Ready, Set, Go!

Monday is our first day back to school for the 2018-2019 school year and we are ready to GO! God’s word is clear, that as Christ followers it is our mission to go and make disciples of all nations. At WCS, it is our mission to train up students in mind, body, and spirit to be prepared for life and eternity. We are committed to equipping our students in all areas to be prepared to GO wherever God leads them! Part of getting ready for the upcoming school year, our teachers have taken time to rejuvenate spiritually, professionally, and physically.  During the months of June, July and August our teachers have read professional articles and books, gone to workshops, attended online webinars, furthered their schooling, enjoyed time relaxing with family, and spent extra time with the Lord allowing Him to fill their cups.  This past week we came back together for orientation and professional development. We are committing our plans to the Lord and trusting Him to establish the work of our hands as in Proverbs 16:3. Our teachers are READY and they are SET! Will you join me in praying for our teachers as they GO this Monday morning?

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Kindergarten In The Eyes Of Our Parents

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Boys and Miss Pityer.JPGMiss Pityer has been the kindergarten teacher for our two oldest children and we have been very thankful to have her as their teacher.  We have spent time in her classroom and have been impressed with the patience and kindness that she has towards her students.  She is very in tune with the kids’ personalities and seems to know each of her students well.  She creates a fun learning environment for the students, which we believe is crucial at that age.  Her love for Jesus is evident in the way she teaches and we value the fact that she centers learning around the Bible.  She encourages kids to ask questions and grow in the Lord which is important to us as parents.

Kindergarten is an important year for all children given how much change is happening in their lives at the time; going from partial to full day school is a big deal!  Miss Pityer includes rest time, reading , exercise breaks, etc. during the day which help make the transition easier.  Miss Pityer is also an excellent communicator and keeps parents updated on their child’s performance and class activities.  The structure of Kindergarten at WCS lays a positive foundation for students to grow to enjoy school which can benefit them in the long run.  Miss Pityer’s professionalism, emphasis on learning and deep faith make her an exceptional teacher.~ Jason and Mallika Klingaman, Kindergarten Parents

We fell in love with WCS the second we walked in the doors three years ago, our love for the school has only grown over those years.  We love that WCS is a bunch of families making one big family! We have had two kids go through Kindergarten and both absolutely loving everyday of it.  The way that Miss Pityer engages each child and loves on each child isn’t the kind of care that you would find anywhere else.  She is fun, engaging, and is very good at explaining things to the children when they have made a mistake or misbehaved.  Makenzie loved her so much that on her Graduation day she was in tears because it was over.  Konner loves they way she does centers and teaches math.  I love that I can come on my lunch break or spend the whole day with my kids and help out in the classroom.  Konner has grown so much spiritually!  At the beginning of the year he would pray with us at bed time and that was kind of it.  Now he wants to pray for our meals instead of one of us parents doing it and if someone isn’t feeling well he will immediately pray for them he loves talking to God and understands more about God and what he is to us. ~ Katie Burgin, Kindergarten Parent

“Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with one nation, under God, invisible, with liberty and justice for all.” ~ From the mouth of a Kindergartener

 

 

Bringing the Bible to Life

As we go into Easter weekend, I am reminded of God’s incredible power and authority to bring Jesus from the dead, conquer sin, and rescue us all. Romans 8:11 says “The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living inside of you.”

The 5th grade class knows that they are filled with the power of God and is using that power for amazing things.

Students study Responsibility

A group of 5th graders decided to start a Bible Club. This club started as about five 5th grade members that met during lunch on Mondays to talk about God together. Their first meeting was about the power of the tongue.

As they started meeting, they saw that more people were interested in being part of what was happening. So, they went to our school principal to ask for permission to start a Bible club that any grade level could attend.

In Class Bible Time

“We just wanted to help people get interested in God,” says Braden Wierick, one of the 5th graders that came up with the idea. “We wanted people to actually be interested and excited about the Bible.”

Since then, the group has grown! Nearly 25 students were at their last meeting, ready to learn about the Lord from the mouths of their own peers.

All ages ready to read the Word!

Acts 1:8 says, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In this context, Jesus was speaking to the people of Jerusalem. He was telling them to start in their own home. Then, they could preach to the neighboring peoples of Judea and Samaria. After that, He would send them out into the world to proclaim the Gospel.

