CAA Is Fired Up and Celebrating

December 07, 2015 | Larry Hiday

God's faithfulness was once again experienced at Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash., and it called for a celebration.

This past spring, the community and alumni came together to pay off the final loans for CAA's administration building. From the groundbreaking in 2008 to the Fall of the Debt celebration on Oct. 5, 2015, many miracles have occurred. Humanly speaking, the timing could not have been worse for constructing what was then determined to be a $6.4 million structure, as the economy took a nose dive just as construction began.

But God doesn't work from the same perspective as we do. When it looked like there would be no way to pay for the building based on human plans, God came through with His plans and the debt existed no longer. Thus a celebration was in order with three main objectives: to praise God for His faithfulness; to thank the community, alumni and supporters; and to tell the stories of everything God did to bring the school to this point so that future generations could hear those stories and repeat them to the next generation.

Reavis Belin, a teacher at CAA for 33 years before retirement, gave the welcome followed by a prayer of thanksgiving offered by Aaron Payne, CAA chaplain. The CAA handbells and choir, under the direction of Nita Yuros, added joyful sounds to the celebration. Intermingling with their songs were testimonies of thanksgiving by Dave Cannard, former board chairman, Mike Ciraulo, Battle Ground mayor at the time of groundbreaking; Danielle Farrell, alumna and parent of two CAA students; and Dale Lamberton, board member and parent of two CAA alumni. Lamberton ended his testimony by grabbing his guitar and having the audience join him in singing "Give Thanks." The keynote speaker for the evening was Jeff Jackson, CAA principal in the new building and alumnus who took classes in the old one.

Greg Jackson, CAA accountant and also an alumnus, witnessed the demise of the last $1.5 million in debt and had the joy of burning the promissory notes to the North Pacific Union Conference, thus bringing fire to the celebration. The evening ended with socializing and recounting the miracles along the way, tours of the facility and refreshments.

CAA is thankful to all of the Gleaner readers who had a part in helping the school reach this milestone.