[an error occurred while processing this directive] This article is from the EMU News Archive. The approximate date of publication was in July 2006. Current EMU news is available at www.emu.edu/news
About 10 years ago, while doing his morning exercises, Claude Good (C 54) suddenly realized that it would be "a shame to go through life and miss the whole point of it," so for many days after that epiphany, he prayed while going up and down the stairs: "God, I want you to be me, I want you to be me, I want you to be me." Claude wanted God to "replace the parts" that were not God, with "the nature of Jesus."
At age 77, Claude is still working to complete that transformation into Christ-likeness by exercising his mind, body and soul through ongoing service and personal growth.
Though Claude and his wife and college classmate, Alice Longenecker Good (C 54) had lived among the Triqui Indians in Mexico for 25 years while translating the New Testament into their language, he believed there was more work to do.
With intestinal worms a major medical problem for the children they served, Claude looked for ways to treat malnutrition caused by the roundworms that can devour up to 25 to 30 percent of the food eaten by a child daily.
His investigations resulted in the Worm Project (see www.fmc-online.org/wormproject), a medical treatment that, for about two cents a pill, can eradicate most parasitic worms in a child for up to six months.
Claude says, "We hope to have at least 12 million pills distributed by the end of 2006 in about 70 countries," Claude says. He hopes that his receiving EMU's "Distinguished Service Award" will "help publicize something that the world truly needs."
In addition to overseeing the Worm Project, Claude continues to work with international students from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, connecting them with families and churches in the Philadelphia area. He also has an international scripture ministry in the Souderton (Pa.) Mennonite congregation where he and Alice are members.
Claude says that his motivation for a life of service grows out of the Scriptures, particularly Deuteronomy 4:29: "If you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find Him" (New Living Translation).
"The work and service that I do is an outreach of Jesus Himself living within me," Claude states. While at a college, Claude was impressed by the number of professors who had ministries outside of their teaching roles, noting "their good examples of a life of service."
He wants today's college students to catch that same vision and to realize that "seeking God is way more important than anything else in life, because there is so much wonder and goodness there, and when we seek God, it seems that so many other things just fall into place."
As a resident of the Dock Woods Community, Claude lives mostly among senior citizens, where he sees "great potential" in his neighbors' ability to "develop a wider worldview" that in turn would enable them to encourage their grandchildren "maybe through piggy banks" to help children of the world so that they too can enjoy the benefits of life that their own grandchildren enjoy.
Developing such a worldview is particularly challenging in North America, notes Claude, because "the predominant characteristic is one of excess." He would like all people to "see the world as God sees it" and to realize that "God cares deeply about people in distress."
In addition to exemplifying a life of service, Claude also models continuous learning, both in theology and world events. He begins each day by listening to radio speakers such as Chuck Colson and Chuck Swindoll. Throughout the day he is on the Internet, looking specifically at "sources of a biblical nature," and in the evening he watches the news on television. He also reads the New York Times online every day and on occasion, Aljazeera, the Arabic-language news network. Claude chuckles, "I am still in the university, or maybe a Bible college!"
As part of his work with the Worm Project, Claude frequently addresses groups who might contribute financially; those audiences sometimes include school-age groups. His soft and easy manner, as well as his general appearance, has resulted in being dubbed "Mr. Rogers." He enjoys the comparison, and during this interview, Claude even took off his wingtipped dress shoes, just as the late Fred Rogers always did to start each TV show.
"The day may come when I can no longer walk, but as long as I can pull myself up to a computer, I can keep on working," Claude says. In the meantime, he wants to do whatever he can to let the world know "how wonderful God is and how much He cares, not just for the least of these, but for all of us."
-J. Eric Bishop (C 78), Souderton, Pa., is a long-time English teacher at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Lansdale, Pa.