Josh Grote will always be Goli to me. Even though he chose to be named after medieval educated traveling singers, his nickname worked in the “golly gee” sense also. Goli is always fun to be around…as long as he isn’t mad. A man of passions, his weakness of a hot temper is made up for by his strength of enthusiasm and energy. Goli knows what he wants and doesn’t settle for anything different. The world needs some strong-willed personalities like Goli’s to make decisions and stick to them.
Goli’s other strengths are his extensive knowledge of biblical theology and his incredible singing voice. A pre-seminary music major, he could always contribute to our 20/20/20 meetings with song leadership and devotional insights. It was almost like having a pastor (and a professional singer) on staff. Goli was always striving to improve himself. He was afraid of heights, so he volunteered to set up the high ropes course. As I was setting up the other half of the course, I watched him struggle, panic and then overcome. I decided not to tell anyone about his struggle in case he was embarrassed. But Goli didn’t let pride get in the way of an opportunity- he turned the experience into a campfire devotion to share what he’d learned.
Goli can be dramatic at times, to the entertainment of all. Staff members love retelling the tale of when Goli accidentally fell into the fishing pond, or the time when his truck got stuck in the mud. He takes it in stride.
Someone once compared Goli to Dwight Schrute from The Office. I sort of saw it and laughed. But having had some great conversations with Goli on a hike to Stone Cabin, drives to town, and after campfires, I know he has a much better ability to relate to people and great ambitions.