Our kids are starting here. God is filling them up with power already to start here in their own “home”, then to send them into the community, then into the ends of the earth. Our students are missionaries in the making, and I am proud to be part of their calling.

Thankful for so much joy!

The Bubble Myth is Busted

Myth BustedWarsaw Christian School and Lakeland Christian Academy Mythbusters episode 1…”The Bubble”.

On the Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters, they research and test common myths to see if they are CONFIRMED, PLAUSABLE, or BUSTED.  Today I would like to explore a little Mythbusting of my own concerning WCS and LCA.   Let’s call this Private Christian School Mythbusting Episode 1…”The Bubble”.

Myth: Christian schools shelter kids in a negative “bubble”.

I hear this myth frequently.  Many people think that Christian school students are in “a bubble” that ultimately produces students who are naïve and vulnerable against the “real world.”.  They feel that it is better to expose kids to worldly thinking and actions to prepare them for the “real world”.  I have to admit that before realizing what WCS and LCA are all about I kind of bought into the worldly logic, “If it doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger” too.  In researching this topic I now realize that this is more a worldly slogan than anything found in God’s Word.  What we desperately need for our children is the opportunity for them to learn how to deal with a world that is filled with sin and temptation from a Biblical view rather than from the world’s.   

Sending spiritually unprepared children into a non-Christian environment to learn how to effectively deal with sin is just the opposite of what the Bible wants parents to do and if carefully thought through, does not seem to make sense.  We don’t let a 6 year old drive a car because they are not ready for it.  Nor is a young military recruit, for example, shuttled from the recruiter’s office directly to the battlefield.  Recruits are sent to boot camp where they are put through experiences that are designed to simulate what the soldier may experience in battle.  Boot camp is a “bubble” that prepares the soldier for real life with the aim of releasing them into the harsh reality of battle fully prepared to confront every situation with success. Like boot camp, the Christian school is a training ground for young students – providing challenging opportunities in the areas of faith, virtue, and knowledge that are designed to prepare the student for the challenges that each student will face in life.  In addition, the idea that the “real world” does not exist in the Christian school is wrong. The “real world” has positive attributes but is also a world of greed, theft, anger, hate, pride, jealousy, and more. All of this exists in the heart of every person at one time or another. Therefore, all of this exists in the Christian school too! However, the difference in the Christian school is that the children are being taught to deal with the reality of evil in the world and in their own hearts by using God’s word.  Through this approach, students are equipped with the tools needed to make Godly decisions both as a student and in the future as they navigate adulthood.

The world is constantly telling our children that it is their life so they can do anything that they want because they have the freedom of choice.  While God does give them free will to choose to do anything, not all things are beneficial.  First Corinthians 6:12 says: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything. (NIV) They can choose to go against God’s will and lie, cheat, steal, gossip, put a high value on materialism, etc.  But, are these the best things for them?  Based on what the Bible has to say, I would say NO!  

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which children are barraged with social challenges that can have long term effects on their character and/or behavior.  WCS and LCA try to protect the innocence of children without sidestepping real world issues.  Christian schools offer a safe haven for students to explore, learn, and develop a biblical foundation for their lives.

Private Christian schools are where our children are equipped to go into the world and disciple others.  Public schools cannot offer the Biblical teaching required to arm our children for this world.

So in true Mythbusters form I would have to conclude that the myth of WCS and LCA being a negative bubble is…BUSTED!

Written by LCA Director of Development Scott Wiley.

Adjectives

First grade has been learning about different types of words. Recently, the students searched the classroom for nouns. Today, we studied adjectives!

We started out by labeling our classroom teddy bear. He is big, fluffy, black and white, and apparently kind. 🙂

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The next thing we did was describe our friends in encouraging ways. The students went from desk to desk writing adjectives for their fellow students.

 

 

Everyone was excited reading their papers. They wore them proudly for most of the morning!

 

This was such a great opportunity to share with the class how we can look for the good in others and build one another up. As a Christian school it is vital we seek to care for one another as the body of Christ, just as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 states,  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Students wrote things like, you are funny, nice, fast, cool, a great friend, helpful, kind, on the papers. It was beautiful observing the students learn how to academically use adjectives while following the Christian walk in the same moment.

