Alumni John and Sheryl Emra, recipients of the Seattle Pacific University Alumni Medallion Award, will be honored January 26 as part of Homecoming events on the SPU campus. The Emras are lifelong missionaries who followed God’s call to share hope with at-risk families and children. Just a few years after graduating from Seattle Pacific, the Emras moved to Honduras, where they learned the language and fell in love with Latin culture.
“We loved our time in Honduras. We thought we would spend the rest of our life working with these wonderful, gracious, and friendly people,” their website biography says. But God eventually called John and Sheryl back to the United States to support a different community—the Hispanic neighborhood of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles.
Nearly 30 years later, their impact on the families of Boyle Heights is tangible. Thousands of youth have attended their programs with the Los Angeles Community Center. The couple has developed a series of resources called “Life Is Full of Choices,” meant to encourage and equip others who are working in urban ministry.
Sheryl studied English literature at SPU and graduated in 1976. She later earned her master’s degree in leadership development and urban missions from Fuller Theological Seminary. John was a communications major and graduated in 1975.
Congratulations, John and Sheryl.