Together As One
By Al Reimche
Sunday evening about one month ago, over 350 ministers of the Oregon Conference met for an historic and awesome two days. Just so you understand, we do not have that many pastors in our conference, but when pastors and educators get together they are all referred to as ministers. I wish I could capture the excitement and energy of that event, but since I can't, let me share some of the stories that have resulted from those two days.
Tillamook Adventist School has worked hard for years to grow. The local Adventist church is very supportive, and many community students also attend. Two local churches have embraced the school and with the Pastors of those churches speaking highly of the local Adventist School, 20 additional students have registered for this year. God is Good.
Our 'Together as One' summit has united our team in many ways. At Livingstone Adventist Academy, the pastors and teachers (both fellow ministers of the Gospel) met to discuss ways to grow their common ministry. The pastors asked how they could help the schools, and the teachers asked how they could help the churches. It is that kind of spirit that will grow both our church and school families. Out of that spirit has come classrooms planning to adopt individual churches this school year, and the pastors planning for a school/church picnic, inviting all families including those with children not attending LAA.
With the second highest enrollment on record, Portland Adventist Academy opened its doors with 292 students! They have a freshman class of 79 students and have added two additional staff members to meet the needs. God is blessing in so many ways!
Chad Carlton, the pastor at a Vancouver church, is organizing a luncheon for teachers and pastors to talk about how they can better minister to His children. This teamwork is being seen all throughout the conference.
Our school in Grants Pass is growing and has added 9th grade this school year. Their pastors have added to their load by teaching a Bible class. What a blessing these pastors are to their school!
During the week before school started in Bend, Three Sisters Adventist School experienced a direct answer to prayer. Their head teacher, Jenny Neil, prayed for two additional students per day, and each and every day, God brought two new students. At the end of the week Jenny had enrolled 13 new students!
The hard work of Pastor Juan Pacheco, a giving church, and a scholarship made it possible for 20 of his church members to send their children to Tualatin Valley Academy, and Portland Adventist Academy.
The common thread through all of these stories is a shared goal—our church families, pastors, and teachers are bringing our children into a relationship with Jesus. It is such a pleasure to work with our churches and schools to reach this goal!
It doesn’t end there. The scholarship fund “Every Child Deserves to Know Christ” is currently helping over 150 students to be able to attend our schools this year. We are grateful for our church members who believe in Adventist education so much that they sacrifice to make these scholarship dollars available. There are literally tears of joy at many of our schools from grateful parents. Over the past two years, 501 new students have begun attending, or an increase of 127%, and 104 students are new already this year! God is doing an exciting work of bringing new young lives into our schools so that Jesus can shine through them!