Each Day is a Gift
Carole Churma, an APU graduate and the first in her family to attend college, believes “We have today”—today to help, to observe, to love, to contact, to forgive, to accept, to witness and to give. It is Carole’s prayer that she will accept each precious gift of a day in this light.
After receiving Christ as her personal savior in a Billy Graham campaign in Seattle, Washington, her life changed the day she came to Azusa College in 1957. She was inspired on campus by mentors, faculty, fellow students and chapel messages to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Azusa prepared her to be a missionary teacher to Mexico for three years and a teacher in a private Southern California Christian school for 42 years.
The 2004 Christian school yearbook was dedicated to Carole because she did make each day a precious gift through her teaching and love for students. As written in the yearbook, “We have been privileged to watch Miss Churma live her favorite scripture verse out in front of us every day. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:3-4). Her faithfulness in teaching children day after day and year after year has been a testimony to us all.”
“God has blessed me by allowing me to keep in contact with many students who recall ‘rug time,’ when as young children they accepted Christ on that rug in the middle of the classroom floor, Churma said. “This was my favorite time of teaching.”
Since retirement, she has continued to teach in Arcadia in the “School after School” program for three hours a day, five days a week. She assists students with their work and teaches English to these primary-grade children who need care while their parents are working.
Her relationship with APU has never stopped since attending as a student, and she enjoys returning to campus, attending programs and events, and meeting with friends from her college days. Carole says her gift annuity investment with APU gives her a double return. She receives a guaranteed fixed income for life, but Carole believes the best return is that “when you invest in the lives of students through scholarships, you invest in eternity and you see the dividends.”
Carole likes to describe APU as dynamic because it continues to grow and keep true to its motto of God First. She’s found love, friendship, and loyalty through her “APU Team”—the Office of University Advancement’s Dennette, Dennis, and Hank, who listened to her needs and desires. As a result, her need for increased income was met through her gift annuity, which also benefits students. She knew this was the right investment and a small way of saying “thank you” to APU for the rich benefits she has received. “It is super to have a team that cares for you and loves you. They give me wonderful advice and treat me like royalty.”