Friday, October 31, 2008


I have debated about writing about the recent news from Cascade. Blogs and comment boards everywhere in our community are saturated with reactions to the news. It is true, some people are not bitter, but so many are and it makes me sad.

I hear words of anger, disbelief, mistrust and misunderstanding. I want to say, "But if you only knew..." and explain how hard it was to watch men who could barely speak through their tears when they told staff and faculty, to see the broken hearts and hear the explanation of how the pain-staking decision was made. I want to tell people that this terminal diagnosis has been delayed because remarkable and loving people have been performing financial CPR on a situation that began to give out years ago... that telling churches in the area about the difficulty would not really have helped... not in the long run. 

I feel hurt when I hear people say how angry they are... as if anyone had any other possible choice to make... I want to say that it would be like dumping money into trying to fix a car except the only parts you can find are the wrong parts. But you are determined to keep it running because it used to be your best friend's car and so you spend money... on the wrong parts. - It feels like they are angry at people like me, who have accepted this end, even though it is so sad. I am made to feel like some sort of traitor because I don't intend to jump on the "Save-Our-School" band wagon. - That is hurtful. And so I walk away... because I don't think they would hear me anyway.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, 
along with every form of malice."
Ephesians 4:31

I feel ashamed when I hear brothers and sisters in Christ using defeatist and hateful words . How in the world can we pretend to know what it was like in that board room, sitting among a group of people who wanted to see Cascade survive... knowing that there was only one choice to make... but no one wanted to make it? How can you assume the people who made those decisions are cold and pious people? 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) 

That Cascade is closing its doors is sad, this is certain. The ripple effect will be far reaching. Things will not be the same. - But to say that God's kingdom will be considerably and negatively affected by it is both faulty thinking and shameful. The Lord will not see His people lost in this. 

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13: 7&8

"Everyone grieves differently," my friend says. She is right. And people are grieving. I understand this. 

And so I make one request, to those who are grieving, who are peaceful, who are angry, who are hurt, who are searching for answers or making decisions about jobs and schools...

Please, please do not forget what we are and who we stand for.


Kristi said...

Very, very good post, Leah. Thank you for your candor and sensitivity. I have been proud of the way you have handled yourself this last week during such trying times. As you bravely speak the truth (I think that makes you a prophet), you glorify God.

Kristi said...

Leah - thoughtful and poignant. Thank you so much for sharing. Our prayers are with Cascade, the students, facility and staff. We love Cascade and our grieving also but the Lord is over all.

James Wood said...

Well, my name isn't Kristi, but I will comment anyway.

I agree. I have nothing but gratitude for OC and the people who have sacrificed so much for Cascade.

I posted somewhere that we need to remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood. OC is not the enemy, board members are not the enemy.

If there is a future for Christian education in the Northwest, it won't be Cascade College. For all of the good that Cascade has done, it has also proven to not be a viable option. That is ok. Just like when a church has to close its doors, that's ok. God uses institutions, but no institution will last forever. Not a single one of the churches planted by the disciples exists today, but God's people are still here.

Cheryl Russell said...

We are praying about this, especially for those of you who we know well and love lots.

ccasper said...

James Wood, My Leah and others that would read this. James is right. Cascade is and was a tool just like the physical "churches" planted in the first century that are now gone. But the faith of the remnant brought down through the age of the Jews, the kingdom established on the day of Pentecost, housed in the churches of the first century, and embraced at Cascade will go forward, it is strong and God will see it through to when Our King comes again. I continue to believe we as the Lord's church are in transition for a reason and I believe it is at His mighty hand. If we see Edifaces close that does not mean the body of Christ goes away. It means we look less like the old jewish temple and more like the body as Christ intended. It took persecution of the new Christians in Jerusalem to start the spread of the Gospel. Think about it.

Pull in Close, Hold to His Hand.

suzylu said...

well written my friend. thanks for sharing in the way you always do - heartfelt, sincere, genuine and with love.

tootlepip said...

Well written! How we respond during trials that come our way say a huge amount for who we are as christians. I have wondered what was going on with you and your family and am glad I found your blog. Take care.