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Monday, December 01, 2008

Westmont Re-opens!

The Westmont campus officially re-opened today after the Tea Fire of November 13th. It was a Monday and my day off. I have a long list of pre-wedding things I need to get done. But something tugged me to get dressed and walk up for the chapel service. It was filled to capacity with students, faculty, alumni, community, and rescue personnel. Campus Pastor Ben Patterson was at his eloquent best, exhorting us to grieve with those who grieve, but not as those without hope. He said that Hope is our unique song and Faith is the dance to that song. Then he challenged students to get back to work without complaining. His words were the ones that could only come from the Campus Pastor. The President Gayle Beebe opened his heart and shared what went through his mind in those early hours of the fire: his family and his students. Then the fire chief of the community gave witness to the amazing safety plan Westmont had in place for such a time as this. He is still amazed that not a sing life was taken by fire!
After a great choir anthem and "Lamb of God" we all processed to the old chapel building, which was miraculously spared, with the woods on either side of it charred black. There we stood and sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" like never before.

4 Comments:

At 9:43 AM , Blogger E Erickson said...

why is it called a 'tea fire'??

 
At 4:04 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

The fire began on a piece of property above Westmont called the "Tea Garden" because a former owner of the vacant property constructed a patio and arch on which to have tea and watch the ocean and/or sun set. Most California fire designations come from a location where the fire began.

 
At 7:52 AM , Blogger Rick said...

I'd wanted to watch the live webcast of chapel, but circumstances here have made it pretty hard to do things I've wanted to do in thelast week.

 
At 11:06 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

First, Anthony at small group tonight, mentioned that hymn was in his thoughts this morning and then I read this post. Also, my daily read for tonight was Hebrews 11, very applicable here

 

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