“Giving that amount was a no brainer,” said senior nursing major, Katie Miesner, after her dad passed away from cancer in 2017. She and her sister were the benefactors from her dad’s estate, and in 2018 she tithed $38,000 to the Wesley Foundation, giving us the ability to create what we now affectionately call “Miesner’s Porch,” in memory of her father.
Katie came to WT in 2014. She served on the Guest Care team, then as the team leader. She took pictures for our Comm department, was a leader for the Wesley Woman’s Fusion Group, took two consecutive mission trips to Kenya, and also to Haiti with us. She was on our Student Executive Board for two years and was mentored by our Associate Director, Traci Logan.
When asked why she gave so much, she said it is because she loves the Wesley. “The Wesley is the people. Those people are a foundational part of my life. I grew up knowing Jesus, but it wasn’t till I got to the Wesley my freshman year that I found deep intimacy with God. I came alive here, and my relationship with God became more than just routine. I saw that God was real.”
Sadly, in 2017 her dad seemed completely fine one day, but when he slipped on the ice and had a hard time recovering, decided to go to the doctor where they found cancer had already taken hold of his bones. Within 28 days, Gregg Miesner passed away.
When we asked Katie about naming the pergola area, we mentioned “Miesner’s Porch” as one of the options. She said it was such a “God thing,” because she remembers her home in Spearman where her mom and dad would sit on the porch, and on many occasions, would be up till 2 or sometimes 4 AM talking with people. Her mom led many people to the Lord on that porch. Her dad, although quiet, was always a presence there as well.
“It’s crazy because where I first remember experiencing Christian community was on that porch, and now The Wesley that has meant so much to my journey will have that kind of welcoming place to create new forms of community like my parents did.”
Miesner’s Porch sits right off of 26th street, in front of the offices, and right next to the front door. It is lit up at night and has a fire pit and new benches to sit around and talk. Our desire is that our leadership students will feel a calling to sit out there at various parts of the day or night and interact with people as they walk by and invite them into the community of the Wesley.
Miesner’s gift also allowed us to get our pickup truck to haul our Tupos trailer, and four industrial tables on our back patio. Miesner’s Porch has been several years in the making, and has finally been completed for the 2020 fall semester outreach season.