Looking Through the Rearview Mirror
by Al Reimche, president, Oregon Conference

Each month I have the privilege of thinking back on the events of the previous month and have come to realize that without a rearview mirror, it is extremely easy to forget God’s blessings and keep charging into the next week or month. Here are some of the blessings and miracles I experienced this month.

I had the privilege of attending some of the meetings of the NW Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) at the beginning of the month and was blessed by the number of Adventist individuals representing businesses and organizations from around the Northwest. It was exciting to be around people who have an understanding and passion to be “members in ministry.” Seaside weather was at its sunniest best and I am aware of a few who, along with feeling a burning in their souls, experienced a burning of their skin.

Also at the beginning of May, I met with the Milo Academy board to address agenda items and hear reports of progress. One of the discussions included addressing some great opportunities to provide a healthy work-study program for our school. Our school has been blessed this past year with around 94 students. Given the fact that the previous year had seen a record number of students graduate, this student count was a positive indication that Milo still is a valued and viable academy in our Conference.

One report shared at the meeting with Milo was the completion and inspection of the bridge accessing the Academy campus. As you may have been aware, last year we received an engineer’s study indicating that the bridge was only capable of handling cars and small pick-up trucks under five tons. This sent a shock through the campus because all the food supply, heating fuel, and student buses can only access the campus over the bridge. After some rewelding, rebuilding, and reassessing, we are happy to report that the bridge is again capable of carrying up to 94,000 pounds. At the beginning of the year this seemed like an insurmountable outcome, but God blessed both with experienced welders willing to take on the task, and supportive engineers willing to address our needs. Though we still see the need to begin plans for providing a second access to the campus, we are not as pressed as before to accomplish that immediately.

I was also blessed to experience the Pathfinder Fair again this year. Over 900 pathfinders and staff took part in the day-long fair held in Albany, Ore. Over 100 9th through 12th grade students were part of this group, indicating their continued involvement with Pathfindering in our Conference. Another blessing was seeing 30+ youth step forward indicating that they had been baptized into God’s family this past year. I praise God for each of these students and the work done by churches, families, schools, and Pathfinder leaders in leading these youth to Jesus. As at previous Pathfinder fairs, the booths describing the skills and honors were very well done. It was interesting to have the students share at each of these displays what they had learned. And then there was the live-streaming video work, coordinated by our Communication Department, but directed, filmed, and reported by our youth and young adults, was an additional blessing. It is evident that our youth are not some coming phenomenon years from now, but are willing, trained, inspired and active now. They are the church of today.

These are just three of many events from this past month, but without that backward glance, that look in the rearview mirror, those blessings would easily be forgotten.