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2003 Annual Report - Azusa Pacific University
[A Guardian of God’s Work]  
[Passing It On]  
[A Matter of Gratitude]  
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A Guardian of God's Work  

Purpose motivates. God’s purpose motivates miraculously.

Chris Simning, M.A. ’99, discovered this freeing truth a few years ago on his personal, often painful, spiritual journey. Afflicted with a debilitating neuromuscular disease, Simning is anything but a victim. After earning his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy at APU, he immediately jumped into the field with energy and enthusiasm, but soon realized God was calling him to other work.

“I had been speaking at churches and camps, telling my story and ministering to others,” said Simning, “People started telling me they saw my passion when I spoke. That’s when I began to understand the gift God had given me.”

Less than a year later, he stepped out in faith and charted a new career path. Now a full-time motivational speaker, Simning travels the globe sharing the faith-strengthening events of his life. “It is amazing how the Lord has used my trials and pain to encourage others,” he said.

Much of what he learned about communicating God’s love Simning credits to the model he found at Azusa Pacific. The selflessness and generosity he was shown and the lifelong relations he forged, keeps him deeply connected to his alma mater and deeply grateful. “The way people gave to me has made me want to give back and give to others,” he said. “As an APU student, I saw a godly community like no other. The professors do much more than merely show up for work, they pour their lives into their students.”

But Simning’s respect for Azusa Pacific is about more than just supporting the present. He wants to be a part of the university’s future. “I want to see APU expand its horizons, always willing to take risks and step out of the comfort zone,” he said. “That’s when growth happens – it’s a matter of trust.”

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