MBU ROTC Grad Leads On

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of MBU’s ROTC program, Captain Joseph Furnari (’12) delivered a message in chapel about true satisfaction. He read from Jeremiah 2:13, which shows the children of Israel forsaking God and looking for satisfaction apart from Him. Furnari shared several experiences from his own life and his realization that only Christ can truly satisfy.

Choosing MBU

As a young boy, Furnari dreamed of being in the Army and enjoyed running around in the backyard pretending to be a soldier. After graduating from high school, he chose to attend MBU and joined the ROTC program.

Maranatha’s ROTC program exists to equip students with leadership skills they can use for the rest of their lives. Students take ROTC classes while pursuing a regular college degree, and upon successful completion of the program, cadets become commissioned officers in the United States military.

At MBU, Furnari pursued a degree in Physical Education and Health and progressed successfully through the ROTC program. He also graduated Armor Officer Basic Course, Army Reconnaissance Course, Army Airborne School, and most recently, the Adjutant General Captains Career Course.

“I can without reservation say that God used my tenure at MBU to prepare me for the complex and dynamic challenges I would face in the military,” shares Furnari. “My education classes developed and refined my communication and interpersonal skills, while my coaching classes taught me how to build and lead effective teams.”

Setting the Standard

Instructor Derrek Schultheiss shares, “Furnari and two other individuals were part of my first freshman class when I came to work at MBU full time in 2007. I consider them my ‘dream team.’ They definitely set the bar high for all other Cadets who followed them. All three were top scholars, athletes, and leaders.”

“I trained, and I worked as hard as I could with my fitness and grades,” says Furnari. “Everything seemed to be going my way when I commissioned as an Armor officer. I loved it, every minute of it.”

But Furnari’s life changed drastically during a unit activity when he herniated a disk in his lower back.

“Almost as painful as the shooting and burning sensation in my back leg was the pain in my heart as I saw my cistern, my dream, splashing before my eyes and starting to fade. Over the next three years, God slowly pulled the blinders away from my eyes, and He allowed me to see my cisterns for what they were, broken and empty.

I loved PT and wanted the honor of people thinking I was something. I thought I knew what was best for me. But all these cisterns were broken and empty. I was never going to be fit enough, strong enough, or fast enough. There would always be someone who has been in the military longer than me.

Through all that, I learned that Christ is enough. He taught me that I could be okay with my weakness if it means that I get to experience and glory in God’s strength. He taught me that I do not have to rely on my own understanding and wisdom for the future. Rather, I can trust in the One who called me and set me apart before the foundations of the world. He taught me that Christ is enough.”

Finding New Direction

Since his injury, God has given Furnari a new direction. He is currently on orders to serve as a battalion staff officer (S1) as part of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY.

“My daily duties will include personnel readiness management, personnel accountability, strength reporting, and executing essential personnel services for the battalion. I will also play a pivotal role in postal and casualty operations when in a deployed environment.

Overall, Furnari thanks the Lord for his time at MBU and His direction in his life.

“I cannot over-emphasize the impact that godly friends, classes, chapels, and dorm supervisors had on my life. I thank God for my time at MBU and would strongly encourage those looking at higher education to consider if MBU is for them.”

So what cistern are you laboring on? What are you looking for in life? Find it in Christ. Like Furnari, boldly claim, “Christ is enough!”

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