I’m glad I went. That sounds silly to me. It was a great weekend. I met genuine people in pursuit of what I am in pursuit of also: Wholeness for myself, and help bring wholeness to others around me, all with God’s help.
Here are some of the specifics:
First day we arrived my friend Lance drove us around to show us some neighborhoods in Seattle. For those you that are unfamiliar with Seattle, people refer to their neighborhood like they would refer to the burrows in New York City. So Lance gave us a fly-over of different communities. That was great to see with our own eyes. There were parks all over the city. Families were out utilizing them, while we gave them the tourist gawk. Lance also gave a quick tour of Mars Hill Church in Ballard. He helps lead worship there. That night we went to the Crab Pot Restaurant & Bar. Its one of those places that you put on a bib and open shellfish with a mallet. It sounds like a woodworker’s shop with all the pounding.
I spent Friday morning interviewing at Mars Hill Graduate School [MHGS from now on]. Jen enjoyed Pike’s Place Market. Specifically she found a French Bakery that she enjoyed a chocolate croissant, a cafe au lait and a vampire book. The interview was the most non-interview-interview I’ve ever experienced. It was a discussion for 2 hours. The prospectives broke into smaller groups and were facilitated by faculty. The format was refreshing. I was a little bummed that we agreed more with each other than not. It was still an enjoyable and encouraging experience. All the interview groups met back together to debrief before lunch. In the afternoon we heard from a panel of students from various walks of life about what they do to create community. MHGS is a commuter school so it takes effort to be connected outside of class. After that we heard from Founding President Dr. Dan Allender. 50 minutes was not enough of hearing from him. We then took a tour of the building. We followed the tour up with dinner in the city with a current student and other perspective students. Then we went back to chill at Lance’s crib.
Saturday was another informative and inspiring day. We started things off with waffles at MHGS. I went from some organic, really gooey peanut butter on mine. Yes I had some from too Mom. This morning there were 3 alumnae from each of the degrees represented. It was wonderfully daunting to hear their experiences and how their live’s were transformed.
We were free to explore the city in the afternoon. Jen shared Pike’s Market with me. I know where I’ll be Christmas shopping in years to come. We saw the crazy and fun fishermen from Pike Place Fish Market. They yelled out orders in unison, and made fish heads move to scare people. We ate at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese with some other perspective students. I went with the Mariachi Mac & Cheese and Jen went with the Tomato & Basil grilled Cheese sandwich. After lunch we went to get some coffee and downtime at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Great coffee. The secret is that its roasted on location. Jen read while I wrote in my Moleskine journal. I really needed time to process all this life change ahead.
Saturday night we enjoyed dinner with current MHGS students in one of their homes. It was wonderful to share parts of our stories and have a meal together. The listened to our pain, worries, and what we longed for. We didn’t want to leave. We did because of our early flight.
Here it is. I went out to find “my people.” I found what I hoped I’d find. MHGS is a community of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I want to be fully self aware so I can be fully present with others. This is the only place that I’ve found that holds personal transformation as high as the mental exercise learning concepts and clinical schools of thought. I think it’s the only place that can help me become who God has been leading me to be for 15 years. Its that man that can do the kind of ministry God wants me to do. So if I’m accepted we’ll go. I should hear in December.
So we prepare. We pack. We pray.