletically inclined.
One such young person is Phiona Mutesi, who lives in the slums of Uganda. In 2005, 9-year-old Phiona was drawn to the chess program for the free bowl of porridge being served. Intrigued by the look of the chess pieces, Phiona captured a love of the game. By age 11, Phiona was the Ugandan junior champion and by 15, the national champion. In 2010 and 2012, she travelled to Siberia to compete in the Chess Olympiad, becoming the Woman Candidate Master. Phiona aspires to be a grandmaster of chess one day. Last fall, I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet Phiona, now a 16-year-old. In a shy, unassuming manner Phiona explained, “Chess teaches me to never lose hope. I’ve learned that in anything you desire to do—chess or something else—be diligent. You never know; that could be the one thing God uses to change your life.” These are indeed compelling and wise words from a teenager who reminds us to not lose hope no matter what obstacles we face in life. When we diligently give our best, God can do surprisingly amazing things in our lives. Disney has bought the rights to a movie of Phiona’s life, so stay tuned.
Alumni Award Recipients to be Honored at Homecoming
This Homecoming we will honor three individuals for their accomplishments and service at the Homecoming brunch. Thanks to those of you who submitted nominations for this year’s honorees.
Rachel Goble is president of the SOLD Project and associate producer of the film “SOLD.” Her vision and mission to see every child given the opportunity of education and the ability to achieve their dreams comes from her deep commitment to the belief that every life is valuable, priceless and worthy of its calling.... Rachel’s degrees and experience in business and nonprofit development work gave her the expertise and insight to fight child trafficking through innovations in prevention, education and mentorship.
Rachel and the SOLD Project believe in the power of story, and after producing the film, “The SOLD Project: Thailand” (2009), Rachel traveled to more than 27 cities in the United States to share the hope that exists in prevention. Today, thanks to the power of these stories, The SOLD Project sponsors 140 at-risk students in Northern Thailand and has seen the dropout rate fall from 50 percent to 5 percent in the past five years. SOLD was the first-place recipient of Nike’s GIRL EFFECT Award in 2013 and appears on the Top-Rated List of Great Nonprofits.
Rachel graduated from Westmont with a degree in economics and business and from Fuller Theological Seminary with master’s degree in cross-cultural studies. She has spoken at dozens of events and universities, including the National Prayer Breakfast, about the importance of preventing the exploitation of children. In 2012 she was recognized as a finalist for the Edna Social Justice Award, which honors women leaders in the social justice movement.
Rachel also has a passion for the intersection of justice and the arts and owns Rachel Goble Photography.
Brent ‘85 and Allyson (Brubaker) ‘85 Searway attended Westmont and participated in Potter’s Clay for two years and never met. Their final year of college, they met, fell in love, served together on Potter’s Clay and got engaged. Allyson said, “I knew I loved Brent when I saw him serving in Mexico.” Brent felt the same way about her.
... After marrying, Brent felt God moving his heart toward mission work outside the United States. Allyson disagreed. She told him, “If God wants me in missions, He will have to tell me himself.” Brent wisely answered, “I believe that is true,” and waited. And then God told Allyson Himself.
In 1993, Brent and Allyson had their second baby, sold their house, resigned from their jobs as teachers, sold their belongings, packed up hillbilly-style and moved to Ensenada, Mexico, to serve at a multifaceted, interdenominational ministry called Agua Viva Ministries with the goal “Reach Mexico for Christ.”
Brent and Allyson have completed 20 years of ministry in Mexico. God has allowed them to see many things during their time there: thousands of Mexicans making decisions for God through the Mexican camping ministry; more than 20,000 Americans joining in a ministry with local churches through short-term mission trips; more than 550 Mexican nationals being trained at Agua Viva’s intensive Ministry Training Institute; and the seed of the Gospel taking hold in Mexico.
The Searway’s have served as directors of the ministry since 1993. At present, Allyson works as the academic coordinator of the institute, and Brent is an acting board member. Both serve as professors in the seminary. As many know, Brent has been suffering from a serious brain tumor for the past year and has been an amazing example of trusting in God and His purposes as he faces the challenges of his health situation.
Passionate for all to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, Brent and Allyson believe it’s amazing what happens when ordinary people decide to live fully for God. They also think there is no better or safer place to be than in the center of God’s will.
Jim Elliot said it best this way, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Words from Campus Pastor Ben Patterson
God has no grandchildren.
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
That statement reads like an epitaph on the graves of those who should have been teaching the next generation about the Lord. And it puts a chill in the heart of every parent and grandparent and member of the Westmont community who love these children. What if those who come after us don’t know the goodness of God too? Israel in those days must have been filled with nominal believers.
... This is a call to pray for the next generation and for the faith and faithfulness of those to whom the next generation is entrusted. What could be more important than to pray that those who follow us will follow the Lord too, only better? Psalm 78 is a call to arms and to prayer for the next generation.
“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” (Psalm 78:4-7)
Over the years, I have been impressed by the ministry Moms in Touch, a prayer movement that has seen God quietly change school campuses and students’ lives as it has summoned moms to “pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children.” (Lamentations 2:19) Who is more passionate for the faith of their children and for the integrity and faithfulness of those who teach them than moms? Or dads? History abounds with the stories of people like Susanna Wesley (the mother of John and Charles) and Monica (the mother of Augustine) who prevailed in prayer for their children. And history is different because they did.
Pray for our students. Pray for Westmont. Pour out your hearts for us.
Prayer: Dear Father, from whom your whole family in heaven and earth derives its name, empower Westmont to be a faithful teacher of the Gospel and faithful in prayer for the next generation. Put your Spirit in the hearts of those who come after us so that they would put their trust in you and no other.
New Resources for Alumni
In an effort to provide more relevant resources for alumni, we're pleased to announce the following new opportunities:
In these tough economic days, many colleges are working with companies to provide insurance to their alumni. After much consideration, ... we have entered into a contract with Marsh Insurance (whose representative grew up near Westmont) to provide basic insurance at a discounted cost to alumni. Insurance products include: Auto/Homeowner, Long-term Care, Health Insurance Exchange, AssistPlus and, yes, Pet Insurance. You will receive more information soon, including a link to a website.
Career-related webinars free to alumni will begin in October. We know finding employment can be tough, whether you’re looking for your first job or making a mid-life career change. To access more information, read about the exciting speakers and register for the first webinar in the series,visit the website. The first monthly career webinar is October 2, so be one of the first to register! Webinars are a free service to Westmont College Alumni. ... The first in the series, presented by Peter Weddle, a human resources consultant and business CEO turned author, focuses on career management. Soon you will be able to find more information and a schedule of speakers on the alumni page of Westmont’s website.
If you are not receiving the e-newsletter and would like to, please contact the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805)565-6056.