Meet Bailey Testerman! Bailey is a 2020 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Huntington University and the youngest member of the Forester Legacy Society, making her commitment during her Junior year.
I came to Christ when I was 7 years old and someone who was influential in me making that decision was an incredible man named Fred. Mr. Fred started what he called "Good News Club" at my primary school, where children could come talk about Jesus after school, while waiting for their bus to pick them up and take them home. I attended Good News Club for a couple of years and remember singing songs with Mr. Fred like...
"I am a C
I am a C-H
I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N
and I will L-I-V-E E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y."
Songs like that taught my primary school aged self that as Christians, we get to live eternally with Christ.
But sadly, the precious person who introduced me to that song passed away suddenly when I was in 2nd grade. Mr. Fred had stage 4 cancer, but didn't know about it until it was too late. He left this world much too soon and I was left with lots of questions. The most pressing of which was this: what happens when the person who introduced you to eternity turns out to have a body that's not eternal? How is a little kid supposed to process that? Well, Mr. Fred's funeral aided me in the processing of such a question. As a child, it was sad and somewhat scary to see my "Good News Club" leader in his final resting place. And as expected, there were very few dry eyes in the building, but those eyes didn't seem to be shedding sad tears. In fact, they looked to be quite the opposite. Mr. Fred's family and friends were wiping away happy tears as they looked back at the incredible life he had lived and imagined the incredible homecoming he must've experienced the moment he first saw Jesus face to face with brand-new eyes and a finished faith.
That funeral was a turning point in my life. I began to think about what it meant to leave a legacy. Specifically, a legacy like Mr. Fred's. As I grew up, I became driven by my desired legacy. At one point in my life, I even preformed a song called "Legacy" at local assisted living facilities. The chorus of that song is still meaningful to me today. It says:
"I want to leave a legacy,
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough?
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy"
It goes onto say what we love and hold onto in this life is often fleeting. So wouldn't it be nice if in the end we could somehow hang our hats on more than just the temporary trappings of this world?
The Forester Legacy Society is a special group of people. Because everyone in it jumped at the chance to hang their hats on more than just the temporary trappings of this world. You see, Huntington University Class of 2070 isn't going to hear about the funny jokes I made or the insightful quotes I shared while being a student there, but I truly believe they'll be changed for the better because of their education from HU. And if I can contribute to that kind of transformation, I'll be leaving a legacy in keeping with the love I've always wanted to be remembered for. That seems pretty special to me.