Warsaw Christian School has a fantastic culture that is set on building others up. You see this in the student to student relationship, teacher to student, teacher to teacher and teacher to staff, and teacher to parents. We are a team looking to develop those in our care! It is such a blessing to be a part of a school that truly seeks to live life for our Lord and in doing so loves others well.

A few adjectives I would use to describe Warsaw Christian School? Empowering, encouraging, beautiful.

Guest post written by Miss McQuade, first grade teacher

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How does school make you feel?

 
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School has begun again! Everyone feels different about the start of school. Some are excited; some are sad. Some feel nervous about a new grade and a new class. Some feel relieved to be back in a regular routine. I feel safe.

Warsaw Christian School is a safe place! We’re a family here: the teachers, the staff, the students, and the parents. More than that, though, we’re safe under the wings of our Heavenly Father! Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” How wonderful to be a part of a school that gets to teach and learn and talk and sing about our Heavenly Father and His great love for us! No matter where we go, no matter what grade we’re in, we’re always safe under our Father’s wings!

As kindergarten has started out this year, we’ve talked and talked about rules, procedures, and routines that keep us safe. Our shoes have germs–don’t suck on them; walk in the hallways; don’t stand on chairs; use your hands to help; don’t stick pencils in your ears, etc. Now we’re enjoying learning all about the people in our community who help keep us safe. Pictured here you’ll see our visits from the police and fire departments. We’ve also enjoyed learning about crossing the street, wearing seat-belts, having a working smoke detector, and not walking off with strangers.

School is just beginning, and we’re EXCITED about all that we have to learn and explore. Hope you are too! ~This Guest post was written by Warsaw Christian School’s kindergarten teacher Rebekah Pityer.  20170905_092243

Before and After Pictures

butterflyAs I scroll through my Facebook feed and notice my friends’ before and after photos celebrating changes to their physical appearance through diet and exercise, I cannot help but reflect on the transformations that happened at WCS this past school year. I wish I could post before and after pictures of the hearts that were changed. I am referring to several of our students who were transformed from the inside out by the power of God’s grace. These transformations cannot be captured by the lens of a camera, but they definitely were captured by all of us that interact with these students on a daily basis.

One student in particular had an impressive inside out transforming change.  He began his school year struggling with defiance, rebellion, and aggression towards his teachers and classmates. He was having difficulty coping with life in general. He resisted love and acceptance and consistently tried to aggravate those around him. But all the while, his teacher walked beside his parents and together they modeled love, grace, and compassion in the midst of his hostility. The other students began to exhibit the same compassion and pray for him when he was struggling.  They worked to include him in their activities even when he pulled away.

Within the first few months of the school year, this boy shared with his teacher that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart and life.  The transforming power of God’s grace was immediate. By the end of the school year, this boy had radically changed and his attitude reflected the fruits of  the Spirit. It is this kind of before and after picture that demonstrates the power of God’s transforming grace. It is this kind of picture I wish I could capture for all of you to see.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…Ezekial 36:26

Why Choose Christian Education?

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As the head of school I am often asked why a family should choose a Christian education. For me the answer is simple. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols upon your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates.” This tells me several things. First of all, it is the parent’s responsibility to pass on the spiritual teaching to their children. Secondly, it is to be done at all times possible.

For those families that are not able to be with their children at all times, Christian education is the educational system that is best designed to meet the criteria of Deut. 6:5 – 9. Our goal at Warsaw Christian School is to partner with parents and the local church to train the children to love God with all their heart, soul, and strength.
The Chris100-reasonstian school is not a protective bubble to keep children from being exposed to the world, but a training ground to prepare the children to redeem the world for Christ. That training takes place through the infrastructure of a Biblical worldview. The truth of God’s Word is the source of that Biblical worldview and it is the foundation on which Warsaw Christian School builds the spiritual, educational, relational, emotional, and physical standards that make up the school program.

Christian education outside of the home, should never replace the parents. It can and should support what the parents are commanded by God to teach their children. Warsaw Christian School is dedicated to doing just that. ~ Doug Buller

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WCS Has Dream

I am so thankful to welcome Aubrey McQuade, our very own first grade teacher, as our guest writer. Aubrey has a heart for teaching and for missions. Before joining our WCS family, she was a teacher of many little hearts on the mission field in Bangladesh. ~Tricia Deisch

The mission statement of Warsaw Christian School is that we train the whole child in body, mind and spirit to be prepared for life and eternity by providing quality Christian education.

