Yesterday: In the 1950’s, a community of determined parents with a dream/ vision for Christian Education for their children, formed a board, engaged in unending prayer, seeking God’s leading, and after many long planning meetings, bought this property and built JKCS. They hired some teachers and enrolled students and in Sept 1959, with joy and thanksgiving, the school doors opened. 55 years ago….it was a school much like the public schools in educational standards, it was much like the public schools of the day in what kids looked like, it was a school much like a public school in community support- schools were the social hub of the community. So what was different? Well, each family had to commit to paying tuition (Education dollar stays with the public school system). Teachers and parents and supporters believed that every square inch of creation belongs to the Lord, and in every sphere of life, God is to be honoured and served. They committed to supporting a school that taught each subject through that lens. It was love for God and one another that drove these people. It took faith, determination and a lot of mistakes, failures and successes to keep the school going. By God’s grace, through the 60’s, the 70’s the school grew and grew and grew in so many ways. Then in August 1979, the tornado ripped through the school tearing it apart and only rubble remained. As the community sifted through the ruins in grief and brokenness, God filled them up and with new determination, those people took God’s word seriously “I am with you always!” “I know the plans I have for you- plans to prosper and lead you, not to hurt you!” As a community, they obeyed, cleaned up the mess and rebuilt. They grew closer together through their weeping, their working, their laughing, their praying, their loving and they built the school again! With joy and thanksgiving, they grew and grew and grew! Children spent their elementary education years at JKCS, learning what it means to live in a world captivated by the love of God through Jesus Christ. They graduated with the academic skills to go on to high school. Through the years, they were equipped to lead a life of Christian service. Parents continued to pay tuition and supporters committed to give. Through the 80’s the 90’s and then the turn of the 21st century, God led them. Each year, the community kept their eyes on what education for the children ought to be- delving into, visioning, dreaming, and then putting into practice the best possible elementary education for the children.
Today- Educational standards have changed, kids have changed, teachers have changed, parents and community has changed, pressures of life have changed, yes, in many ways education has changed. And Christian education has changed. We continue to experience many blessings, so much joy in learning, so rich in living together in community. We continue to struggle through much brokenness and pain, failing over and over and over, and then we get up again determined to move forward, leaning on God’s understanding. Together in love for God and one another, as family, we trust and we move on in this ever-changing world in which we have been placed. The commitment to Christian Education, the vision for shining God’s light in this world, keeping our feet firmly planted in God’s Word, knowing that God is sovereign over every square inch of His universe which means that we see all of life through the lens of his Glory has not changed, but has grown.
Today, Our community is dedicated to serving God in Christian education- we have teachers who commit to high standards in teaching, we have students/classes of kids who aspire to doing their best, we have parents who pour themselves into the life of the school, where their children learn, we have a BOD whose mandate is to vision what Christian education ought to be, to make sure structures are in place for the best possible education will happen. This building is a hub of activity- a place where kids learn what real life is- relationship building, living in community, laughing, learning, crying, struggling, breaking down and building up, a place where students learn how to add/multiply, how to read/write, a place where they learn that all of life is the place to meet God and to live for Him. A place where love triumphs.
We currently have 100 families; 192 amazing students attending WCS from Grades JK-8 . We have begun our recruitment time- we had an exciting Kindergarten Information evening this past week, with a number of new families inquiring about the school. This coming week, is our registration for JK/SK for the coming year.
Tomorrow- What is schooling, Christian schooling, WCS looking like for the future? As the world changes so quickly, so we too strive to be a dynamic, learning environment in which our students will be prepared for the future while living in the today. I look at those precious little children who will be entering JK this fall and I wonder what WCS will look like when they graduate from Grade 8? With trepidation, with excitement, with anxiety, with joy, we face the future. The structure of classrooms may change, the style of teaching will definitely change, the challenges awaiting our children will change, the possibilities for living out lives for God’s service will change, and likely the reality of paying tuition will not change but even there things may change. Always, we keep our eyes on what may be ahead, seeking God’s leading, not knowing what that may be but trusting that He knows. One thing will not change…God will not change! We will continue to seek to acknowledge the Lord. Every square inch of creation belongs to the Lord! All creation cries out, “We belong to God!!” The glory of the Lord fills the whole earth! His light shines in all learning. WCS is/will continue to serve students of all abilities, knowing they bear God’s image and have a place in His plan.
And so we go on. Learning from the past, living in the present and looking ahead to future. I laugh to myself as I write this, delighting in the fact that God has placed me here- yes, He put me here 54 years ago- and I lived in the past, He has placed me here today, February 7, 2015 in the present, and I look forward to being here in the future (in a new way that only God knows about!). I can say confidently, with joy and trust,“The Lord is in this place- actually, His Glory fills the Whole earth!!”
Thank you to our principal, Bernice Huinink-Buiter, for writing this and presenting it at our recent Benefit Banquet.
Bernice~we can see that God fills your life. Thank you for the amazing job you do leading our school!