August 1997 was a pivotal time in my life. I was set to begin my 10th year in teaching and my wife and I had just purchased a home with our three young (7, 3, 1) children. We were looking forward to a new adventure at Faith Christian School! This “First Day of School” was unlike any other that I had ever participated in because it was THE first day in the history of FCS and today we were taking ALL 46 students (grades 9 – 12) to camp for the first 3 days of school.
The faculty consisted of 4 full-time teachers: Jonathan Lambeth, Debbie Toth, Maureen Wiebe and myself, along with Bob and Joan Leffew as we boarded the bus (boys in the back/girls in the front) and headed off to camp. The goal of the camp was to provide a great start-up to the school year and to help set the tone for this new Christian School.
We had a time of introductions, orientation, chapel and of course skits. We also enjoyed several competitions including “Spoke Tackle”, “American Eagle”, and “Surgical Tube/Water Balloon Wars”. To this day, I remember the likes of Daniel Blankenship, Matt Drain, Kelly Hoffman, and Adam Smith in these various activities, and I wondered how many trips to the hospital that was in our future. I recall Christopher Garrison, Jason Ananias, and Mike Abberger being over-aggressive in Spoke Tackle and I think everyone came away from these activities were pretty worked up at each other or at least bruised for their efforts.
I remember lying in my cot that first night thinking, “what have I done”? I was comfortable and secure at my old job. In fact, my old school wasn’t even in school yet, let alone going camping with the entire high school! I remember having some 2nd thoughts about my decision to teach at FCS. My Administrator was an ex-Marine, who kept insisting that I get my bus driver’s license! The teachers and students were all very nice and it was exciting to be a part of a “new” school, but I just could not picture this being a long-term commitment.
We got through the first night and the next morning, after breakfast, we enjoyed “God and I Time”. I still remember reading Psalm 37:3-4: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” After reading, meditating, and praying for a while, a student came up to me and started talking to me. He asked, “Mr. Grass, why did you want to teach at FCS?” That question really hit me! “Why did I WANT to teach at FCS?” Well, I wanted to teach at FCS so I could mentor teens and so I could help lead and direct young people in their futures – using God’s Word in my discussions and teaching. I wanted to teach at FCS so I could coach and help develop young men to be godly role models in their future and to partner with their parents to help students live effectively in God’s world. WOW! That was 21 years ago – and I remember it like it was yesterday!
God’s faithfulness to Faith Christian School can be seen every day in the lives of our students and staff. God’s love and provision are on display through the faithful support of Faith Church and also through the commitment of parents and friends that we have here at FCS. Lives are being changed here at Faith. Families are being strengthened and hopefully, relationships are being formed that will flourish for a long time.
Have you ever had second thoughts about what you signed up for in being an FCS parent? I’m sure you have, but I hope those second thoughts were quickly overcome with the joy of knowing your student is being discipled into the image of Christ in a learning environment. Each year we highlight all the good that God is doing at FCS at our Annual Friendship Celebration. Please make plans to join us this year, on Friday, March 9th. Tickets are available in the school office and I trust that I will see you there and that you will be reminded and encouraged of the partnership that we share at Faith Christian School.
During the next several weeks I’m going to be posting a series of posts reflecting on “what did I sign up for.” But we’d love to hear from you, too – share your “What did I sign up for” stories on our Facebook page so we can all be blessed.