Jeanette Chaffee – Class of 1968

chaffeeI graduated from Westmont College in 1972 and later earned a master’s degree in English as a Second Language. For two years I lived in Senegal, West Africa as a short term missionary. After returning to Oregon, I taught ESL for a number of years at the university level.

In 1986 I survived the mid-flight explosion of a terrorist bomb less than fourteen feet away from me. I praise the Lord for mercifully sparing my life. My new book, Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring Stories of Facing Impossible Odds, is available everywhere. I often talk about my story, “Terror in the Sky.”

I have appeared on 20/20, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, The 700 Club, and other television and radio shows. I’ve been quoted in The New York Times and Newsweek, and have written national magazine articles. I hosted my own radio show, Reflections, where I interviewed influential leaders. I regularly speak at conferences, churches, schools, and public events.

Bobby Schuller recently invited me to be his interview guest on The Hour of Power. It will be televised on November 30 or December 7.

Extravagant Graces is a book that changes lives. Nowhere else can you read these remarkable stories. Learn what haunted NFL player Donnie Dee, go behind-the-scenes into the life of the singer of the Happy Days theme song, read about missionary Don Richardson’s adventures with headhunters, find out what troubled author Shirley Dobson, discover what it was like being the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, and learn about the musical miracle that took fifty years to be revealed. These are just a handful of the 23 thrilling stories in the book.

Watch a one-minute video for the book:

Feel free to contact me about speaking at your event or ordering a signed copy of my book at or 503.612.9407. Follow me on and

Anthony Carollo, Class of 1986

carolloDebbie (Fennen) Carollo and I, high school sweethearts from the class of 1986, have had an eventful 2014 so far! Our two oldest children – Nick (24) and Bethany (22) – both married, Joe (21) graduated from college, and Emily (17) graduated from high school (after 12 years of homeschooling, Debbie feels like she graduated, also). In the spring, we moved from acreage in Valleyford, where we had been blessed to raise our four kiddos amongst hay fields and farm animals, to the Spokane Valley on a 1/2 acre lot. The beginning of September marked 27 years of marriage for us, and, last but not least, I made a major career change.

I had worked in the real estate title insurance industry for 26 years, a job which took our family down to Corvallis, Oregon (Go Beavers!) for a four-year stint and then back home to the Spokane area. Recently, I accepted a job in full-time ministry, serving as the new Executive Director of the Greater Spokane Association of Evangelicals (GSAE).

As an organization, the GSAE exists to support the Spokane area Body of Christ to make disciples in the Inland Northwest. My heart is to see the Church come alongside area ministries to reach the Spokane community with the Gospel and to serve one another in Christ. An interesting fact: the GSAE was founded in 1946 by the same group that established Northwest Christian Schools.

We would very much appreciate your prayers as they follow God’s leading in this new chapter of their lives. Thank you!

Evan Verduin, Class of 2002

verduinI have been happily married for seven years to my beautiful wife, Shelby, who is an incredible mother to our three daughters. I spend my days specializing in industrial design and architecture, but recently had the chance to put my architectural skills to work in the mission field volunteering my time in Uganda.

I recently had an amazing experience with an organization called Engineering Ministries International (eMi). eMi is a Christian organization of engineering and design professionals that serve other Christian ministries across the globe that are in need of professional design services. As an architect, I found it encouraging to work alongside other Christian volunteers in this field. Often, when “missions” are discussed in general terms, we evoke images of building houses or directly sharing the gospel with those needing to hear the Word. I found that sharing my technical and professional knowledge in the design and engineering professions to be an amazing opportunity to put my specific skills to work in the mission field. Students at NWC interested in these fields should also find the opportunity inspiring. eMi is a 100% volunteer organization with field offices all round the world.

While I hope to explore larger and longer commitments with the eMi organization, my most recent (and first) volunteer opportunity consisted of traveling for 10 days to Jinja, Uganda. There, we partnered with Amazima Ministries, a Christian non-governmental organization (NGO) that “feeds, educates, and encourages the orphaned, poor, and vulnerable in the country of Uganda.” Katie Davis, the founder of Amazima and author of the New York Times best-selling book “Kisses from Katie,” has fantastic passion for the Ugandan people, and an extraordinary story of trust in God. If you haven’t read the book, I still recommend it to everyone I tell about my trip. While in Jinja I worked alongside nine other team members, including water and waste water engineers, as well as grading, drainage and structural engineers. I worked alongside another architect from Australia to put our skills to the test. Our task, in 10 short days, was to design a secondary school for the Amazima children. At the end of our time in Jinja, we had completed a thorough site analysis, including all pertinent soil tests, and a fully developed schematic school design to serve approximately 1000 students. During this process, from meetings with Katie and her Amazima team, to worshiping alongside the Amazima children, I was amazed at the joy, trust and faith of these people in their Lord and Savior. Most of these children, if not for the Amazima sponsorship, would be homeless and suffering tremendous pain from malnutrition and disease, yet I will never forget the praise they had for their Creator. In the moment that I sat and shared my Bible with another Ugandan teenager, reading the same words of God during worship in a rickety bamboo church, the awesome power and omnipotence of our Lord became personal to me in a way that is hard to describe. He is not just THEIR Savior or MY Savior, but OUR Savior; we share in this same relationship! I know as a Christian this should be a simple concept, but I had fallen into a pattern of thinking that in the United States we are an exceptional people, somehow more blessed than others. At that moment, I became intimately aware of the personal saving relationship we share cross-culturally around the world with our Creator. A simple concept, yet a profound experience.

It is encouraging to know that specific skills students learn now and in the future can be put to use in the mission field. The gifts and talents endowed by our Creator can and shall be used to bring glory to our God, here and abroad! Praise the Lord!

Amelia (Fairburn) Hurn, Class of 2011

photo31In May 2014, I graduated from Azusa Pacific University in three years earning my Bachelor’s degree in English with a History and Creative Writing minor. I achieved the Dean’s List every semester and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In August, I married my best friend (and my sister’s husband’s brother) Gregory Hurn, we now live in Azusa, California. I am now working as a part-time Light On Learning tutor where I tutor English language learners. I also enjoy volunteering for Spring of Hope International (an organization that I have been involved with since I was 16) as their communications specialist working on their newsletters and website production. In October, Greg and I will be traveling to Adiedo, Kenya with Spring of Hope International where we will be a part of SOHI’s first team working with young adults during the leadership seminar and the crusade, and will have the opportunity to speak to over 200 students at the leadership seminar. We will be going to many of SOHI’s projects, doing some prison ministries, visiting schools and children’s homes, and doing a prayer walk through the community. We are enjoying Southern California, married life and our puppy, Lewis; all this while working on my first novel.