A shock of silence falls over the student body as Mr. Undseth gives his testimony in chapel. Nearly every student's mouth is agape, shocked to hear a godly man admit to being a terrible sinner.
Mr. Undseth sits quietly in his classroom, gathering his thoughts as we start to debrief his chapel presentation. He recalls memories that guided him to Hillcrest, sitting on a black chair in the middle of the classroom where he guides students to understand Jesus.
Mr. Undseth's fondest memories are from high school. A momentary pause brings a faint sound, as if there is a crack of the bat in his classroom. Mr. Undseth stares into the corner, it is as if he were watching the baseball soar over the fence. An imaginary crowd roars in excitement as Mr. Undseth seems to picture himself running the bases with his head held high. He quietly remembers the thrill of baseball and his track to success. High school was a place of struggle. A place where he battled pride, what he considers mankind's worst sin.
"I wanted to be popular, and it wasn't popular to be a Christian," Mr. Undseth continued. He earned top scores in weekly tests in school. Pouring over books and constant studying moved him into a top rank academically. He prepared for graduation with the valedictorian speech in his head, an honor everyone in his Christian high school knew he would receive.
His studies led him to research Jim Elliot. Mr. Undseth didn't stand up for Christ, opting to be liked by everyone. But his appreciation for Elliot formed a type of mentorship, something that changed Mr. Undseth and redirected his valedictory speech.
"It struck me...Here's Jim Elliot taking arrows, and people are going to make fun of me for being a Christian?"
It became apparent to him that if someone was willing to die for their faith, he should not let his own pride get in the way of showing his faith to others. He then started standing up for his faith at school, and even though people teased him, he was unfazed by what they thought of him. Mr Undseth's faith formation in high school directed him to Hillcrest, where he continues to be a faithful messenger for Christ to this day.