Winter 2014

Wood on the Walls

By Jason Newell

When you step inside Biola’s impressive new Mosaic Cultural Center, the first thing you notice is all the wood. It’s everywhere you look: walls, floors, doorframes, cabinets, tables, desks, chairs. And none of it quite matches. On closer inspection, you find that there’s a lesson in the lumber. It’s been brought in from the far reaches of the globe — six different continents — bearing such names as Asian paldao, Hawaiian koa and Australian figured walnut. And though there are many different shades, grains, tones and textures, somehow they all work together in beautiful harmony.

The wood offers the center’s visitors a powerful illustration of the vastness and diversity of both God’s creation and God’s people — fitting for a campus space devoted to celebrating and exploring cultural diversity. It serves as a visual reminder that Biola students come from many different nations, and are called to go to all nations for the cause of Christ. That international call has been at the heart of Biola’s mission for more than 100 years, and it’s a prominent theme in the vision document for the next 10 years, the University Plan (biola.edu/plan). Over the next decade and beyond, one of Biola’s key aspirations is to cultivate competent and courageous graduates who are prepared to meet tomorrow’s challenges as cross-cultural, globally aware Christians. Biola wants to equip these students to work across cultures and continents, in any vocation to which God has called them.

In that spirit — and perhaps a bit like the wood on the walls — this issue of Biola Magazine offers a small glimpse into how God is currently using Biolans in diverse settings all around the world. Our cover package spotlights graduates on each continent (with apologies to Antarctica, unfortunately) who have followed the Lord’s call, be it in pastoral ministry, business, journalism or art. These remarkable alumni represent tens of thousands more who are impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ in untold ways every day.

Elsewhere in this issue, President Barry H. Corey writes about a recent visit to China and gives a look at his travels to build overseas partnerships; professor Andy Draycott shares about the cross-cultural perspective he brings to his students; and alumnus Lawrence Tong tells about his new role as international director of the prominent missions organization Operation Mobilisation.

Seeing all of these international stories together, I’m reminded of something Biola’s late President Emeritus Clyde Cook often used to say. Quoting diplomat George Macartney’s 1773 famed observation that “the sun never sets” on the British Empire, Cook noted that the same was true of Biola alumni: “Every minute of every day, the impact of Biola University is being felt somewhere in the world.”

May that impact continue to grow, all for the glory of God.

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Issue Highlights

  • World Tour

    From Paris to Kenya, meet graduates who are putting their Biola educations to use in a broad range of careers, cultures and contexts

  • A Master Maestra

    Alumna Julie McGough’s inspiring work with Spanish speakers earns her recognition as one of Los Angeles County’s top teachers

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