There is something so special about working with children in wholeness. Warsaw Christian challenges our students to reach their potential in life through academic excellence, and yet the vision reaches farther still. Certainly,we seek excellence in academics as we are called to work for the Lord, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

While our students are working for the Lord in their studies they are also encouraged, challenged, and pointed with gentle guidance to see God in all of life.

When we discuss taking care of our bodies through healthy eating, or exercise in PE or science classes, the students are not told that they should do this for only health reasons, but also as an act of worship. God created our bodies. They are a temple as the Holy Spirit indwells each follower of Christ.

Students drill math facts everyday. Even this can bring glory to God. Our students build character as they study facts and persevere through testing. While math facts cemented in the mind will aid in tasks of later years, the patience, strength and perseverance built in drilling are all qualities that will also aid students as they work through relationships and challenges in the work world.

In my science class we have been learning about wild animals. This topic opened up great discussions about how God created the world around us. We investigated the creativity in creation. We learned how our God is both a master artist and planner, as he designed creatures to live in various habitats with many means of survival.

For writer’s workshop my students wrote an “All About Book” about a wild animal! They also created a shoe box habitat and shared their findings of their animal with the rest of the class!

 

Through science this week we focused on the love of God for our world and the fact that he has made us stewards to care for this planet. As we follow through on this commandment from God, it is important at school that every single class in school points back to our awesome Creator, Savior and Lord.

School is also a place of social development. In the classrooms students raise prayers for their classmates, their families, and community. They pray with one another and seek the forgiveness found in the grace of Christ when sin has been committed. They show the love and grace and kindness that flows from the Holy Spirit.

Because of the openness we have to share the truth in school, I was so excited to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day with my students.

It was another opportunity for me to embrace academic challenges, discussion of truth, and development of heart with my class.

Remember-Whole Life Learning.

I desired for my students to see this holiday as a time to celebrate that God has made every single one of his children in his image.

No human being should be treated as less than another.

As Genesis 1:27 says,

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.”

Made in the image of God, each individual on this planet is bearing the characteristics of our beautiful God.

People are creators, dreamers of impossible dreams, factual planners, scientists, mathematicians, artists, athletes, organizers, and advocates of justice and hope.

People with their gifting, talents, and interests, show our world just a glimpse of how vast is the character of our Lord God.

In class on MLK day, we remembered why we celebrate this day and how Martin Luther King Jr. used the gifting he had to serve God and bring about justice- the heart of God to America.

The day began simply as students gathered together around the whiteboard. I showed them two chicken eggs. One egg was brown, the other white. The students began to list characteristics of the eggs that made them different but were only able to come up with one item. The fact they were different colors. We then listed what was the same about the eggs, both had shells, both could roll, both were hard and smooth, both had clear goop, both had a yellow yolk, both could be eaten, and so on.

The color of the egg did not change identity of the eggs. They were both eggs. This sparked a conversation that though people in the world come in many different shades of color we are all people. God who is the master artist created diversity among his children. And since we are all people, it means we are all made in the image of God, we are all offered salvation through Jesus Christ and invited to become the children of God.

I read my students the following poem

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God made diversity in our world and it is something to be celebrated!

I explained how in Dr. King’s time, African Americans were considered as less or lower than white Americans.

My students reacted strongly, “That is not right! How could people do that? It is so mean!”

I told the class that Dr. King knew that God cared about all people. Dr. King cared for the African American community that was mistreated in America so he became a voice for change. His dream was that all people would come together to treat one another with the love of family, as brothers and sisters. “May we not be judged by the color of our skin but the content of our character. I have a dream!” MLK Jr.

We live in a day where freedom rings and yet sin claws its bitter way in. Our nation is not free of racism, judgement, criticism. Cruel words can fly even in the Christian community.

But thank God that he is the God of freedom. He is healer, bringing forgiveness in his nail scarred hands. Thank God as Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Since we have been freed by God we know that we live in mercy.

So, my next question for my students was WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?

