Alan Hamilton’s (’83, M.Div. ’87) love for engaging the local community has led him to “great and exciting work” as the executive director of the Clark County Food Bank in Vancouver, Wash. Under Hamilton’s leadership, the new $4.2 million facility supplies 29 local agencies with about 4 million pounds of donated food per year. Hamilton said his mission is not just to feed people, but to alleviate the root causes of hunger and give people independence. The food bank also offers opportunities for education in cooking, nutrition and gardening, and harvests crops from a 10-acre farm. “When somebody cooks or grows food, there’s a sense of ownership and pride that translates into other areas of their lives,” Hamilton said. “That’s pretty fun when you get to see that happen.” Hamilton said he has plenty of opportunities to talk about Christ on the job. “When people are in need, their hearts can be soft,” Hamilton said. “You’re pretty close to the Lord in those spaces.” Hamilton and his wife, Stacy, have three children: Kyle, 21, a junior at Biola, Danny, 18, and Madison, 14.
Joy Gage (’50) knew she wanted to be a writer from age 8. After graduating from Biola in 1950 with a degree in Christian education, she began her writing career by submitting articles to Christian magazines. Gage has since published 17 books, and has three currently being reviewed, including Wisdom Calling, a devotional on the book of Proverbs co-authored with her husband, Ken. Gage said she drew on her many years of ministry to write Wisdom Calling. “We spend all our time teaching our children how to please God, and we forget to teach them the things that he wants them to know to make their own lives go smoother,” Gage said. Some of Gage’s books were inspired by witnessing families’ struggles within the church. Her most popular title has been When Parents Cry, a book for those struggling with rebellious children. She has also written four books on the life of Moses and five fiction books set during wartime. “When you see the sales report and you know ... people are buying it and you’re touching lives somehow through sitting at home behind a typewriter or a computer, that has been extremely rewarding,” Gage said. The Gages had three daughters, one deceased, and have three grand- daughters.
Stephen Tierney (’95) did not see himself as a runner. “I never ran in high school, I never ran in college ... I played golf in high school, and we made fun of the runners,” Tierney said. But in 2008, he set a goal of running a marathon. He started training four days a week, alternating five minutes of running with five minutes of walking, adding time until he could run for 30 minutes straight. “Each week I was able to tell myself, ‘You’ve done something you’ve never done before,” Tierney said. “Six months later, I was able to run the whole 26.2 miles.” Tierney found his newfound confidence helped him overcome obstacles in other areas of his life. In 2009, he started coaching residents of the Orange County Rescue Mission to run a half-marathon. Today, he vol- unteers for his nonprofit organization, Up And Running Again (www.upandrunningagain.com), training underprivileged runners in Sacramento, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Anaheim and Tustin. “We want people to not only run, but we want them to grow closer to God through this, because it’s really through his strength that they can do it,” Tierney said. Tierney and his wife, Michelle (’91), have three children: Alyssa, 12, Andrew, 10, and Avarie, 8.
Col. Mark Harris’ (’87) love of his fellow service men and women and expertise in the medical field has led him to a high-profile position caring for the nation’s wounded warriors. Since his graduation from Biola with a degree in biology and chemistry, Harris has served all over the world in the U.S. Army as a physician and officer, including 13 months in Iraq in 2003-2004. Today he leads as the director of clinical and business operations at the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical in Washington, D.C., overseeing 12,000 employees and their care of combat-injured casualties. Harris directs all areas of warrior transition, from helping amputees learn to use artificial limbs to praying for the troubled and connecting soldiers with educational opportunities. “There is no limit to the impact that Christianity has on my day-to-day life,” Harris said. Harris stressed that taking care of the nation’s wounded is a lifelong commitment. “Our responsibility to these guys ends when their life finally ends,” Harris said. “How do we give them the most normal life possible?” Harris is also preparing to teach at Leland Theological Seminary this fall. Harris and his wife, Nancy, have five children: Anna, 18, David, 15, Rachel, 13, Stephen, 10, and Sarah, 5.