Met Debt PAA Lines Up at the Starting Line

Constituent churches met at Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) to witness a high point in the school’s history Aug. 22. But before we get to that, you should hear what led to this moment of celebration.

It was just over five years ago that PAA hit its darkest financial days. An already shaky history of budgeting, along with several years of low enrollment, left the school in debt by over half a million dollars. This “depression” led to cutbacks, including the unfortunate dismissal of several valued staff members and even discussion of closing the school’s doors.

With their hearts full of faith and a little fear, a goal was set to pay that debt back to the Oregon Conference before January 2007. PAA is proud to report that not only has God been faithful to meet their needs during those dark days, but He has also blessed them beyond their expectations.

On Aug. 22, Brian Gosney, PAA vice principal of finance, presented Randy Robinson, Oregon Conference vice president of finance, with a check for the remaining $118,000 of the original debt. “Not only is the debt met,” said Gale Crosby, PAA principal, “but we’ve managed to put $400,000 in reserves, which means we’ve met the North American Division’s recommendations!"

Romans 13:8 (NIV) tells us to “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…." It is by this command that PAA wants to live and operate each school year. The school exists to help build Christ-centered and character-driven young people. The staff and faculty feel that the most effective way to teach this to their students is to live by example. Their prayer is that this met debt is a lesson to young people throughout the Oregon Conference. A paid debt is freedom, not just financially, but spiritually as well. It frees the debtor to give more back to the world.

What does that mean in PAA’s case? For one, the race isn’t over yet. In fact, this paid-off debt has just poised the school at the starting line. Finishing requires good stewardship of time and money—from them and their constituents. Finishing the race only happens when we meet in heaven.

October 01, 2006 / Oregon Conference