“Our job is to love people,” he said by phone Monday from his home in San Diego.
Goff, 58, will bring his uplifting message to Everett next month. He is scheduled as guest speaker at the YMCA of Snohomish County’s 57th annual Good Friday Prayer Breakfast. The event, from 7-8:30 a.m. April 14 in the conference center at Xfinity Arena, is a tradition recognizing the YMCA’s faith-based history while bringing relevant themes to the community.
“The ‘C’ in the name YMCA stood for Christian,” said Jeff Judy, chairman of the organization’s prayer breakfast task force. With the annual Good Friday breakfast, he said, the Y “looks back at its foundational roots.”
“We have worked over many years to have a speaker who is motivational, encouraging, and appropriately reflective on the day we are honoring,” said Judy, who added that he has read “Love Does” many times. “I have read it in small groups and with each of my four teenage boys. It is such a fun, inspirational and encouraging book,” Judy said.
The title of Goff’s Christian book also is the name of a nonprofit human rights organization he founded. Love Does grew from an effort he began in 2003 to educate children in conflict zones. Originally known as Restore International, Love Does now has projects in Uganda, Somalia, Nepal, India and Iraq.
The author said Monday he has used earnings from his 2012 book, “Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World,” to support the schools and safe houses. He also has pursued freedom and justice for women and children at risk of sexual exploitation.
“We have helped 1,000 kids. We feed, clothe, house and teach them all about Jesus, and just about loving people,” Goff said. Love Does has worked with Uganda’s judicial system in bringing cases to trial. Goff is also honorary consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States.
He has taught at Pepperdine University School of Law and had a law practice in Gig Harbor. “I don’t practice law anymore in the state,” Goff said. “I try cases against bad guys overseas.”
Goff has been involved in Youth Life, the nondenominational Christian ministry for teens. He met his wife — he calls her “Sweet Maria” — when they were Young Life leaders. Maria Goff has written her own book, “Love Lives Here.”
About 400 people usually attend the YMCA prayer breakfast, most from the business and civic community. Judy suspects it may draw a larger and younger crowd. Area Youth Life groups have been notified that Goff will be speaking.
“I’m just Bob,” Goff said. When he comes to Everett, he said, “we’re just going to talk about loving people. We’re all just learning how to love our neighbors.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The YMCA of Snohomish County has scheduled its 57th annual Good Friday Prayer Breakfast for 7-8:30 a.m. April 14 in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Everett’s Xfinity Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave. Guest speaker is Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” Tickets for the breakfast, which is not a fundraiser, are $40 per person. Reservation deadline is March 24 (if not sold out earlier). For tickets, go to www.ymca-snoco.org/pb or call 425-374-5732.