God calls us to loosen the chains of injustice. As Christians, we know we live in a fallen world but are given the heart of God to care for the people around us.

What is broken and sad in this world that hurts your heart? What is your dream to make it better? What can you do?

We can start small, promoting anti-bullying in our own school, our own classroom. We can have the dream that no one is left out. We can make this dream happen by looking to see who is alone and going to talk to them.

We can dream big and say that every person in our town should be able to eat hot meals. How can this happen? Can we raise money for a soup kitchen?

I asked my students to think of ways they could make the world a better place. We could start small and go large! After all we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.

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My students were given three little clouds labeled with “My dream.” They then had the chance to consider three areas where they could help our world.

My School

My Community

My World

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I loved seeing their hearts come out on these bits of paper.

The students thought of personal dreams for school, to treat people with kindness, to play with others, to learn lots.

In the community someone wrote that “I dream that the mayor will make good decisions.” Someone else wrote “That all people will have food.”, and another shared they hoped “There will be hotels with free pools for everyone.”

Their dreams for the world touched me the most. Nearly every student wrote about people being loved, and knowing God.

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My heart for my class, my heart for all of Warsaw Christian School, is that we understand the vastness of God’s love for us, and through that understanding we respond in love to God by loving his people.

So back to the beginning of this post, the vision of the school is to train the whole child, body, spirit, and mind to be prepared for life and eternity by providing quality Christian education.

May the skills they learn, and the character they develop, here under the nurturing of the staff and mighty power of God, create world changers. Children who go at life with the heart of God, in the simple moments of loving our neighbors and choosing what is right.

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Adoption Awareness Month: Celebrating God our Father

Written by WCS’s fifth grade teacher, Brittany Tadesse. Brittany is a wife, teacher, and missionary who has a heart for serving and loving others.  Her desire for her students to know God and His love for each of them is evident in her daily interactions with her students. Thank you, Brittany, for sharing your heart with us.

“I could never love someone else’s kid like my own.”

“I’ve heard that they could burn your house down or steal your stuff.”

“You don’t know what you’re getting.”

Many adoptive parents in our school heard these words. My parents hear these words too. They could have believed these words, and after many failed adoption attempts, they were tempted to. But they said “let’s try this one more time.”

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“Just get rid of it.”

“No one needs to know but you.”

“It would be better for it to be gone than to be born into this world.”

“Better abortion than adoption.”

These are words that many women carrying an unwanted baby have heard. They are reminded of the pain of labor, the hurt of giving a child away, and the trauma of continuing with life afterward. They are told that adoption isn’t the “right” way.

My birth parents heard these words. Many well-meaning people gave them advice to abort. Together they went to an abortion clinic. As they were waiting to go in, they felt this tug to leave. They said that something “didn’t feel right” and walked out of the clinic before their name was called. They decided to take a different approach.

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This twist and turn of events; the hurtful words, failed attempts, bad advice, and years of waiting, lead to one event. I was birthed by a strong woman into a beautiful family. After seven years of waiting and praying, my parents said it all finally made sense. All my life my mom would tell me, “I prayed and prayed and God sent you to me.” He definitely did. As an unborn person, I had no control over if I would live or die, but my birthparents and parents made choices that not only gave me life, but gave me a life better than I could have ever imagined.

Isn’t that what God does for us? He takes our mess and our brokenness and decides to take it all as His. He decides to make us His family. Romans 8:15 says that He has given us a spirit of adoption, so that we can call Him Father.” In a way, we are all in different stages of the adoption process right now.

In a world that says adoption is not the “right” way, He says:

“You are no longer  slave, but my son.” Galatians 4:5-7

“I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” John 14:8

“Whoever does my will is my family.” Matthew 12:50

“Through faith you are God’s children.” Galatians 3:26

“How long did it take you to love someone else’s kid?” Someone asked my mom. She replied “The minute I held her I was in love with her and would have done anything in the world to take care of her. The second I had her, she was mine.”

The second God had you, you were His. He is in love with you and will do anything in the world to take care of you. November is adoption awareness month. Let’s celebrate the students in our school that have been adopted into our Warsaw Christian family…and even more importantly, let’s celebrate the fact that we have been adopted into God’s family. Spread the word: adoption is beautiful. And we are all a part of it.

~Brittany Tadesse

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