Have I told you how I decided on Walla Walla University? In October 2023, WWU hosted Fall Classic, a time when varsity high school athletes from all over the west coast and even Canada come to WWU to compete in volleyball and soccer tournaments.
It was also Week of Worship here at WWU. Week of Worship happens each quarter, with the first series led by a guest speaker. It includes a daily sermonette between classes and concludes with a Friday night vespers. Many are in attendance at vespers, both college students and Fall Classic visitors.
Let’s jump back four years to early October 2019 to another Week of Worship and another Fall Classic.
At that time, I was dealing with deep depression. All my plans for the future seemed to have fallen apart and I was adrift with no idea where my life was heading. I’d been depressed for three years and there was no indication that it would wane any time soon.
My sister was in high school and got the opportunity to compete in Fall Classic despite being in junior varsity because one team from a sister school had dropped out of the tournament. So, she packed her bag and her best volleyball and made the trip east. I dragged myself out of the bed that had become my home and went along with her and our mom.
I had never seen the WWU campus before, nor any Adventist college campus, and I was curious. College was not in my future — at least that’s what I told myself — but it wouldn’t hurt to look. I didn’t end up seeing much of the campus, but I got to feel the energy of the place. I loved it.
The speaker that Friday night was Andreas Beccai, the new University Church lead pastor. I remember listening to his sermon on the prodigal son and being moved down to my core.
“This is a Godly place,” I thought, “I need to be here.” That night ignited in me a desire to attend WWU. A year later, I did, and it carried me out of four years of darkness.
Now, in my senior year at WWU, I marvel at all the stars that aligned to get me here. If that high school varsity team hadn’t dropped out, I wouldn’t be here. If I had chosen to stay in bed, I wouldn’t be here. If Beccai hadn’t moved my heart, I wouldn’t be here.
Last week was again Week of Worship and Fall Classic. Four years later, Beccai was again invited to speak. The pews were filled to the brim with people Friday night. And as I sat there, a fourth-year student at the school I love, I was reminded of the power of God.
Everything had come full circle. I remembered what God had done for me and how he moved the pieces into place to give me a future I couldn’t have dreamed. I am immensely grateful.
Interested in bringing a student to visit WWU? Learn more about getting a personalized tour, meeting with professors, connecting with financial aid advisors and how we’ll help cover travel costs at wallawalla.edu/visit.