We learn in Isa. 43:1 that we have been called by name. “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.’”

This Bible verse reminds me of the story of Gideon. Gideon clearly heard and answered God’s call, but where did he learn to recognize God’s voice? Where did he get the courage and faith to answer in the face of such adversity? I think that he received some training.

My parents decided that my three older brothers and I would get an Adventist education. We did not have a choice. My parents decided for us. We did not have much money when I was growing up and my parents could not afford to send us to an Adventist school, but they did it anyway. It never occurred to them to do otherwise. In fact, at one point all four of us were in elementary school at the same time. They were determined that we would learn to hear and answer God’s call.

It was not easy, but they made it a priority. I wanted the latest toys and new clothes; my parents wanted an Adventist education. I wanted our family to have the nice things that other families had, but my parents wanted an Adventist education. When one of my brothers was expelled from school, the local public school was not an option. My parents did not give it a thought. Instead, my father sold his coin collection and cherished guitar so that he would have enough money to make the long trip with his son to an Adventist school that would accept him.

I must tell you that my parent’s commitment to an Adventist education has made a difference in my life. I learned to hear God’s call and to answer. I am not Gideon,

but I learned to put my trust in Him and not earthly possessions or fellow human beings. I learned that he is there for me during my darkest hour and during moments of triumph. I learned that He sees value in me and that I have purpose. I learned that He has called me by name. Even if it appears that everyone else is more talented and gifted, He has a plan for me. I learned all of this while attending an Adventist school and it has made a difference.

Adventist schools are eager to teach your children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces to hear and answer the call. We live in a difficult time with troubles all around us. Your children need an Adventist education more today than ever before. They need every opportunity to learn about Jesus and have teachers who have a Seventh-day Adventist worldview answering their many questions. I urge you to make the decision to send your children to an Adventist school if one is available to you. It makes a difference. It really does.

My father died eight years ago, but he and my mother gave me a gift. My parents gave my brothers and me the legacy of a Seventh-day Adventist education that will last for an eternity. What more could we want than for our children to hear and answer God’s call like Gideon did?

Jeff Bovee is education superintendent for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.