My name is Carson Yeager and I am from Dallas, TX. Here in two weeks, I will be graduating with degrees in Engineering Management, Information, Systems, Finance and Math. Basically, what that means is I am better with numbers than words, but here we go!
Growing up a member at HPUMC and living only five minutes down the road from SMU, I was aware that the church had a college ministry. However, what I wasn’t aware of at the time was how much the ministry would change and how much it would change me during my time at SMU.
I “joined” Wesley for likely the same reason most college students join groups and that was to meet people and hopefully find like-minded friends. Though the people I met through AARO and Mustang Corral were nice, they weren’t the kinds of friends I foresaw standing next to me at my wedding one day. It wasn’t until the first Tuesday of classes when I walked over to The Wesley House, alone, but excited, when I met people like Ryan Mendez, Laura Casey, Ali Wenzel, and many others who were truly welcoming and genuine unlike so many others I had met in days prior. From that point on, I was sold.
I joined Wesley looking for friends, but I found a family. A family that didn’t care how I got there but was glad I was there. It didn’t care what I brought to the table but was glad I was there. All those statements are just as true today as they were four years ago and though the family might be a few magnitudes larger; it is still a family that loves each person who walks through the doors. I thank God for leading me to walk through those doors, and I pray that more and more people will be led to do the same.
It’s impossible to summarize what Wesley has meant for my spiritual journey, but in short, it has taught me that our faith isn’t just a box to check or a line on our resume. It truly is a change of heart in which we live our life to glorify God, reflect Jesus’ love, and invite others into His kingdom. My understanding of this has been shaped every day over the last four years by each member of Wesley. From Andrew and Sarah and their devotion to this ministry even when the current state of Wesley House was just a distant vision. From the current seniors and their commitment to showing up week in and week out bringing their individual gifts to make Wesley what it is today. And from the underclassmen with their contagious energy and excitement. God is present on this campus, and Wesley House is bringing Him to the masses. I am grateful to have been a part of that mission.
Although everything is up in the air right now, I am confident that God has control and whatever the next steps are for my life, they will be good and will bring glory to His name. Sometime in the next few months I will start work with Deloitte doing business technology consulting. But until then, I plan to make the most of every day and hopefully see a little more of the world! If you’ve ever read or seen “Into the Wild”, that might be what the next few months look like until I start work except, I plan to have a happier ending.
For my final words and my “How to Wesley”, it’s simple, introduce yourself. This ministry doesn’t work if you don’t know the people around you and they don’t know you. Don’t worry about what comes after your introduction, that will figure itself out. The incredible connections, memories, and experiences I have had through Wesley all started with “Hi, I’m …” and have grown into late night in-n-out runs and conversations, camping trips in Arkansas, backpacking trips through Europe, being a groomsmen in a friend’s wedding and much more. Say “hi” and see what incredible things come after.
I will be eternally grateful for this ministry and all the incredible people that make it what it is. I can’t wait to stay in touch and see all of you soon!