here's the letter that i sent out with my graduation announcements. hopefuly it gives you some insight into what's going on in my life.
hello all, in case you don’t remember, (and i don’t blame you) i’m jake demaray, i’m 23 and now a recent graduate from montana state university with a degree in mechanical engineering. the reason i’m writing this is because, well let’s face it, i haven’t really been around much for the last couple years and i really wanted to update you on what God’s been doing in my life so far and where i think he’s taking me in the future. i actually don’t have a computer at the moment and so i’m writing this in segments on barrowed laptops at various coffee shops. so if it seems a little scattered that’s why. anyway…
where to begin? well we can start with school. i graduated from msu in december with a degree in mechanical engineering. a feat that i still really haven’t come to grips with. me, a college grad… and in just under 5 years. this last summer i had the privilege to partake in an internship with the boeing company out in the seattle, washington area. it was quite an experience. i worked for the interiors group for the boeing 787 dreamliner, working with the testing and certification of airplane monuments. to everyone who doesn’t work at boeing, what that means is that i helped test airplane closets, partitions, and walls for their new “airplane of the future.” during my brief stint at boeing i was able to see how big of a company boeing is and they took really good care of me. i lived in the basement of a beautiful house with a view many would hope to retire to with a friend from msu. after finishing my internship up in august i headed back to bozeman to finish up my last 8 credits of school. in november i received a letter offering me a full time position at the boeing company upon my graduation in december. i don’t want to give away the ending so i’m going to tarantino this and we’ll come back to this.
as for my personal life, i’ve been seeing a cute red-head who is currently finishing up her nursing degree as a montana state student on the university of montana campus in missoula. mid-april we will have been dating for three years and in may she will be graduating. what will happen next is still up in the air. the reason for this is that over the last few years God has been doing some incredible things in my life. i’d say his work has been a life-long process starting with how i’ve been raised. things really hit the high gear in college. after my freshman year i wasn’t exactly walking close to God or really seeking out his plan for my life. not to say i was doing bad things, i just wasn’t doing anything good either. this continued on into my sophomore year and on december 31st 2005 God really got my attention. i was disgusted by my apathetic existence and that night i had had enough of it. that night i put a stake in the ground. i told God that i was his. life didn’t change drastically or anything but i started getting more involved with a movement on the msu campus called campus crusade for christ. a month or two later an opportunity to go to new orleans and help people in the upper 9th ward (the area hardest hit by the broken levees) over spring break. this was a life changing week for me. i saw utter destruction. i helped people take everything they owned and pile it on the side of the streets to be picked up and taken to a landfill. it was a very sobering experience. but from there God started giving me what can only be called an eternal perspective. it can also be mentioned that it was on this trip that i met who could quite possibly be the future mrs. demaray.
the following summer i had the opportunity to go on a summer project to east asia. i say east asia due to security reasons but i’m sure you could figure out what country i’m talking about. God did great things in my life over that summer. he really gave me a heart for evangelism, discipleship, and foreign countries. that summer really took me out of my comfort zone and stuck me in the heart of a culture that doesn’t even have a clue that God exists or that he loves them and has a plan for each of their lives. i didn’t know it at the time but it was that summer that would begin to shape my understanding of the path that God has for my life.
over the last couple months of my last semester in college people began challenging me to really think about going on staff with campus crusade. at first this just seemed kinda crazy. i was going to school to be an engineer, i was going to make good money coming out of college, get married, start a family, and all that other “american dream” stuff. little did i know God was preparing my heart for a big change.
so that brings me to where i was four months ago, a college degree, a lucrative job offer, and no idea what to do with either of them. i mean on one hand i have a job with a very powerful company with endless opportunity. but on the other, i have an opportunity to give that up and serve my God and my savior. through the decision process it really all came down to one train of thought, “in 1000 years, which decision will still matter?” so i called up boeing and told them that i was unable to accept their generous job offer. so if i were to go through with this it wouldn’t start training or support raising until the end of april so i needed to find a job. due to the poor economic times those were unbelievably scarce in bozeman, let alone the rest of the us. so 3 months of searching later i was still unable to find a job and my savings was rapidly depleting. i was down to my last 30 dollars and rent was due at the end of the week. it seemed like my only choice was to move to billings and live with my mom and hope the job market was better there. i had my little toyota carolla packed with everything i own ready to make the 2 hour drive to billings and i got a phone call from wal*mart. a place that i had applied to like 2 months before and had completely written off. they wanted to give me a job. so i had a job but no place to live. well a married couple who just recently went off staff with crusade offered to let me stay in their extra bedroom as long as i need to, rent free. so what God provided, again, out of nowhere, so i started working part time at wal*mart hoping they would give me more hours. about another two weeks later i got called by an oriental establishment in town called mongolian bbq about an open dishwasher position. so i’ve been working both to make up for not being able to work for the last 4 months. and that brings me to today.
i’m sitting in a coffee shop on a barrowed laptop asking you to pray for me as i being this new chapter of my life. pray that i would never look back at turning down boeing as a mistake. pray that tabitha and i would be able to handle another year of not being able to finally get married due to life’s circumstances. pray that my support would come in and that God would continue to use this whole experience to strengthen my faith and that this story would encourage everyone who hears it. thanks for taking the time to read all this and i hope that it encouraged you. if you are going to be in the bozeman area on may 9th please join me for a reception after my graduation. and don’t feel like you have to come to the graduation itself, those are pretty boring. i pray that God would bless you as you bless those around you and in all things that his will would be done. thank you.