Beta Upsilon Chi

Brothers Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro

Pt. 2

Written by Kyle Beyer

Kyle experienced the bond of brotherhood in a time when he needed it most. In the midst of pain and loss, he found himself surrounded by men that would pray for, comfort and support him. 

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is

born for adversity." - Proverbs 17:17

This verse from Proverbs is not just a simple observation, but it reveals the heart of true friendship. It's the difference between the guys who sit next to you at chapter and your buddies from high school.

In August my lifelong brothers and I summited the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro. The climb was far more difficult than we expected, but for me the true significance was symbolic.

Again, brothers are born for adversity. Ryan, Christian and I endured some of the most treacherous conditions on the planet to reach the summit. Likewise, these same guys also walked with me, mourned with me, and at times carried me through the darkest days of my life.

My dad died about two and a half years ago. He was my best friend.

At the time I was serving as an officer for BYX at the University of Michigan. Ryan served alongside me as Chaplain. When I got the first call from my mom relaying that my dad was in critical condition with pancreatitis, Austin and Ed, two fellow officers, immediately packed their things and drove me 8 hours through the night to Iowa. We had midterms that week, but they didn’t hesitate. They prayed through the night at the hospital and then drove back.

Later, I flew back to Michigan because my dad seemed to be more stable. Within a few days, I got another call that my dad’s condition was worse, and just from the look on my face during that call, Ed and Sam understood what was going on and they broke down in tears. Romans 12 says, "Weep with those who weep," and that’s what my brothers did.

Towards the end, brothers were calling and texting every day. They had their family, friends, and churches all praying. We had a GroupMe text with 150+ people that were following the updates and praying specifically. Finally, Ryan led a worship session in the basement of the BYX house. The guys were singing praises to God, pleading, begging, and crying out to God for healing. Ryan had the whole thing videotaped and sent to my mom. She was overwhelmed when she saw it. Galatians 6 says bear one another’s burdens - my brothers bore my whole family’s burdens.

Fast forward one week and twenty plus gentlemen dressed in suits with purple and white striped ties filed into the funeral.

The next fall Christian Pinkston came to Michigan to speak at our chapter. The other officers filled him in on what had happened. He reached out and was persistent. I explained where I was at, and he asked what I needed. I said I needed someone with some perspective, a mentor. He agreed.

Since then, our relationship has grown into something really unique and special. We talk most days, he’s welcomed me into his family and workplace, and God has blessed us with a number of crazy experiences together including a summer spent at his place.  I can’t get over his kids. I love them.

We’ve tried and failed to describe our relationship to other people. I think he’s still my mentor, but then we became friends, and sometimes I feel like his 6th kid. But one thing is for sure: we’re lifelong brothers.

Standing atop Mt. Kilimanjaro with Christian, Ryan, and Craig, I was honestly just surprised that the older guys made it up.  Kidding. But looking back, it is significant that BYX brothers of very different ages endured great adversity to reach the summit. As brothers we are called to walk with each other through times like these, and BYX has blessed me with lifelong brothers that were born for this kind of adversity.