Finnish Power Walker Baptized in the Willamette Student Shares his Zeal for PAA . . . and God

Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) rejoices in the baptism of Derek Lange, a Finnish exchange student who attends PAA. Lange’s trip to Portland actually began 20 years ago when his mother, Brigitta Rantanen, traveled from Finland to spend her senior year at the academy. During that year she met and later married Jack Lange, also a PAA student. They established their home in Finland.

Lange says that he has wanted to attend PAA for several years. Using the argument that his mother had done the same thing previously, he was finally able to convince his parents to allow him to attend for his senior year.

Lange had been thinking about being baptized for some time, but spending the weekend at this year's Oregon Conference Bible Camp, and studying about God’s saving grace with Les Zolbrecht, PAA’s chaplain, brought him to this decision.

His baptism was performed by Zolbrecht in the Willamette River. Since he is from Finland, Lange thought nothing of the Willamette’s water temperature in late October, considering it only a mild inconvenience as he publicly revealed his commitment to the Savior.

Lange brings a unique accomplishment to PAA. He holds the Scandinavian record for power walking for his age group. He states that if he had competed here in the US, he would have beat the US record by two and one half minutes.

Lange would like to continue studying here in the U. S. He would study chiropractry and then return to Finland to establish a practice.

December 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference