By Krissy Barber & Angela White
Three years ago, high school students, Mitchell Powers and Josh Peinado, were inspired by the book Love Does. They decided to call the author, Bob Goff, to see if they could schedule him to speak at a large collaborative ministry event between the academies.
They connected with Goff; however, his speaking schedule was full that year and they were unable to arrange a speaking engagement for him. However, an idea had been planted.
Watching the strain on principals as COVID-19 raged through our communities, the Oregon Conference Education department reached out to Goff to see if there was a way he might be able to speak at a retreat with our Oregon Conference principals.
After having to postpone and reschedule several times due to COVID, Goff was finally able to fly up to Oregon for a principal’s meeting on April 18, 2022. Realizing that teachers could also greatly benefit from attending the meeting, the department worked with Goff to expand the meeting to all of our educators.
A praise team from Portland Adventist Academy opened the gathering. Powers and Peinado drove down from Walla Walla University to introduce Goff. Educator fans of Goff’s books got personalized signatures and found they loved him even more in-person!
With an outrageous laugh and serious appeal, Goff spent time sharing his latest passion and book, Undistracted. He encouraged the educators to live with purpose, on purpose, for purpose.
It was discovered that due to zoning in on other endeavors, this is Goff’s only speaking event for this year!
Goff challenged the educators, asking them questions like “What am I’m doing and where is Jesus in it? Why did I start doing this?” and “If you feel that your hope has disappeared, try to remember the last time you felt hopeful. When was the last time I really felt joy as an educator? What needs to change?”
Our teachers and principals finished the day feeling inspired to rekindle their passion for their chosen field and for their students, once again recognizing that showing Jesus to their students each day is just as important as teaching them the needed skills for everyday life.
Please continue to keep each of our educators and students in your prayers as they work hard to finish out the school year in the coming weeks.