On Christian Education ...

by Kristi Van Dyk

I am the product of a public education (at least for most of my years. My years spent in private, Christian school were some of the worst I can recall). 

My husband is a legacy child in Christian education. In fact, his whole childhood revolved around the existence of Christian schools - and the same could be said for his aunts and uncles and most of his cousins. 

Steve and I experienced several clashes of worlds when we married, but only one was more challenging (maybe a post for a different time, if we ever really sort it out) than what do we do about school. 

Our children, especially our big two, know the difference between public and private school. They understand it is our choice. They understand it means they will grow up without certain spoils as a result. They also understand why we made this choice (and no, its not because they can see Grandpa and Grandma daily ...) 

All of that background gives this conversation so much weight: 

(driving by Zeeland East High School)
Mom: So, Kayl and Benj would you want to go there someday? 
Ben: YEAH that building is awesome! I want to play on those fields!!! It looks so awesome.
Kayl: (silent)
Mom: Kayl? Your thoughts?
Kayl: It's public, isn't it? 
Mom: Yes, it is ...
Kayl: Then no, I don't want to go there, not ever.
Mom: (a little panicked as nothing is certain right now for Mandarin secondary, and I don't want her set on anything) Why not?
Kayl: I can't imagine learning and growing in a place where God isn't a part of every conversation. I can't imagine not praying each day or singing worship songs. I just don't think I could do it. 
Mom: (sort of speechless, but testing her resolve) What if you had to choose? Christian education or Mandarin Immersion?
Kayl: (silence so long and deafening I thought she might have gotten sidetracked): I'd pick Mandarin because I have to live in China someday, but really, I'd prefer to have them both, together. 

I can't say that I always buy into "every reason" the diehard Christian School supporters give for the existence of faith based schools - but I can tell you that I will live and die by Zeeland Christian. They practice what they preach. Their faith commitment isn't something to tack on the door, it's real; its evident, and its clearly making a difference in the hearts and minds of children. 

I pray the faith enhancing opportunities Kayleigh has here can continue, somewhere ... in her preferred language of instruction ... 

It's one of my new top 5 "bring to Jesus" requests ...