CAA Loves From the Inside Out

February 15, 2015 | Larry Hiday

These things I command you that you love one another. — John 15:17

Ellen White said, “In the highest sense the work of education and the work of redemption are one, for in education, as in redemption, ‘other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ’" (Education, p. 30). With that quote as context and the Dovich family facing a crisis, students at Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash., rallied to help, just as Christ “dropped everything” to help those He encountered who needed assistance. And when students begin to realize what can happen when they use their skills and gifts for others, great things happen.

The Dovich family consists of Adam, CAA alum and teacher at Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School (MGAES); Holly; and their little 2-year-old boy, affectionately known as Russell the Muscle. Russell was scheduled to have heart surgery during Christmas vacation. Knowing the costs were going to be expensive for the family, even with good insurance coverage, Jeff Jackson, CAA principal, suggested that CAA find a way to reach out to the extended family at MGAES, and the idea for a “Hoop-a-Thon” was born.

Students became involved finding sponsors to fund each basketball free throw made and practicing free throws to ensure maximum potential for pledges obtained. The event was scheduled for a one-hour time period on a Friday afternoon and anyone who desired to help was encouraged to come to the gym and shoot free throws. It was a busy place as all six of the baskets were used. The MGAES girls’ basketball coach, Laurisa Pearson, even brought some of her team to help. About an hour after shots began falling through the hoop, more than 2,700 free throws were tallied and more than $3,000 was raised to help the Dovich family.

If you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to love someone else you know. And if you can’t love someone you know, it’s going to be almost impossible to love someone you don’t know. So the CAA family wants to realize they can love themselves because Christ places such great value on them, and because they are loved they can be free to love others too. As they reach out to their constituent churches to help with the worship services and provide Christmas to 20 Head Start kids, they see the ripples of their love going out in ever-larger circles. That’s how you love people from the inside out. That’s a miracle.

And the surgery for Russell the Muscle? That was a miracle too.